Tubal ligation reversal

A tubal ligation reversal is a procedure to restore fertility after a woman has had a tubal ligation — a procedure that cuts or blocks the fallopian tubes to prevent pregnancy. During a tubal ligation reversal, the blocked segments of the fallopian tubes are reconnected to the remainder of the fallopian tubes. This may allow eggs to again move through the tubes and sperm to travel up the fallopian tubes to join an egg.

Sterilization procedures that cause the least amount of damage to the fallopian tubes are the most likely to allow successful tubal ligation reversal. Examples include sterilization with tubal clips or rings.

Procedures that cause scarring to seal off the fallopian tubes, such as the Essure or Adiana systems, generally aren't reversible. In cases where tubal ligation reversal isn't recommended, in vitro fertilization (IVF) may be an option. IVF involves retrieving eggs from the ovary, fertilizing them in a lab and implanting them in the uterus.

Why it's done Risks How you prepare What you can expect

A tubal ligation reversal may allow a woman who had a tubal ligation to get pregnant without further medical assistance. There are many reasons why a woman might want to reverse a tubal ligation, and each is unique to the individual. Your reason for desiring a return to fertility won't be a part of the decision about whether or not the procedure is done.

A tubal ligation reversal isn't appropriate for everyone. Your health care provider will consider several factors to determine if tubal ligation reversal is likely to be successful, such as:

  • Your age and body mass index
  • The type of tubal ligation
  • The extent of the damage to your fallopian tubes
  • Remaining tubal length
  • Other fertility factors, such as sperm and egg quality

A tubal ligation reversal is more likely to be successful if there is still a large proportion of healthy tube. If your fallopian tubes were originally blocked by clips or rings, the tubal ligation reversal is more likely to be successful than if segments of your fallopian tubes were burned in order to close them off (electrocautery). Some types of sterilization, such as the Essure system, are not considered reversible.

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