Tubal Reversal Basics


While tubal sterilization is meant to be the most effective and permanent form of birth control, frequently it can be reversed using surgical intervention. There are any number of reasons why a woman changes her mind or a family decides that more children are in their future. The reversal can be achieved through an outpatient and low cost procedure called microsurgical tubal reanastomosis, or simply tubal reversal. The procedure has gained in popularity and availability.

Although tubal reversal is more involved than sterilization, tubal reconstruction can be achieved in more than 80% of women, with positive pregnancy rates exceeding 70%. And the cost is lower than IVF. These success rates can vary based on where the patient’s tubes were cut, if scar tissue formed, the length of healthy fallopian tubes remaining, and other factors.

Not every woman will qualify. To be considered a good candidate for tubal reversal, you must be younger than 40 and have a BMI under 27 kg/m2 with a normal semen analysis provided by the father.

The procedure requires the use of microsurgical techniques to view and reconnect the very delicate fallopian tubes through a small incision. It is a somewhat time-intensive and tedious surgery. Scarring is minimal. Afterwards, patients can return home the same day with minor pain and restrictions.

If you are weighing your options of tubal reversal versus IVF, know that each offers advantages and speaking at length with your doctor will help you decide. After a tubal reversal, frequently no fertility drugs are needed to get pregnant. This is important because this drops the multiple pregnancy rate to 2 percent. With IVF, the multiples occurrence is 25%. Additionally, once tubal reversal is performed, a couple is free to conceive more than once without additional intervention.

Source: Wake Forest University


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