What Are Chances of Getting Pregnant After Tubal Ligation?

Married couples who want to practice permanent birth control often choose tubal ligation. This involves having the fallopian tubes tied off to prevent eggs in the ovaries from traveling to the uterus to be fertilized by the sperms. But can you get pregnant after tubal ligation?

What Are Chances of Getting Pregnant After Tubal Ligation?

Yes, pregnancy is still possible after a tubal ligation for some women. This can occur in about 5 of 1,000 women in one year and increases to 13 per 1,000 women after 5 years.

Factors that increase your chances of getting pregnant include:

  • A new passage (recanalization) forms when the tubes reconnect, thus allowing an egg to meet the sperm.
  • Your surgery was done incorrectly. Tubal ligation usually fails when the Hulka clip procedure is used, often in younger women.
  • You were already pregnant at surgery time.

What to do if you think you are pregnant after the procedure? Call the doctor immediately if you have had tubal ligation and have the following symptoms:

  • A missed menstrual period and other symptoms of pregnancy such as breast tenderness and nausea
  • Pain on the lower abdomen
  • Feeling faint/dizzy

How to Get Pregnant After Tubal Ligation

What are your chances of getting pregnant after tubal ligation? The chance is slim. If you change your minds and decide to want another baby, there are remedies that can help you. The first way is to have a reversal surgery. If not, you can also opt for other techniques, such as in vitro fertilization.

1. Tubal Reversal

This surgical procedure involves laparotomy, which means that a large incision (4-6 inches) will be done on your abdomen. The doctor will remove the rings or clips that were used to block your tubes, and then reconnect the tubes to your uterus. You may need to stay in the hospital for 3-4 days after surgery and to take complete rest for about 3-4 weeks thereafter.

The success rate of a tubal reversal depends on a few factors. In general, your chances of getting pregnant after tubal ligation reversal is greatest if you are under 35 years old and you are in good health. The success rate typically ranges from 50-80% in the first year after the procedure.

After the age of 37 years, the success rates of tubal reversal start to decrease. After age 40, your chances of getting pregnant after reversal surgery decreases to about 30%.

The kind of tubal ligation procedure you had can also make a difference. You have a higher success rate for tubal reversal if you had Hulka clips or Falope Rings because it is easier to reconnect your tubes.

However, if the tubes were burned or cut during the sterilization procedure, the tubes may have been damaged or became too short to connect back together. These can lower the success rate of tubal reversal.

Other things to consider about success rates of tubal reversal include:

  • Your husband's sperm count
  • Your egg count and viability
  • Your own reproductive health (no problems like endometriosis)

The time to try to get pregnant is after your first or second menstrual period. However, your abdomen may still be tender for a few weeks after the surgery. Your tubes should have sufficiently healed after about 1 month postsurgery. Most women become pregnant within one year after reversal of tubal ligation.

Warning

Pregnancy after tubal ligation is often considered a high-risk pregnancy because there is a chance that the pregnancy will occur outside the uterus (ectopic or tubal). You should see your doctor immediately for ectopic pregnancy because this condition needs immediate evaluation and treatment.

2. In Vitro Fertilization

If your chances of getting pregnant after tubal ligation reversal are not optimistic, you can consider in vitro fertilization. In this procedure, you will take medication that will stimulate egg development. Several eggs may be taken from your ovaries, which the doctor may fertilize in the laboratory using your partner's sperms.

The fertilized eggs/embryos will be placed back to the uterus so that they get implanted. If the procedure is successful, you may have multiple pregnancies. This procedure is often preferred by women who have fertility/reproductive health problems, especially if they are over 35 years old.

 
 
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