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How Tubal Reversal Works: Candidates & Options

A tube reversal is the procedure that reverses tubal ligation. A tubal ligation, also known as having your tubes “tied”, provides a permanent form of birth control for females. Sometimes those who’ve had a tubal ligation decide, for myriad reasons, do, in fact, wish to conceive at a later date. When this occurs, many females seek out the tubal reversal procedure for that purpose.

It’s important to note that tubal reversal may not be an option for all females who need it. There are several factors which rule out patients from this procedure. And not all tubal reversals are successful, meaning you may not conceive even after a tubal reversal.

According to the website WebMD , approximately 700,000 females have tubal ligation annually in the US. For those American females this particular method of birth control is more popular than birth control pills. A tubal ligation is more than 99% effective in preventing unwanted pregnancy. There are three methods for tubal ligation, cutting, blocking (usually by tying each fallopian tube) or cauterizing your fallopian tubes. This creates a blockage in your tubes that prevents the egg and sperm from meeting.

Most females obtaining a tubal ligation do so as a means for a more permanent solution and have no intention of a future pregnancy. That being said, approximately 14% of those females who undergo this procedure seek tubal reversal surgery at some point down the road.

What Exactly is a Tubal Reversal

In short, tubal reversal surgery is a procedure that undoes the tubal ligation. The procedure reopens, unblocks or reconnects your fallopian tubes, making a path so egg and sperm meet and fertilization occurs.

The surgery takes place in a hospital and is typically a day surgery or outpatient procedure. Depending on the type of tubal ligation performed your doctor may opt for a mini-laparotomy in which the physician makes a small incision at your bikini line and performs the procedure reconnecting or unblocking your fallopian tubes with the assistance of a microscope.

Your doctor assesses your tubal ligation immediately prior to surgery. If your doctor finds its possible reconstruction and repair of your tubes begins. If tubal reversal is not an option, your doctor meets with you after recovery and discusses your other options for pregnancy.

You’ll be under anesthesia so you won’t feel any pain and post procedure your doctor prescribes medication to ease recovery. You may continue your daily activity within a few days when soreness subsides.


The Best Candidates for Tubal Reversal and What Rules Out the Procedure

Sometimes tubal reversal surgery isn’t an option. You may not be a good candidate if your tubal ligation involved clamping the tubes or tying them off using rings. The likelihood for success is far greater than if your doctor performed the tubal ligation using electrocautery (cauterization).

Another indication tubal reversal isn’t possible happens when the length of your tubes prohibits reconstruction. In order for reconnection your doctor needs healthy tubes of adequate length. Some tubal ligation procedures don’t leave enough healthy tube tissue for reversal or the tubes become degraded over time. Prior to 2012 some doctors blocked the fallopian tubes using a device inserted through the vagina. If your doctor used this type of device for your tubal ligation, tubal reversal isn’t possible.

The best candidates are those for whom pregnancy is a viable option after reversal surgery. Of course there are other factors involved including:

Age: A female is born with all of the eggs they’ll ever have. Your odds of pregnancy decrease naturally as you age. Those females in the 20 – 30 year age bracket have the most likelihood for conception. After 30 your ovarian reserve (the number of eggs you have) diminishes and the closer to menopause you are the fewer viable eggs you maintain.

Other Fertility Issues: Endometriosis, PCOS, uterine fibroids and many other conditions impeding your fertility reduce your odds for pregnancy after tubal reversal.

Your Partner’s Reproductive Health: If your partner is infertile or has issues with impacting the health of their sperm pregnancy may not occur even after a tubal reversal.


Success Rates of Tubal Reversal and Other Options

The success rate of tubal reversal surgery? According to the NIH, one study showed an average of 52%-75% success for pregnancy after tubal reversal. Most couples conceive within the first one to two years following tubal reversal. Doctors advise against trying to conceive, however, until the female has two menstrual cycles.

If your doctor determines you aren’t a candidate for tubal reversal, you still have options. One of the most successful ways to conceive after a tubal ligation is through IVF. While IVF is more complex than tubal reversal it has a very high success rate. Should you decide you simply don’t want the tubal reversal surgery IVF is a valid alternative.

For more information on tubal reversal surgery and to find out if you qualify contact LA IVF.

TEL: 310-286-2800 | FAX: 310-691-1116