Tubal Ligation Reversal
What is Tubal Ligation?
Tubal ligation or “having your tubes tied”
is a form of permanent birth control that many doctors
recommend for women who are certain that they do not
wish to become pregnant anymore or when it is believed
that pregnancy could be a serious health risk. The procedure
severs or blocks the fallopian tubes so that ova (eggs)
cannot be fertilized or reach the uterus. Its success
rate is over 99% during the first year. In following
years, spontaneous recovery of the fallopian tubes may
reduce its effectiveness to some extent. For this reason,
sometimes very aggressive means are used to perform
the tubal ligation.
What kinds of Tubal Ligation are
The most common kind of tubal ligation
is known as Partial salpingectomy,
which involves cutting and tying the tubes.
Clips or silicon
rings may be used either on or in the tubes.
Clips in the tubes cause scar tissue to develop around
them, hence preventing the passage of the sperm to the
cauterization are methods that use
electric currents to burn the tubes.
Often women will refer to their tubal
ligation saying that their tubes were, "cut, tied
and burned"- meaning that a combination of methods
was used to perform their tubal ligation.
How successful is tubal reversal?
While the surgery itself is successful in the majority
of cases (some sources quote statistics as high as 98%),
pregnancy rates vary depending upon a variety of factors
such as other health problems, the quality of the woman's
eggs and the partner's sperm, among other things. If
all is well, a successful tubal reversal provides a
75% chance of spontaneous pregnancy for the couple within
Who is a good candidate for tubal reversal?
- Women under age 40, as their ova tend to be of
- Women without evidence of significant scar tissue
resulting from the tubal ligation.
- Couples for whom sperm quality is not a factor -
for these couples, IVF (often
combined with ICSI) has higher
success rates than tubal ligation reversal.
Tubal Reversal Versus IVF
For women who have had tubal ligation, IVF
(in-vitro fertilization) is another option for conception.
Tubal reversal and IVF yield similar success rates,
yet for those who are good candidates for tubal reversal,
it does have several advantages:
- Cost: the price of tubal reversal
is similar to the price of a single cycle of IVF,
but gives the option of trying month after month at
- No need for additional medical intervention
to achieve pregnancy - the woman does not
need to take any medications or go through any additional
medical procedures (following a successful tubal ligation
reversal) in order to conceive.
- Additional Pregnancies: If tubal
reversal is successful, additional pregnancies will
not require additional intervention
What other options are there for a woman who
has had a tubal ligation to conceive?
Using donor eggs with the
help of IVF can allow a woman to carry a baby. Surrogacy,
using either the woman's or the surrogate's ovum are
additional options that are available.
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