It can be really frustrating for those of us that really want to end the path of motherhood revolving pregnancy, whether that be due to being overwhelmed, financial restrictions, health concerns, or something else. Your doctor may tell you it is such a simple procedure, with minimal scarring, and a small recovery window, but are they really providing you with full informed consent? Is it really that easy to cease having babies, with no consequence? Not at all, and it is really important that you are aware of all risks, before proceeding with any life-altering medical decision.
What is Tubal Ligation?
The constriction and manipulation of the fallopian tubes in order to prevent eggs from being fertilized. It can be done by cutting, tying, burning, clipping or removing sections of the tubes, or a combination of multiple approaches.
The possible reactions following a litigation include:
Frequent Abnormal Hot flashes
Irregular or heavier periods
Loss/Decrease of libido
Increased depression and/or anxiety
Achy, sore joints and/or muscles
Pain at site of incision
Bleeding from incision site or abdomen
Damage to surrounding tissue
Increase in headaches
Imbalances of hormones or hormone shock
Dysfunctional uterine bleeding
Increased risk of heart disease
Severe pelvic adhesions
Misplacement of female organs
Damage to other organs inside the abdomen
Side effects from anesthesia
Ectopic pregnancy (an egg fertilized outside the uterus)
Incomplete closing of a fallopian tube resulting in pregnancy
Around40% of women experience these symptoms/medical issues after their tubal ligation.
So, what if you have already had one done?
Rest assured, a tubal ligation reversal IS possible! This is an excellent choice if you have decided your family is not complete, or you are having symptoms as a result of your ligation.
A reversal is considered an outpatient surgery, lasts about an hour, and does not typically require overnight stay unless there are complications as a result of the reversal. Reversals are successful in un-blocking the fallopian tubes 98% of the time. This does NOT mean that they are 98% successful in restoring fertility, however about 67% of patients that choose a reversal are able to conceive and maintain a pregnancy post-reversal. Success depends on the type of ligation that was performed, mostly. Reversal is less expensive than IVF with typically a higher conception success rate, as well.
The risks of a reversal surgery include:
Hemorrhaging (always ask to get your blood counts checked prior to consenting to surgery, every good doctor should do this anyways)
We get it, you REALLY, REALLY do not want to get pregnant again. What are the alternatives?
Natural Family Planning! When you dedicate yourself and commit to checking BBTs, cervical mucus, and being aware of your cycle, you can absolutely be successful in preventing pregnancy long-term! Stay tuned for HERBAL’s Womb Reading Fertility Course coming out soon!!
Neem Oil and Wild Carrot Oil are both excellent sources, from the Earth, to kill sperm and prevent conception when used properly.
**We do not recommend hormonal forms of birth control at HERBAL, at all! They are extremely toxic, have long term effects, and are not even very effective, honestly. Please research hormonal forms of birth control before putting them in your body**
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In America and Western-style medicine concepts, the gallbladder is seen as an optional organ that serves us no real purpose. If that’s the case though, would evolution have not seen it fit to cease developing and shift our bodies to be most useful to the world we know like it has plenty of times in the past? Half a million people in the United States are getting a “non-essential” organ removed every single year, whether due to gallstones, infection, pain, bile sludge, scarred bile ducts or cancer. Is all of this removal necessary and what is removal doing to our bodies, after all?
I had a few gallbladder spasms which began in my twin surrogacy, and but it really flared up when I was separated from my son, Noah (if you do not know our story, you can read more here). I recently had an encounter with my gallbladder that was alarmingly painful, and so much so, that it required a visit to the hospital to receive strong anti-inflammatory medication to ease the pain. I had sweaty chills with no fever, intense back, and abdominal pain. The hospital admitted me, did an ultrasound, found gallstones, and recommended removal within 24 hours. According to the doctor, if I did not have this surgery, I would very likely be back in the hospital within days, potentially with pancreatitis.
I begged to differ. The way I see medical problems is that there is always a root cause, whether it be a nutritional deficiency, a hormonal imbalance, lack of movement/blood flow, or toxin exposure. I checked out Against Medical Advice (AMA) and was determined to find a solution that did not require parting with one of my organs; and yes, my insurance still covered my stay. An extremely common misconception when checking out AMA is that insurance will not cover your stay; this is not true.
The Importance of the Gallbladder
So what is the generally recognized function of the gallbladder that even most Western-based medical professionals are aware of?
