Successful Pregnancy Following a Tubal Ligation Reversal?

Quite often women who were absolutely certain about having a tubal ligation find themselves years down the road wondering about the chances of having it reversed and having a baby. Because in vitro fertilization is the buzzword of the decade among couples who are trying to conceive, little attention has been given to the possibility of tubal ligation reversal, and many doctors are not as familiar with the procedure or the odds of success because of this. Interestingly, one particular clinic that specializes in tubal ligation reversal put their pregnancy success rate as high as 70%, while IVF pregnancy success is considered to be around 30-35%. Of course the success rate of tubal ligation reversal is highly dependent on several factors, which can significantly skewer those high success rates.

Factors Involved in the Success Rate of Tubal Ligation Reversal

As with any fertility issue, the age of the woman is a significant factor in whether the tubal ligation reversal will be successful. As a woman ages, she has a higher risk of miscarriage, therefore less chance of a successful pregnancy no matter what procedure was used. One study put the chances of a successful tubal reversal for women under thirty at 80% while the success of a pregnancy following a tubal ligation for a woman over the age of 40 drops sharply to 30%--which is a pretty good number considering the success rates of other methods such as IVF and IUI.

The second factor in the ultimate success of a tubal ligation reversal rests on which method was used in the original sterilization. If a woman's tubal ligation was done using a tubal ring or clip there is an overall 75% success rate. When the tubes were burned, the reversal rate is approximately 65%, and if they were cut, then the reversal rate is about 63%. Of course those rates will vary based on the woman's age. If your doctor used a Hulka clip in the original tubal ligation surgery, then the chances of a pregnancy following the reversal are quite good. When Falope rings, or bands were used, the reversal success is not as good as when Hulka clips are used, but is still quite good.

Finally, the time which has elapsed since the original tubal ligation procedure will make a difference in the success of a reversal. If it has only been a few years since the original tubal ligation, there is a much better chance of success than if it has been ten, fifteen years or more. The longer it has been since the original surgery, the more likely there will have been damage to the fallopian tubes.

Am I a Good Candidate for Tubal Reversal?

You will need to have at least one inch of fallopian tube coming out of your uterus, or two and a half inches of residual tube with a normal end. You will also need to have adequate eggs in your ovaries, and sufficient numbers and quality of sperm from your partner. The surgery is performed basically in reverse: the block or piece of missing tube is located, an incision is made on each side of the tube past the blockage and to the place where there is a normal, open tube section, then the ends are brought together with stitches. Once the reversal is complete, a tube will be inserted into the fallopian tubes and filled with dye to make sure it is completely open. The procedure can take from one and a half to three hours to complete.

How Long Will It Take to Become Pregnant Following My Reversal?

If you look at the monthly probability of becoming pregnant following a tubal reversal, it would hover between 8-10%. However since this is cumulative, the pregnancy rate will continue to rise over time, almost always surpassing the pregnancy rate found with IVF treatment. The majority of women who have had a successful tubal reversal will become pregnant within eight months following the reversal, however others may not experience a successful pregnancy for a year or more following the procedure.

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