In the United States, we colloquially refer to female sterilization surgery as “getting your tubes tied.” While this might seem like a crude aphorism, it’s actually a quite accurate description of the procedure. Women undergo this surgery (more formally known as tubal ligation) for a variety of reasons, but the end result is the same: the woman can no longer naturally conceive.
However, that doesn’t mean that getting pregnant is impossible after getting your tubes tied. First, let’s be clear: if the surgery was a success, then it should not be possible to naturally conceive. Tubal ligation prevents eggs from reaching the uterus, thus preventing implantation and pregnancy.
However, there are two ways women who have had their tubes tied can still get pregnant, although both take considerable amounts of deliberation. If you’re considering tubal ligation but are still wonder if it’s possible to get pregnant after having your tubes tied, then this guide should set you at ease.
Conception After Tubal Ligation: Two Options
If you’ve already gotten your tubes tied, then there are two primary ways to conceive in the future. The first, in vitro fertilization, can be incredibly expensive, time consuming, and rife with uncertainty. By implanting an embryo directly in your uterus, it bypasses the fallopian tubes altogether. However, for women who don’t want or can’t afford IVF, there is another way.
Tubal reversal is a form of tuboplasty and the name for the surgery that reverses tubal ligation. By some estimates there is a 75% pregnancy tubal reversal success rate. If the surgery goes as planned, then natural conception after tubal reversal is indeed possible. Recently, surgeons have begun using certain clips, bands, and rings for tubal ligation which can be more easily removed. This makes conception after tubal reversal much more likely.
In order to better understand your options for conception after tubal reversal, try to obtain the operative report from when you first got your tubes tied. Then have a frank conversation with your doctor about your pregnancy goals. Certain underlying medical conditions can also make getting pregnant after tubal reversal less likely, for instance if you’re one of the 13.6 million women in the United States who suffer from endometriosis.
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