Reversing A Tubal Ligation
When a woman is done having babies, tubal ligation is a way to sterilize the fallopian tubes to prevent further pregnancy. Tubal ligation reversal is a surgical procedure that reopens the tubes and allows pregnancy to occur again. However, a reversal does not guarantee conception. Sometimes, couples have to opt for fertility treatments like assisted reproductive technology (ART) to get pregnant.
Pregnancy rates after a reversal
The possibility of achieving pregnancy after tubal ligation reversal is favorable, with about 50-80% of women going on to have a baby. However, the success rate depends on factors such as age, the partner’s sperm health, and the presence of scar tissue. The amount of healthy fallopian tubes left and the type of sterilization used are also factors to consider. Although becoming pregnant is possible after reopening the tubes, each individual is different, and results can vary.
Recovering from surgery
Once the tubal ligation reversal procedure is completed, the patient is sent to the recovery room for observation. The patient can usually go home on the same day, about 2-3 hours after the operation. Women who have a reversal performed may feel abdominal pain around the operation site. The doctor will prescribe the necessary medications and give post-operative care instructions. Follow the doctor’s instructions and inquire when certain activities can be safely resumed.
Possible risks of a reversal
After a tubal ligation reversal operation, complications are unlikely. However, surgical complications such as bleeding, infection, injury to nearby organs, and allergic reaction to anesthesia can occur. Another possible adverse event after a reversal is the occurrence of ectopic pregnancy. Ectopic pregnancy is when the embryo implants into the tubes, not the uterus. The risk of ectopic pregnancy is small, with only 2-7% of pregnancies affected by this condition.
When to consider ART
Pregnancy usually occurs within 1-2 years of a tubal ligation reversal. If unsuccessful, in vitro fertilization (IVF) is an alternate option to achieve pregnancy. Doctors will also recommend IVF to patients who do not wish to undergo tubal ligation reversal. IVF involves fertilizing the eggs with sperm outside the body and then implanting the embryo into the uterus. IVF has a high success rate if the eggs and sperm are healthy, but also comes with risks, such as the chance of multiples.
Getting pregnant again
The bottom line is that a woman can get pregnant after a tubal ligation reversal. However, if the procedure is unsuccessful and pregnancy does not occur, the healthcare provider may recommend ART treatment, such as IVF, to achieve pregnancy. The doors are never truly closed to pregnancy with today’s reproductive technology, and a baby is possible even after a tubal ligation.