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I Had My Tubes Tied, but Now I've Changed My Mind: What Are My Options?

I Had My Tubes Tied, but Now I've Changed My Mind: What Are My Options?

Not everyone feels ready for the responsibility of childcare and childrearing. To prevent an unwanted pregnancy, sterilization is a popular option, with an estimated 47% of married couples choosing a vasectomy or tubal ligation over parenthood. Tubal ligation refers to disabling the fallopian tubes, which prevents eggs and sperm from meeting.  

Over time, some women, or couples, change their minds about having children. At The Fertility & Gynecology Center-Monterey Bay IVF in Monterey, California, Edward Ramirez, MD, FACOG, a board-certified gynecological specialist, may have options if this applies to you. With years of experience caring for women who have been sterilized, Dr. Ramirez is ready to assist in the creation of your family.

Can my tubes be untied? 

The answer to whether we can restore your ability to get pregnant is not a simple ‘yes’ or ‘no.’ Instead, several factors, including the procedure used in your sterilization and your age, contribute to what’s possible for you.

To understand what is or isn’t possible for your family planning, Dr. Ramirez needs to know which type of sterilization procedure you’ve had. Tubal ligation can be done in one of several ways. Though each method is technically reversible, some methods make a natural pregnancy much more difficult after a reversal. 

If your tubal ligation removed a portion of your fallopian tube, you may still be able to get pregnant naturally, but you need to have enough of your fallopian tubes left for an effective reversal. In most cases, a ring or a clip was used to close off your fallopian tubes, but if the ends were cauterized, this could contribute to a less-effective reversal.

What are my options?

If Dr. Ramirez determines that you’re eligible for tubal ligation reversal, the procedure will be performed in our office. He uses a minimally invasive technique that creates tiny slits in your abdomen. Through the incisions, he inserts a miniature camera that reaches down to the fallopian tubes. 

With the help of the camera, Dr. Ramirez also inserts tiny instruments that either remove the block on your fallopian tubes, or remove the scarred tissue at the end of each portion. Removal of a clip or ring takes less time and requires a shorter recovery. 

Before any procedure, Dr. Ramirez performs a full examination, and informs you of how extensive your reversal will need to be. Fallopian tubes that have scar tissue, or have been damaged by an infection or endometriosis, can be more difficult, though not impossible, to mend. These issues may also cause damage to the surface of the fallopian tubes, which is coated with a fine layer of hair-like fibers that assist in moving the egg and sperm together. 

What are the risks of a tubal ligation reversal? 

Tubal ligation reversals, like tubal ligations, are generally safe procedures, with little risk of complications. However, there could be issues with your desired outcome: after age 35, the procedure has a lower possibility of helping you to create the family you want. 

Your risk of an ectopic pregnancy, which happens when a fertilized egg attaches to the opening of the fallopian tube instead of the womb, rises to as much as 20%. Ectopic pregnancies are dangerous for both mother and child, and are considered medical emergencies. Despite the risks, tubal ligation reversals have a nearly 80% chance of success, with many pregnancies occurring within two years of the procedure. 

I reconsidered: I want a family

The joy of a family is the dream of many people, but making sure you’re ready is the most important thing you can do for your family. If you’ve had a tubal ligation, but have changed your mind, you may have options. Call us today at 831-649-4483, or book an appointment with us online to find out more.

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