Women, esp who've had a tubal, how would you feel about this?

So, about two week ago on a Saturday afternoon I start to feel pain in my right midsection. It’s a pain that seemed familiar, I usually interpret it as ovulation, it was the right time of the month.

Then it worsened, and worsened, and worsened and I went to the ER. Mostly to rule out appendicitis they ordered a CT scan. This showed no appendicitis but the written report (neither me nor ER doc saw actual pictures) noted “possible malpositioned tubal ligation clip”. I had a tubal ligation 7 years ago and have had no problems.

Since they could see no cause for the pain and nothing in the CT scan or any of my lab work showed I was in danger, they sent me home. The ER doctor (female) said that if she had that comment on her CT report she would definitely want to get it checked out and be sure her birth control was working.

I made an appointment with the Ob/GYN

oh damn, hit submit too soon, here’s the rest…
I made an appointment with the Ob/GYN office that did my tubal (the doctor who did it was gone). I get my usual gynecological checkups from the midwives that delivered my babies. The (female) doctor wondered why I was there given the 7 years of no pregnancy. I said because a misplaced clip sounded concerning, plus mysterious pain. She said the report said “malpositioned” not “misplaced”. Her exam showed nothing of interest and she said if I wanted she could order a hysterosalpingogram to determine if my tubes were truly blocked.

Over the next few days the pain subsided and finally disappeared. No other symptoms.

Yesterday was the test, which is dye sent into the uterus and viewed by x-ray to see if dye flows out of tubes. The (male) doctor who performed the test asked why we were performing it, given the 7 years of no pregnancy. I said because the usual way to find out if your tubal ligation has failed is to get pregnant. During the test it was clear the dye was not acting the way he had expected it to. He said to the assisting radiologist “so…inconclusive?” They kept me on the table much longer than I had expected having me turn this and that way. He asked me my age (44) at least 3 times.

At the end he showed me the scans. The “malpositioned” clip was …really really far away from my tube. Obviously not attached to it. “In outer space” was his choice of words. The dye showed up nice and dark and contained on the other side and the dye on the “malpositioned clip” side looked pale and dispersed, though no dye could be seen blooming out of my tube as it would if it was unobstructed. His advice to me was to take no further action. He said the tube was occluded, probably by scar tissue, since obviously not by the clip. He said clearly the dye was leaking out of the tube somehow, possibly from a small fistula. Did I have any questions?

Yes! Was I going to get pregnant? He said “No, you’re not going to get pregnant.”

I’m going to see the first gynecologist on Monday to see if she thinks differently.

I feel super annoyed with both of them for questioning why I was even worried if I hadn’t gotten pregnant in 7 years. Because I had new information, dammit. What would you do? Or feel?

Not a woman, but I would go to a new OB.

I would not only worry about the getting pregnant part, a big worry for sure! But also the pain you were experiencing due to a foreign object “in outer space”. What is to prevent migration and additional pain/injury?? I find the attitude of this doc dismissive and non informative at best. I hope your other doc is more interested in helping you.

actually none of the doctors (ER Doc, 1st GYN, 2nd GYN who performed dye procedure) seemed to think the clip out of place had anything to do with the pain. The only theory on the pain, after appendicitis was ruled out, was bad ovulatory pain, no theory on why so much worse than any other month.

Definitely one of my questions to 1st GYN will be “hey, what ABOUT that clip in outer space?” I can’t believe I didn’t think to ask at the procedure.

The fact that you were asked your age three times makes me think that you being 44 is influencing the response. I’d be investing in condoms.

I had a horrible experience with a mobile clip that caused intense abdominal pain 10 years after my tubal.

Turns out the clip fell off and then did some damage to my bladder and one ovary and they fused together with scar tissue. I had surgery twice to clear the adhesions and finally had the ovary removed in order to stop the regrowth. The real problem was none of the tests I had uncovered the problems. I saw at least 5 different specialists and until I agreed to exploratory surgery they couldn’t figure out what was causing the pain. It was a very long process and not a lot of fun.

Good luck, I hope that your only issue is the possibility of pregnancy and that the pain does not return.

Hmm, istm that the dye test showed that you won’t get pregnant. However, mysterious pain and a rogue metal clip isn’t exactly reassuring. I guess the question to ask is how dangerous the loose clip is (and how loose it actually is) vs how much trouble it would be to remove it.

Yikes Moonlitherial! I’m sorry that happened to you (and I hope it’s not what’s happening to me). I appreciate your sharing it with me.

Mentioned it here on SD more than once … I got pregnant 10 years after getting my tubal because the scar got popped by a lower abdominal infection. That was a real You have got to be shitting me moment!

Get rubbers, see if you can get it reclipped, or redone where they cut out a section of tube and tie each end off separately.

Carlotta, I asked about this on another board, where a member is a surgeon specializing in lady bits.

I asked her if there was a chance you’d get pregnant. Here’s what she said:

I had a tubal sixteen years ago and if I had something floating around in space I would certainly worry about it and would want it removed. Exactly what are these clips? I would be beside myself with worry until the floating thing was removed. If it really is no cause for concern, I would need a lot of convincing.

OMG I fucking hate being a woman!!!

Sorry you had to deal with this :dubious:


Thanks for letting me know this stuff does happen (damn doctors acting like it never does and I’m nuts for being worried). I’m sorry it happened to you.

Wow! I didn’t even know they did tubals with clips. I would be freaked out if I found out something was floating around in my body not doing what it’s supposed to. My OB who did my tubal 11 yrs ago, did what he called the “triple whammy”. Cut a chunk out of the tubes, tied them off, and then cauterized the ends. You should ask for that if you go back.

Shit happens =) I joke that if I were the joke Indian, my 3 pregnancies if born would have been named Ortho-Novum Don’t Work, Ortho-Novum Don’t Work Rubber Broke and Holy Shit! :stuck_out_tongue:

There is a reason they say that anything other than a hysterectomy has an infinitessimal chance of not working. I know that I was taking the pill properly, and not on antibiotics or ill the first time. I know that I was taking them correctly etc and that the rubber broke the second time. I had thought that getting a tubal would have removed the need for any sort of birth control … oops! :smack:

The wife is a X-ray nightmare: Two clips, one moving, a Essure in one tube, and a Greenfield filter. Now THAT is fun to see on a CAT scan!

I’m not a surgeon, just do office gynecology, but 44 year olds with a failed tubal can indeed get pregnant ( been doing this for 30 years, seen about everything) just as the Ob quoted says. I second the notion to use contraception, and get the clip out (now that you know it’s moved, and sever the tube). All that imaging does NOT show adhesions or scar tissue. Your pain could be from that, or from the ovulation of a large follicle- the fluid in those is quite irritating and is seen as free fluid in the “cul de sac” on ultrasound. Personally I’m fond of the cut tie and burn method. Clips and rings, not so much.