Having a Tubal Ligation Reversal of IVF to Conceive Again?
Have you had a tubal ligation in the past and now want to get pregnant? You’re not alone. Many women who have had their tubes tied decide that they want to have a baby.
Perhaps you’re in a new marriage or perhaps you’ve just decided to add another member to your family. There are basically two different options when it comes to fertility after a tubal ligation: tubal ligation reversal surgery or IVF (in vitro fertilization).
Both of these are realistic options. You’ll want to base your decision on which is best for you, not only on the advice of your doctor but on your own personal preferences.
What is a Tubal Ligation Reversal?
A tubal ligation reversal is a procedure that is performed to restore your fertility if you’ve had tubal sterilization done in the past to prevent pregnancy.
Tubal sterilization is a very popular method of birth control for those women who have already had a child and don’t want to have any more. Some tubal sterilizations are performed post-partum, while others are done as elective surgery sometime in the future.
Using either laparoscopy or a mini-laparotomy the tubes are either burned or cut. Clips and rings are then used to secure and close the tubal lumen.
The traditional method for a tubal ligation reversal is by making an incision in the abdomen and performing a laparotomy. The recovery time for this is a few weeks.
The latest reversal technique is a procedure that is performed laparoscopically. During laparoscopic surgery, a tiny telescope is inserted into the abdomen through a small incision and the separated sections of the fallopian tube are rejoined.
Most women are able to leave their surgeon’s office on the same day that the reversal is performed.
Tubal Reversal, His Sperm, and Your Eggs
Before you have tubal reversal surgery your doctor will want to determine the quality of your partner’s sperm. A sperm test will be done to ensure that his sperm is normal in both quality and quantity.
There’s no point in having a reversal done if you’re not going to be able to conceive naturally. If his sperm is of low quality then IVF treatment may be your only other option to have a baby.
Your “egg reserve” should also be tested before a reversal is performed. The older you are the less viable your eggs are going to be.
If you have a tubal reversal and you’re over the age of 39 your fertility won’t be at its best, and it may take you a few years to get pregnant.
If time is a concern for you then IVF will be a better option for you to increase your odds of having a baby.
How Successful is a Tubal Ligation Reversal?
Once you’ve had reversal surgery you can try to get pregnant in about one month time. The success of a tubal ligation reversal depends on how much of the tube was destroyed in the initial tubal sterilization.
If at least one half of the tube is still undamaged the chances for pregnancy are about 90 per cent. Most women under the age of 39 will conceive in the first two years.
It’s important to remember that your age and general health are going to be determining factors in how quickly you conceive.
Many doctors choose to use IVF for women over the age of 39 to increase their chances of pregnancy.
IVF as an Alternative to Tubal Reversal
An alternative to having a tubal ligation reversal done is undergoing IVF treatment. IVF is the most common treatment for women to achieve pregnancy when they have blocked or abnormal fallopian tubes.
Having had your tubes tied puts you into this category. Each IVF treatment is called a “cycle”. Before each cycle treatment, your ovaries are overstimulated using medication so that you have multiple eggs available.
Your eggs are then retrieved and fertilized with your partner’s sperm in the lab. The fertilized embryos are then transferred to your uterus where hopefully at least one will be implanted in the uterine lining.
While IVF may be less invasive than having a tubal ligation reversal done, it can also be more costly. Most couples will go through at least three IVF cycles before they’re pregnant.
As with pregnancy after reversal surgery, the success of IVF will depend on your age.
Deciding on Tubal Ligation Reversal of IVF
The decision between having a tubal reversal and going through IVF is dependent on several factors such as cost, time, and age.
Remember that if you have a tubal reversal performed that you’ll be fertile for many years to come whereas if you undergo IVF you’ll only be able to get pregnant during each cycle of treatment that you pay for.
This can become quite costly if it takes you too many cycles before you’re pregnant. Your doctor will be able to help you decide what’s best for you so that you have the best chances of having that baby you really want.