The gallbladder is about the size of a regular chicken egg and stores bile produced by the liver. It becomes heavily concentrated through the removal of water and electrolytes in the process. The gallbladder’s primary digestive purpose is to respond to high fat-content to help break the fat down to be more easily digested. After consuming fat, the hormone CCK signals bile release, and the bile travels through the bile ducts into the small intestine to emulsify the fats. The gallbladder also plays a detoxifying role, helping the liver remove toxins in the body. The gallbladder encourages the removal of old red blood cells, dirt, metals and more.
Much to the surprise of many, the gallbladder also has a relationship with hormones. Women and non-binary individuals on estrogen and progesterone supplementation are much more likely to experience gallbladder issues, and gallstones especially, than men. But why?
Higher estrogen levels increase the biliary cholesterol saturation which can lead to crystallization of the bile in the gallbladder, making it thicker and more compact, eventually leading to gallstones. A higher progesterone level can lead to less contraction of muscles and organs, including the gallbladder, making it more difficult for the gallbladder to release bile salts and fully empty/cleanse itself. This is why it is so common to start seeing gallbladder issues that were never present before occurring after a loss, pregnancy, breastfeeding cessation, birth control shift, and/or hormone replacement therapy. It doesn’t help that our hormones are being so disrupted nowadays by toxins in the environment, vaccines, cleaning products, and our food. It’s really not hard to understand why, even those of us that have never conceived or touched birth control, may still have issues. After learning this, it makes sense to me why my gallbladder issues arose in my surrogate pregnancy. Not only was I pregnant with twins (hello, hormone central) but I was on hormone supplementation at the beginning of the pregnancy in order to properly conceive the twins.
What are the downfalls of removal?
The risks of removing my gallbladder were not properly discussed with me in the hospital, which obviously made me even more uncomfortable with consenting. Generally, the symptoms of someone suffering after gallbladder removal are placed into the diagnosis box of Postcholecystectomy Syndrome (PCS). This may include bile dumping (either throwing up or instant bowel elimination after meal), abdominal pain, IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), pancreatitis, liver disease and/or Sphincter of Oddi Dysfunction (SOD is when the pancreatic and biliary valves do not open and close properly, causing an array of issues). The risks of these side effects of removal, after I had researched, seemed worse to me than dealing with gallbladder attacks.
So, what can you do to avoid removal?
I have found through research and anecdotally, that diet, hormone balance, and herbal remedies are becoming more essential for not only health in general but gallbladder function, specifically. It is best to consume the highest quality and most balanced nutritional plan that is possible for your body. Eating a fibrous non-processed, whole-food diet, is an excellent way to lay the foundation for gallbladder health and restoration. Acupuncture, castor oil packs, oxygen therapy, and certain yoga poses appear to have anecdotal evidence to support the gallbladder. I am also using a Gallbladder Essential Oil to reduce inflammation, but it also smells amazing and seems to give me peace as well. The blend is: Geranium, Clove, Grapefruit, Wild Orange, Juniper Berry and Rosemary (YUM).
Even with a healthy lifestyle, flares can and likely will still happen, if you do not cleanse your gallbladder. The cleansing of the gallbladder involves a cleansing of the liver and kidneys too, they all need to be in sync. The cleanse I have been actively pursuing for two weeks now is as follows:
32 oz of apple juice per day (find some I recommendhere)
8 oz of ACV per day – mix w apple juice (I recommend this one)
Moringa Tea – 1 cup per day (I recommend this one)
Milk Thistle Tea – at least 1 cup per day (this is a great option)
Mag Sulfate water with Reishi Tea – one cup per day except on the intensive day, following the Andreas protocol which requires 4 cups (this IS a laxative be mindful!)
ProMax Protease Enzymes
Turmeric blend (must contain black pepper and coconut oil to be effectively absorbed) (this one is great)
Betaine HCL with every meal (I take 2 with each meal) (this one is awesome quality)
1-2 capsule Cayenne
Cell Salts (I take 3 in the AM, 3 in PM)
Dr Morse’s Gallbladder Support Tincture (Two droppers full under the tongue in the AM, same in PM)
Weekly Green Coffee Enemas
Intensive Day (this is recommended to be done on Day 6, but being a birth worker, it did not happen until Day 10 after starting the above protocol). As part of my final day of intensive gallbladder cleansing, I will finish off my night with the following:
A brief afternoon fasting after our Fourth of July meal
About 2 cups of Mag water intermittently within a 4 hour time span
Then this mixture right before bed…
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup Grapefruit/Lemon/Apple Juice
Black walnut hull tincture
And my beloved heating pad to go to sleep on with a castor oil pack.
