Center for Assisted Reproduction

Everything you need to know about reversing your tubal ligation

By CARE Fertility on May 22, 2020

Some decisions are not permanent. Tubal ligation reversal offers couples an excellent opportunity to expand or start their families naturally.

The miracle of conception all begins when a sperm joins an egg within a woman’s fallopian tube. This tube is connected to the ovary and allows fertilized eggs to travel into the uterus.

Some women choose to have their fallopian tubes tied as a form of contraception and sterilization. Medically, this is called a tubal ligation.

The decision to undergo a tubal ligation is typically not made easily. Patients often tell us they had every intention of it being permanent, and that it was the right decision for themselves and their families at the time.

But life changes, and so do decisions about family and children. If you’re considering a tubal ligation reversal, or having your tubes untied, know that you are not alone. You have the right to change your mind and to take charge of your own reproductive health.

Here are some common questions that our patients ask about reversing a tubal ligation:

Can I get my tubes untied? Am I a good candidate for the procedure?

One of the most important factors when determining if you’re eligible for a tubal reversal is the type of sterilization procedure you originally had.

There are actually several forms of tubal ligation:

  • With postpartum tubal ligations, a small piece of the tube is removed immediately following childbirth - during a cesarean section or following vaginal delivery. If less than 2.5cm of tube was removed, you should be able to reverse your tubal ligation.
  • Falope rings and Filshie clips offer an easily reversible form of tubal ligation as well.
  • Fulguration or “burning” of the tube can be repaired if less than 2.5cm of tube was damaged.
  • Finally, women who’ve undergone a fimbriectomy can have a procedure called a neosalpingostomy. With fimbriectomy, the ends of the tubes have been removed, and the reversal procedure creates a new opening at the end of the tube.

Some forms of sterilization are difficult or impossible to reverse:

  • Salpingectomy. If you had this procedure, your tubes were totally removed - your only option is IVF.
  • Essure or Adiana sterilizations are also not reversible and these patients need to undergo IVF.

Age is also a critical factor. For patients 44 and older, the chances of having a successful pregnancy using your own eggs is very low. For these patients, we recommend using an egg donor.

What should I expect with a tubal reversal?

A tubal reversal is an outpatient, same-day surgical procedure resulting in just a small, 2 to 3 inch bikini incision.

The recovery period is short, and most patients can go back to normal activity quickly (and get back to work within 7 to 10 days). After a tubal reversal procedure, patients can start trying to get pregnant with their next menstrual cycle.

Am I guaranteed to get pregnant after my tubal reversal?

While we wish we could issue guarantees in our line of work, unfortunately, the answer is no.

For one, there are several kinds of sterilization techniques, so success rates of tubal reversal procedures depend on how much fallopian tube is remaining.

Your doctor will review your operative report and pathology reports (if a portion of the tube was removed) from your original procedure to determine if you’re an ideal candidate. We understand that it is not always possible to get records. One of our physicians can talk to you about your options even if records are unavailable.

For patients with male partners, we also recommend sperm testing prior to a tubal reversal. We don’t require sperm testing but we think it is a good idea. CARE Fertility offers a full spectrum of fertility testing for those who have concerns about their ability to conceive naturally.

What should I look for in a tubal reversal doctor or clinic?

It’s important that you feel confident about your doctor’s skill and experience level with tubal reversals.

At CARE Fertility, our doctors are highly trained in tubal reversals, and the procedure is routine. In fact, over 1,500 tubal reversals have been performed at our state-of-the-art facility in the past 20 years - that’s more than any other surgery center in Dallas Fort Worth.

Because we have a fully accredited, state-of-the-art surgery center onsite, patients of CARE Fertility don’t have to go to the hospital for their procedure. This is not common among fertility doctors.

Learn more about our Ambulatory Surgical Center:

It’s also important that your doctor is transparent about all of the associated costs of your surgery. You can find detailed information about the cost of having the procedure at CARE Fertility here.

Finally, if your evaluation proves that a tubal reversal is not the right option for you, it certainly helps if your new doctor can still be the one to treat you - otherwise, you’ll have to start your search all over again. At CARE Fertility, we offer a full spectrum of fertility treatments and services, including in vitro fertilization, effortless IVF®, ICSI, IUI, egg donation, and more.

Life changes. Partners change. Hearts change. You have the right to change your options, too.

To learn more about tubal reversal, visit our (newly redesigned) Reversing Tubal Ligation website at tubalreversalusa.com.

If you’re ready to speak with a member of the CARE Fertility team, call (817) 540-1157.

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