Reversing Tubal Ligation

February 23, 2010

There are any number of reasons why a woman would not want to have more children. In order to ensure they will not become pregnant again, they opt for a tubal ligation. More commonly referred to as "having their tubes tied," a tubal ligation can be done quickly and with little repercussion. Many women have their tubes tied immediately following the birth of a baby, declaring with relief that, "this is the last one."

Changing Your Mind About Tubal Ligation

However, about 25 percent of women who have a tubal ligation performed change their minds after the surgery and want a tubal reversal. Usually, the reason they want to reverse their decision is because their perspective on having more children has changed. Their lives may have taken a turn, perhaps with the death of a child or their spouse, or they may remarry and decide they want to have more children and build their family again.

Tying And Untying The Tubes

Tubal ligation involves closing the fallopian tubes through cutting, clipping, tying, cauterizing or non-surgically blocking them. Women who have had a tubal ligation and want to have more children are advised to do a reversal of the tubal ligation as opposed to using in vitro fertilization for conception. The reasons include the fact that tubal ligation reversal has a much higher pregnancy rate than IVF, and it also costs a lot less.

Depending upon how the tubes were blocked will determine the success of the reversal. A tubal reversal is very similar to a tubal ligation. In a tubal ligation, the tubes are clamped or blocked, and the tubes are unclamped during a reversal. However, if the tubes were cauterized, there may have been irreparable damage done to them which would make reversal unfeasible.

Hospital Or Clinic for a Tubal Reversal

With the use of microsurgery, a tubal reversal can be completed in a clinic in about one hour. Recovery is very quick. The procedure is developed to minimize bleeding, tissue damage, and discomfort. It is done under a local anesthesia. Within two hours, a woman can leave the clinic and return to her home or hotel. Normal activities can be resumed within five to ten days after the procedure. The success rate for this type of surgery is as high as 90 percent.

If the procedure is done in a hospital, the woman may be required to remain hospitalized for several days after the surgery. Full recovery, when the reversal is not done by microsurgery, can take up to six weeks.

Risk Of Ectopic Pregnancy

Many women are able to conceive within six months to one year after a tubal reversal is done. There is a risk of ectopic pregnancy so if a period is missed, a test for pregnancy should be done immediately and if it returns positive, then a visit to the doctor should follow. A subsequent test can be performed at that time to ensure the pregnancy is normal and not ectopic.

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