Patient Resources

Why isn’t a tubal ligation reversal a 100% effective?

While we wish we could reverse everyone’s tubal ligation and it would be 100% effective, it just isn’t possible. There are so many variables that come into play when getting your tubal ligation reversal.

First and foremost, age is always a factor. Even though it was super easy to get pregnant at 22, it isn’t as easy to get pregnant as you get older. The older you get, you have less eggs and your body becomes less fertile, which decreases your chance of getting pregnant. Hormones change and greatly vary in many women. Some women that are in their 40s might not have an issue getting pregnant after a tubal ligation reversal, but then some women in their 30s might have an issue. Environmental factors also increase aging in women- the biggest detriment to the quality of your eggs is smoking and will greatly decrease your chances of getting pregnant.

Second, the type of tubal ligation you had can also have an effect on the success of your tubal reversal. Cut, tied, burned; pomeroy, hulka clips, or rings can all be done differently by different surgeons. Placement of the clip or ring can be detrimental to the success of the surgery, as can the amount of tube that is taken when your tubes are cut. If the surgeon were to cut closer to your fimbria, the chance of success is significantly reduced as to say the surgeon cutting in the midsection of your tubes.

Thirdly, how you heal can also play a role in the success of your tubal ligation reversal. Do you scar easily? Did you make sure to take precautions as to not lifting, pushing or pulling anything heavy for at least 4 weeks? Did you know that the smallest thing could cause adhesions thus making it difficult for you to get pregnant? The healing part is basically something that no one can predict but it is important that you follow the post operative guidelines for the most positive outcomes.

So does that mean you can’t get pregnant following a tubal ligation reversal? NOT AT ALL! What it means is that it is very important for you to get the appropriate medical advice from your primary OB/GYN. A good starting point would be to ask your OB/GYN to give you a copy of your tubal ligation operative note, the pathology (if there is one) and to ask for a hormonal blood work panel to include a Cycle day 2 or 3 FSH and an AMH, along with a CBC. Send these into our office fax at 919-233-1685 (be sure to include your contact information!!) and our tubal reversal coordinator will give it to our doctor to review to see if you would be a good candidate for a tubal ligation reversal.

For more information on success rates, you can go here.


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