You are not alone if you underwent a tubal ligation, changed your mind, and want a reversal. Approximately 26% of women regret undergoing tubal ligation. The procedure was considered permanent, but fortunately, it is reversible.
Dr. John Macey is an expert in tubal reversals in Nashville, Tennessee, enabling women who had their tubes tied to conceive again. It is essential to note that not all women can have a tubal reversal. Read on to find out who can benefit from a tubal reversal and what the procedure entails.
What is a Tubal Ligation?
Tubal ligation, commonly known as “having your tubes tied”, is a permanent form of birth control whereby your fallopian tubes are cut, tied, or sealed off by cauterizing them. Tubal ligation works by keeping the sperm and egg from meeting in the fallopian tube, where fertilization happens. It is the most effective form of contraception.
Tubal ligation can be reversed should you decide to have children. A skilled surgeon is the best person to do this. Dr. Macey is one of the best experts in tubal ligations in Tennessee.
What Is a Tubal Ligation Reversal?
A tubal ligation reversal is an operation that reconnects the blocked or cauterized segments of the fallopian tube, allowing you to become pregnant naturally. The procedure is also referred to as a tubal reanastomosis, tubal ligation reversal, or tubal sterilization reversal.
The procedure involves microsurgical techniques to open and reconnect the blocked portions of the fallopian tube that were cut off. Some women prefer tubal reversal to in vitro fertilization.
Before the tubal reversal, the doctor will perform a physical exam to determine if you are a suitable candidate. Tubal reversal surgery is an outpatient procedure performed under general anaesthesia. During the procedure, a laparoscope with a light and camera is inserted through a small incision in your bikini line. Once the fallopian tubes are exposed, the clips or rings that were used to clamp the fallopian tubes are removed. The fallopian tubes are reattached to the uterus if necessary.
A successful tubal reversal opens up the tubes to allow an egg to travel to the uterus during ovulation for fertilization. You will be given painkillers to reduce pain and discomfort during recovery. The doctor will provide instructions on how to care for the incision sites.
Recovery time is about two weeks, and most women can return to work within two to four days after the procedure.
Reasons to Have a Tubal Reversal
Various reasons can lead a woman to want a tubal reversal, such as:
- Regretting having the tubes tied
- Change of marital status
- Wanting to get pregnant
- Pressure from a spouse to undergo the tubal reversal procedure
- If the initial procedure was implemented during adolescence
- The tubal ligation was performed within less than a year of giving birth
- If you did not receive enough information about tubal ligation or other birth control methods
Who’s A Good Candidate for A Tubal Reversal?
Obtain a copy of your operative tubal ligation report to allow your physician to determine the type of tubal ligation procedure you had. If you cannot obtain your information, Dr. Macey will perform a laparoscopy to evaluate the state of your fallopian tubes. The doctor will also ask you if you have ever been pregnant and if you had a healthy pregnancy. Additionally, inform your doctor if you have ever had surgery for endometriosis, fibroids, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), or other gynaecological disorders. These surgeries can result in scar tissue affecting your tubal reversal’s success.
There are several factors to be considered before your doctor decides whether a tubal ligation is right for you, such as:
- Age. Younger women have a higher success rate than older women.
- The type of surgery you had to get your tubes tied. Some tubal sterilization surgeries are irreversible.
- The overall health of your ovaries, uterus, and remaining fallopian tubes (especially their length). For a reversal to be successful, there must be enough healthy tubes left.
- Your weight. Obese and overweight women have a lower success rate for tubal reversal.
- Your general fertility. If you have fertility issues, you are less likely to have a successful tubal reversal.
- Pre-existing health conditions. If you have other health conditions like an autoimmune disease, it can affect pregnancy. If you have medical conditions that can affect pregnancy, your doctor will consider that before deciding if the procedure is good for you.
Before your reversal, your doctor will test you and your partner’s sperm and egg health and take uterus images to ensure you can have a successful conception.
Risks Associated with Tubal Reversal
As with any surgical procedure, tubal reversal comes with some risks, such as bleeding, infections, reaction to anesthesia, and scarring. There is also a risk of an ectopic pregnancy- a life-threatening condition whereby a fertilized egg grows outside the womb. Additionally, there is the risk that the area that underwent tubal reversal can form scar tissue that blocks the fallopian tubes.
Are There Other Options If You Are Not a Good Candidate for Tubal Reversal?
An alternative to tubal ligation is in vitro fertilization (IVF). This also depends on the type of reversal you had. IVF improves the chances of pregnancy without undergoing the long recovery and risks of surgery. With IVF, you have to take medications that stimulate your ovaries for egg production, then your partner’s sperm fertilizes your eggs, and the embryos are placed in the uterus. Unlike tubal reversal, IVF is less invasive, there is a lower risk of ectopic pregnancy, and the average time to pregnancy is shorter. Pregnancy rates in older women for IVF are lower, making a tubal reversal a better option. IVF can be an alternative if you do not get pregnant after tubal reversal.
For more information about tubal reversal, contact the team at Dr. John Macey today or book an appointment online.