I hope this article could be helpful and insightful in trying to keep all of your organs in your body! If there is absolutely nothing that you can do to resolve the pain and it is hindering your daily lifestyle, you have to do what you have to do, and sometimes that requires removal. That is nothing to be ashamed of, I simply wanted to provide insight on my different choices, and the relationship of the gallbladder in the body!
When you picture a cesarean, what words come to mind first?
Cold. Quiet. Bright. Scary. Scrubs. Scalpel. Shaky. Drugged Up. Curtain. No Skin to Skin. Sore. Inactive.
But wait! Ending up with a C-Section, whether by emergency or by choice, does not mean that you have to miss out on being an active participant in your birth!
What is a Gentle C-Section?
While a gentle cesarean is not going to do much to change the postpartum recovery, it is still a major surgery, it can reduce the trauma or disappointment you may experience, if a c-section was not in your expected birth plan. And even if it was, how neat is it to have a more active and informed surgery, right?!
A gentle cesarean is something that should absolutely be discussed with your provider prior to you going into labor, whether you are planning to deliver at home or planning a scheduled c-section, everyone needs to be on board and knowledgable about your intentions in the event of a cesarean happening! OB/GYNs that do not routinely do cesareans need to be informed on their role during the cesarean and what things will be different, which will not be much on their part honestly – just a little extra time and flexibility. If you have a doula, she can aide you in advocating for your gentle cesarean, as you will be numb, but if not make sure your partner or support person is fully informed on what exactly it is that you are aiming for.
First things first, you will still be prepped like every cesarean mama would be; you will need to sanitize your body to prevent your opening from becoming infected, and everyone coming into the room will be scrubbed up from head to toe to keep germs to a minimum. You will be given a form of pain medication in your spine to numb you; your best bet is to ask for a spinal block instead of the epidural or general anesthesia. This will be a shorter lived pain medication (about two hours) that will get you well through the surgery, but not linger as long as the epidural and generally does not have as many side effects.
Insist on a small, low transverse scar that is to be double sutured. If this is a repeat c-section, make sure they remove built up scar tissue before suturing, so you are less likely to experience placenta accreta on your scar tissue in future pregnancies. This will increase your likelihood of a successful VBAC, if that is potentially a future desire of yours. Babies can squeeze out of a hole the size of a bagel, trust me, they do not need to cut you from hip to hip.
Leave the shawl down or ask for a transparent sheet to go in between you and the OB/GYN operating, so that you can see everything happening! Ask the OB/GYN or a nurse to talk you through the procedure and everything that is going on to help keep you fully engaged in your baby’s entrance.
Music may play during the birth to encourage a loving and soft environment. If possible, you can request that the temperature be warmed and the lights reduced just for a few minutes as baby emerges. Of course, when the OB/GYN is opening and stitching you back up, you will want them to have full visual. Have monitors turned silent and away from your face so you can be relaxed and at peace.
Allow baby’s head to be pulled to the top of the opening and turned towards you, to emerge slowly and gently. If possible, you or your partner can do this part, and still deliver your own baby! They can still do the breast crawl this way or just be pulled up to your chest for skin to skin. Delayed cord clamping should absolutely still be an option and you can almost always keep your placenta. They should allow the placenta a few moments to attempt to detach naturally, before pulling or manually removing, and it should be removed gently as to not cause any damage to your uterus.
Simply have them place the placenta in a bowl or container next to your bed for delayed cord clamping and keeping the placenta. It should not be allowed to go to pathology, except for a small sliver, if they absolutely must test.
Baby should remain skin to skin with you or your partner while you are stitched back up. After they stitch you, be sure to ask for them to swab your vagina for vaginal seeding, this provides baby with probiotics and healthy culture from your vagina that they would normally get passing through the birth canal. Baby should not be washed, especially with soap! Rub their vernix and any other fluids into their skin.
If baby must be separated from you for any reason, have someone else provide skin to skin, or at minimum stay with them, especially if you are declining vaccinations, or eye ointment.
Check out this video as an example of a gentle cesarean: