Each year, about 700,000 women have a procedure called tubal ligation, which blocks or interrupts the process of an egg moving through the fallopian tubes to the uterus where it could be fertilized. The decision to have a procedure that results in permanent birth control may seem wise at the time, but life changes. What happens if you decide you’d like to try to get pregnant?
At Medical Care for Women in Astoria, New York, Dr. Andrea Olanescu wants to help all of her patients have the family they desire. Sometimes that means advising you about birth control options, and sometimes that means helping you with fertility issues, including reversing a tubal ligation. In this post, we explore what’s involved in a tubal reversal so you can decide if it might be the right step for you.
Clearing the way for potential pregnancy
Tubal ligation is an effective method of birth control because it blocks your fallopian tubes. In order for you to become pregnant, an egg must travel from your ovaries through your fallopian tubes to your uterus where it may be fertilized by a sperm. Tubal ligation is 99% effective and lasts forever, which is why it’s classified as a sterilization procedure.
Whatever your reasons for choosing to have tubal ligation, however, your circumstances can change. If you decide you want to try to have children after your tubal ligation, there’s a good chance your procedure can be reversed and your fertility restored.
Modern, minimally invasive tools can unblock and reconnect your fallopian tubes. Tubal ligation reversal has a high rate of success, but many factors can impact your chances of becoming pregnant following the procedure.
What to expect during the procedure
Because the reversal is a surgical procedure, you’re under anesthesia. Through a very small incision on your lower abdomen, a tube with a light and camera attached and microsurgical instruments remove scar tissue and reconnect your fallopian tubes.
Once your fallopian tubes are reconnected, a dye is injected into your uterus to make sure there’s no leaking and that everything is properly connected. The procedure usually takes anywhere from one to three hours.
Can tubal ligation reversal work for me?
The procedure is a success for many women, but there's no guarantee that it will work in your case or that you’ll get pregnant. Many factors come into play regarding your ability to conceive following the reversal.
For example, if your ligation was recent, you may not have much scar tissue, which would increase the likelihood of you being able to get pregnant. In some women, there’s not enough healthy fallopian tube tissue left for the procedure to be successful. The more of your fallopian tubes that remain, the better your chances.
Age, too, is a factor in fertility. Even if you haven’t had a tubal ligation, being older than 30 means declining fertility.
None of this means you should abandon your hopes of conceiving, though. Each patient is unique. If you’d like to learn more about your options when it comes to fertility, schedule an appointment at Medical Care for Women by calling the office or using the online booking tool on this website.