Tubal ligation is a surgical procedure in which a
fallopian tubes are blocked, cut, or sealed to prevent
her eggs from traveling from the ovaries into the fallopian tubes, where they
could be fertilized by a sperm.
Tubal ligation is a highly effective form of
birth control that is almost always permanent.
Reversing a tubal ligation by reattaching the cut or sealed ends of the tubes
is a major surgery.
Stopping fertility treatments -- whether fertility drugs or an assisted reproductive technology -- can be a major issue for couples.
For couples that don't define the ''enough is enough'' point before embarking on the journey to pregnancy, these treatments may become addictive, with each new cycle bringing a flush of optimism. "Just one more cycle and then we'll stop" can go on for longer than the recommended cycle-length of the fertility drugs, and in some cases, for longer than two years -- an...
The success of surgery to reverse a tubal ligation depends on:
The tubal ligation method that was originally
used. Clips and rings (such as the Hulka clip, Filshie clip, and Falope rings) are successfully reversed the
most often. Electrocautery is least likely to be successfully reversed.
Time. The less time that has passed since the tubal ligation was
done, the more likely it is that the reversal surgery will be successful.
Condition of the tubes. The more the tubes are damaged, the less
likely the reversal is to be successful.
Depending on the method used for tubal ligation and how much of the
fallopian tube is damaged after tubal ligation, success rates for reversals are
about 70% to 80%.1
Women who have had a tubal ligation reversed have a
higher-than-average risk of a fertilized egg implanting in the fallopian tube (ectopic pregnancy)
rather than in the uterus. This can become a life-threatening emergency.
Other considerations about having a tubal ligation reversed include
The surgery takes several hours, and most women
are hospitalized for at least 2 days.
The surgery can cost more
than $10,000. Most insurance companies do not pay for the procedure. And it is
not covered by U.S. government programs such as Medicaid or military health
There is no guarantee that you will be able to become
pregnant after having the reversal.
Surgeons usually refuse to perform the
surgery if they think there is little chance that it will be
About half of the women who request reversal are turned
About half of the women who have the surgery will become
In this article
This information is produced and provided by the National
Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National
Institute via the Internet web site at http://
.gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.
WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise
May 03, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor.
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