Simply put, tubal reversal is a medical procedure that unblocks or reconnects the fallopian tubes. If you have undergone tubal ligation — i.e., had your “tubes tied” — you might believe you’ve waved goodbye to your chance at pregnancy.
However, tubal reversal microsurgery has been successfully restoring the ability to conceive naturally since the 1970s, and it now has a success rate as high as 80%.
Unfortunately, not all tubal sterility results can be reversed. The following circumstances might inhibit or even prevent tubal reversal surgery success:
- Large amounts of damaged fallopian tube tissue might prevent reversal.
- Older, overweight women have lower chances of tubal reversal success than young women with healthy body mass indexes.
- Autoimmune disease and other health concerns can complicate tubal reversal microsurgery.
- General infertility can sometimes make tubal reversal unsuccessful.
- Some methods of tubal sterilization, such as Essure, are not reversible.
Before choosing to undergo tubal reversal surgery, it’s a good idea to discuss all your options with your OB/GYN or fertility specialist.
Your fertility options after tubal ligation
Despite impressive success rates, tubal reversal surgery is employed in only about 1% of tubal ligation cases to restore fertility, according to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine. In some cases, women choose sterility as a once-and-for-all solution to family planning. In other words, they never intend to reverse their tubal ligation.
However, the chance for success with tubal reversal is highest for young, healthy women — naturally, a small subset of a population of women who have undergone a tubal ligation procedure for sterility and then subsequently decided to reverse that decision. Tubal ligation costs roughly $4,000 to $6,000, and tubal reversal can run another $8,000 to $10,000. That can be cost-prohibitive for women with other fertility challenges due to health, age or genetics.
Sometimes, in vitro fertilization (IVF) is more suitable than tubal reversal as a solution for sterility. IVF has resulted in the birth of more than 4 million babies worldwide, and it has become a go-to method of assisted conception in the United States. In some cases, intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) and preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) can enhance the IVF procedure and increase the chance of a successful pregnancy.
The tubal reversal surgery process
If you believe tubal reversal is right for you, the first step is having a tubal reversal assessment. If it is determined that tubal reversal is a good fit for you, microsurgical techniques can open and reconnect your fallopian tubes, enabling eggs to pass between your ovaries and uterus. To test the success of this connection, a blue dye is injected into the cervix. A follow-up consultation at about one or two weeks will monitor your healing process; once your tubes have fully healed about two to three months after surgery, you’re likely ready to begin trying to conceive.
To schedule your fallopian tube evaluation and consultation in Massachusetts or Rhode Island, contact us today.