Every year in the United States, approximately 700,000 tubal ligations are performed. This procedure, also referred to as tube tying, is incredibly effective for preventing pregnancy. However, approximately six percent of women who have undergone tubal ligation desire to reverse it, usually within five years of their initial procedure.
Women who find themselves in this situation can undergo a tubal reversal procedure, which reattaches the fallopian tubes. Today, our team in Fort Worth, TX will discuss tubal reversal candidates, and explore when this treatment should be considered.
Tubal Reversal: An Overview
Most tubal reversals can be performed as outpatient surgery and can be completed in just a couple of hours. The entire procedure is performed through a tiny incision. Therefore, most patients will be able to fully recover within seven to 10 days and can attempt pregnancy during their next cycle.
Factors Affecting Candidacy for Tubal Reversal
While tubal reversal can be quite successful for the right patient, it is simply not for everyone. There are several factors to consider when determining your eligibility for this procedure.
In the sections below, we will briefly explore some of the most important considerations regarding tubal reversal.
The most important factor for any fertility treatment is age. As women become older, the chances for pregnancy are reduced. Patients over the age of 40 who are considering tubal reversal may also wish to consider IVF, as the desired results can be achieved much faster through this method.
Most of the time, a diminished ovarian reserve is associated with aging, although younger women can experience this issue as well. Before undergoing tubal reversal, ovarian reserve should be assessed though ultrasound or hormone testing.
Health and Surgical History
Patients considering tubal reversal should be free of extensive scar tissue. In some cases, scarring can interfere with anatomy and make it difficult to re-attach the fallopian tubes. Women prone to scar tissue include those who have had several abdominal surgeries in the past, as well as those with prior pelvic infections or endometriosis.
Type of Tubal Ligation
There are a few different methods used when performing a tubal ligation. While most ligations can be successfully reversed, it is still a good idea to obtain previous surgical records, if feasible. This will give your surgeon as much current information as possible for a successful treatment.
Body Mass Index
The more overweight a patient, the more difficult the tubal reversal will be. Preferably, a patient’s BMI will be 25 or lower. In most cases, 25 to 30 is still suitable. However, patients who have a BMI of over 30 will need to be considered on an individual basis.
Who Is Not a Candidate for Tubal Reversal?
As aforementioned, this procedure is not right for everyone. You may not be eligible for tubal reversal if:
- It has been a long time since your tubal ligation
- You are older than 40
- Tubes were not tied in the middle section (as opposed to the end of the tube or the portion near the uterus)
- You have fibroid tumors, endometriosis, or other health conditions
Contact Our Practice to Learn More
If you regret your decision to have your tubes tied, you could benefit from a tubal reversal. To learn more about this process, or to schedule a consultation, contact us online or call us at one of our two office locations.