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Female Infertility

I Regret Having My Tubes Tied

For women who know they don’t want children or are sure they’re done having children, tubal ligation — getting your tubes tied — is a safe and reliable method of birth control. Unlike other forms of contraception, tubal ligation is a surgical procedure that blocks eggs from traveling through the fallopian tubes, effectively resulting in female sterilization.

Women choose tubal ligation for many reasons:

  • Pregnancy poses a health risk
  • Avoiding passing on a genetic disorder
  • Permanent birth control without hormones

But life is unpredictable, and circumstances change. If you had a tubal ligation and have since decided you want to have children, you may be a candidate for tubal reversal, also called tubal reanastomosis.

Our team of skilled surgeons at IVFMD helps woman who regrets her tubal ligation to reclaim her fertility by reversing the prior procedure and restoring the function of her fallopian tubes. Under ideal circumstances, tubal reanastomosis can provide a 80% success rate, but several factors may interfere with that.

The ideal tubal reversal candidate

When you had your tubes tied, the surgeon cut or blocked your fallopian tubes, so a tubal reversal, in the most basic terms, simply unblocks or reconnects the tubes. That said, there are many variables that may limit the success of tubal reanastomosis.

Your age

As you get older, your fertility declines — it’s just a fact of life. The same holds true with tubal reversal: The older you are, the lower the success rate. Women under 30 have the best chance (up to 80%) of getting pregnant within a year after tubal reversal, but that rate drops to as low as 20-30% after age 40.

Your egg reserve

One of the specific age-related factors when it comes to fertility is your ovarian reserve, which is your egg reserve. As you get older, you have fewer eggs left, and these eggs tend to be lower in quality. They also tend to have chromosomal abnormalities.

Before we perform a tubal ligation, we check your ovarian reserve to make sure that your chances of conceiving even after a tubal ligation are high enough to warrant the procedure. There are several simple tests to evaluate your egg supply, including:

  • Blood tests that measure follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), estradiol, and antimüllerian hormone (AMH)
  • Transvaginal ultrasound to count the eggs during the first few days of your cycle

The results of these tests let us know how likely you are to get pregnant if you have a tubal reversal.

The type of tubal ligation you had

Some tubal ligations are easier to reverse than others, and some are impossible, so your candidacy for tubal reanastomosis depends heavily on the type of sterilization procedure you had.

Standard techniques such as Falope ringsFilshie clips, or the Pomeroy procedure are generally considered good candidates for reversal.

However, if you had a significant portion of your tubes removed, or you had endometrial ablation or Essure, it may be more prudent to explore other options.

Your weight

The best candidates for tubal reversal are in good overall health, and this includes a healthy weight. Women whose body mass index (BMI) exceeds 35 may have a lower chance of conceiving and face higher risks of surgical complications.

Medical and physical conditions

If you’ve had past abdominal surgeries, including a C-section or myomectomy, you may have developed pelvic adhesions that can lower the success of tubal reversal. Adhesions within the pelvic space can hide the egg and make egg pickup by the tube more difficult.

Further, pelvic infections and past ectopic pregnancies may disqualify you as a tubal reversal candidate.

Other options

If you’re suitable for a tubal reversal, you’re in good hands with surgeons at IVFMD who have helped  many women who desired to have more children after tubal ligation.

But if tubal reversal isn’t a good fit, you have other options. In vitro fertilization (IVF) may offer you a higher chance of getting pregnant, especially if physical or medical issues are factors. IVF may also be a better path if there is severe male factor infertility involved.

To find out if you’re a good candidate for tubal reversal or other fertility options, call us to schedule a consultation with our physicians at IVFMD, or use our online tool to inquire about appointments. We have three locations in Texas — Irving, Arlington, and Grapevine — and we can help turn your regrets into celebrations.

Sy Le, M.D.
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