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How Effective is a Tubal Reversal?

You thought you were done having children, so you had a tubal ligation to ensure you couldn’t get pregnant anymore. But then you began to have second thoughts. And now you wonder if it’s even possible to have another child now that you’ve had a tubal ligation.

The good news is that it’s possible to reverse a tubal ligation. Dr. John Macey, who practices in Nashville, Tennessee, is an expert in tubal reversals. In this blog, he explains what a tubal reversal is and how effective the procedure can be. 

What is a tubal ligation?

Generally, the process for pregnancy starts when the woman releases an egg from one of her two ovaries, and it travels to one of her two fallopian tubes. Pregnancy occurs when the male’s sperm travels to the fallopian tube that contains the egg and fertilizes it. 

A tubal ligation prevents pregnancy from taking place because the fallopian tubes are sealed off by tying or cauterizing them. This procedure effectively blocks the sperm from meeting the egg.

What is a tubal reversal?

To reverse a tubal ligation, your doctor removes any damaged portions of the tubes and then reconnects the ends together. This should allow the egg and sperm to meet.

The surgery is usually done with laparoscopic surgery, which means the procedure is minimally invasive and is performed with small incisions. To perform the procedure, the surgeon first makes small incisions in your abdomen. Then your surgeon inserts a miniature camera and small instruments through the incisions. 

The camera will show high-definition images on a nearby monitor, and the surgeon will perform the procedure with this detailed view. Minimally invasive surgery allows for a faster recovery. In fact, you’ll likely be able to go home a few hours after your surgery, and your recovery should only last around a week. 

How effective is a tubal reversal?

The effectiveness of a tubal reversal can be influenced by a number of factors, including the following: 

Age

Reversals are more successful in younger women. Tubal reversals are 70-80% effective for women under age 35, as opposed to 30-40% for women over age 40.

Type of ligation 

The type of ligation you had may also make a difference, because the less damage the ligation caused to the fallopian tubes, the more likely it will be that a reversal will work. If tubal clips or rings were used for your ligation, for example, there will likely be enough healthy tissue to work with, thus increasing your chances of a reversal working. Other techniques, however, such as ones that rely on scarring to close the tubes, may leave less tubal tissue to work with.

Other factors 

Other factors may influence your ability to get pregnant as well. These may include obesity, general fertility health, and the sperm health of your partner. Furthermore, health issues, such as autoimmune diseases or remaining scar tissue from previous pelvic procedures, may affect your ability to get pregnant.

If you’ve had a tubal ligation, you may still be able to get pregnant with a tubal reversal. To learn more about the procedure and to see if one may be able to help you, book an appointment online or over the phone with the practice of Dr. John Macey today.

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