Reversing the effects of a tubal ligation is an increasingly viable option for many women seeking to have a child. Our expert explains the procedure and the need for a fertility evaluation and other tests in advance of the surgery.
For some patients who have their tubes tied as a birth control measure, there may later be a decision in life to want to have children again. This raises the question – is it possible to have the tubal ligation procedure reversed to be able to achieve pregnancy? The answer is yes and it is simply called Tubal Reversal.
To understand how the procedure is reversible in certain situations, it is ideal to first understand how the ligation surgery is performed to begin with. The ligation, or “closing of the tubes” surgery works to prevent fertilized eggs from entering the uterus post ovulation. The fallopian tubes are either blocked, burned tied or closed, to achieve this.
Reversal of this procedure is an easily spoken of concept, yet a very difficult surgical correction to achieve. There are a number of factors that can affect the success of a tubal reversal, meaning that even with this procedure it is possible some women may still not be able to achieve pregnancy.
Pre-procedure testing is vital, such as a sperm count for the partner. A tubal reversal is not going to help if the sperm count is insufficient. The fertility clinic doctor will also want to evaluate the egg quality of the female. Even with the best tubal reversal surgery, if the woman’s eggs are problematic the chances for a successful pregnancy are hampered with an egg issue.
Tubal Reversal is achieved by either reconnecting tubes that have been severed. This is performed to once again allow the eggs to progress through the tubes to reach the sperm, fertilize, then implant in the uterus in order to result in a pregnancy.
For those who are considering undergoing this procedure, there is a lingering question of does it actually work to allow a woman to become pregnant once more? The answer varies depending on a handful of factors such as at what age you choose to have the reversal performed, the amount of scar tissue present on the tubes and within the pelvic operating area, the type of procedure that was used to close the tubes, and whether or not your tubes will even be able to function once re-opened.
Those who are able to undergo a successful reversal have a generally positive prognosis when it comes to being able to conceive, with percentages reaching upwards of 85%. Those who are older in age, or who have tubes that have degraded slightly, can expect to get percentages closer to a 40% conception rate.
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