Tubal Implants: Before Your Procedure

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What are tubal implants?

Tubal implants are a permanent type of birth control. They are small metal springs that are placed in your fallopian tubes. This is done without surgery (no cutting) or anesthesia.

Over time, scar tissue grows around each implant. The scar tissue blocks the tubes. This stops eggs from moving from the ovaries into the fallopian tubes. These are the tubes where the egg is fertilized by a sperm.

The procedure is done in a doctor's office or an outpatient surgery centre. It may be done in a hospital. It takes about 30 minutes. You may be able to go back to your normal routine the same day. But if you have medicine to help you relax, give yourself a day to rest.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.

What happens before the procedure?

Procedures can be stressful. This information will help you understand what you can expect. And it will help you safely prepare for your procedure.

Preparing for the procedure

  • Understand exactly what procedure is planned, along with the risks, benefits, and other options.
  • Tell your doctors ALL the medicines and natural health products you take. Some of these can increase the risk of bleeding or interact with anesthesia.
  • If you take blood thinners, such as warfarin (Coumadin), clopidogrel (Plavix), or aspirin, be sure to talk to your doctor. He or she will tell you if you should stop taking these medicines before your procedure. Make sure that you understand exactly what your doctor wants you to do.
  • Your doctor will tell you which medicines to take or stop before your procedure. You may need to stop taking certain medicines a week or more before the procedure. So talk to your doctor as soon as you can.
  • If you have an advance care plan, let your doctor know. Bring a copy to the hospital. If you don't have one, you may want to prepare one. It lets your doctor and loved ones know your health care wishes. Doctors advise that everyone prepare these papers before any type of surgery or procedure.

What happens on the day of the procedure?

  • Follow the instructions exactly about when to stop eating and drinking. If you don't, your procedure may be cancelled. If your doctor told you to take your medicines on the day of the procedure, take them with only a sip of water.
  • Take a bath or shower before you come in for your procedure. Do not apply lotions, perfumes, deodorants, or nail polish.
  • Take off all jewellery and piercings. And take out contact lenses, if you wear them.

At the hospital or surgery centre

  • Bring a picture ID.
  • For the procedure, you are positioned as you would be for a pelvic examination. Your doctor will pass a thin tube through your vagina and cervix, into the uterus, and then into a fallopian tube. This tube is called a catheter. It is used to place an implant into a fallopian tube. An implant is then placed in the other fallopian tube the same way.
  • After the procedure, you may have menstrual-like cramps.
  • About 3 months after the procedure, an X-ray is taken to make sure the implants are in place and the tubes are closed.

When should you call your doctor?

  • You have questions or concerns.
  • You need to reschedule or have changed your mind about having the procedure.

Where can you learn more?

Go to http://www.healthwise.net/ed

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