Tubal Reversal or IVF: Which is Best?

Have you had your tubes tied and now want to get pregnant, but are unsure which is best—tubal reversal or IVF?

Women who have had their tubes tied in the past sometimes regret or rethink this decision and wish to become pregnant. Fortunately, most tubal ligation procedures can be successfully reversed so that you can attempt to get pregnant again.

There are two options available to those women who want to get pregnant after tubal ligation:

  1. Tubal Reversal
  2. IVF

Tubal ReversalTo help decide which is procedure gives you the best chance of getting pregnant an evaluation of the male partner’s semen quality and the female partner’s ovarian function may help determine which is a better option.

Pros & Cons of Tubal Reversal

In tubal reversal, the aim is to “untie” , unblock or reconnect your fallopian tubes so that eggs may pass through them again,  and travel to the uterus after fertilization by a sperm. This is a surgical procedure and the method used to “fix” the fallopian tubes will depend on the method used to ligate them.

Tubal reversal success is based on such factors as your age, your fertility health, the fertility of your partner, whether or not there is excessive tubal scarring, if there is enough length left in the fallopian tubes after they are reconnected.

The up side to tubal reversal vs. IVF is that following the surgery to make your fallopian tubes functional again, there are no fertility drugs to take or other procedures involved. Once the tubal reversal is done, it is business as usual, meaning that you and your partner can try to conceive the old fashioned way. Plus, there is a lower risk of multiple births.

The down side to tubal reversal is that you do have to go through a surgery and if it doesn’t work—your only recourse is IVF.  Additionally, it’s important to note the average time to conception after a reversal is 1 year, this may be too long for you to wait!

Pros & Cons of IVF

IVF, the only other alternative to tubal reversal if you have had your tubes tied and do not want a reversal or are not a good candidate for a reversal, also has its pros and cons.

IVF, or In Vitro Fertilization, involves a woman being given fertility medicines to stimulate the ovaries to produce eggs. Then the IVF Denvereggs are harvested, fertilized with male sperm, and the embryos transferred using a thin catheter that goes into the vagina, through the cervix and up into the uterus, where at least one will hopefully attach and implant.

One of the biggest advantages of IVF as opposed to tubal reversal is that there is no surgery involved, success rates are high and you do not have to depend on the surgery working. The time to conception is also quicker with IVF.

Another plus is that you will know within ten days or so whether or not the IVF worked and you are pregnant, whereas with tubal reversal you might have a long wait of a year or even longer. There is a risk of multiple births with IVF, but the risk is low if we transfer only one embryo.

The success of either procedure will be largely dependent on the expertise and experience of your Colorado fertility doctor, so be sure to see a top fertility specialist.


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Posted in: Infertility Treatment

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