The answers are easy, but choosing which answer works for you and your partner may be harder. Many women are told pregnancy will never be possible after a tubal ligation.
We have discovered this is not entirely correct, permanent is not forever, and natural pregnancy is possible after a tubal ligation procedure.
Pregnancy After Tubal Ligation: IVF
In vitro fertilization (IVF) is one way to become pregnant after a tubal ligation procedure. IVF is a medical process where the women receives hormonal injections to produce multiple eggs. After the eggs have matured, the mature eggs are removed from the body during an out-patient egg retrieval operation. Sperm from the woman’s partner are then mixed with the eggs and fertilization is allowed to happen outside the woman’s body. The fertilized eggs are then placed inside the woman’s uterus and the hope is they will attach, not miscarry, and normal pregnancy will follow.
IVF Cost and IVF Success Rate
IVF costs average $10,000 per cycle and each cycle averages a 35% success rate. The cost of IVF are increased if a women requires large amounts of hormonal medications, donor eggs are used, special sperm manipulation techniques are required, or if a gestational surrogate is required. Most health insurance plans will not pay for IVF and some may pay for portions of the evaluation. IVF success rates can be as high as 48% for women under the age of 30 and can be less than 5% for women over the age of 43. Extensive information about the success rates of IVF can be found in the 2006 Assisted Reproductive Technology report.
Pregnant After Tubal Ligation: Tubal Reversal
Pregnancy after tubal ligation reversal is another option to become pregnant after a tubal ligation procedure. Tubal ligation reversal is a surgical procedure where the blockage caused by tubal ligation is removed and the tubes are rejoined. This allows for many natural chances at becoming pregnant. Tubal reversal can be done as an in-patient procedure (with overnight hospital stay) or in an out-patient procedure (no overnight hospital stay required). The reversal surgeries can be done through an abdominal incision, laparoscopically, or with robotic tubal reversal.
Tubal Reversal Cost and Tubal Reversal Success Rates
When patients have tubal reversal surgery at Chapel Hill Tubal Reversal Center the tubal reversal surgery costs between $5,400 to $5,900, is a one hour operation, and does not require an overnight hospital stay. Just as with IVF, most health insurance plans will not pay for a tubal reversal operation and some may pay for portions of the reversal operation.
Tubal reversal success can be as high as 80% for some women and the average chance of becoming pregnant after a tubal reversal is 70%.
Getting Pregnant After Tubal Ligation
How to get pregnant after a tubal ligation? The answers are by tubal failure, IVF, or tubal reversal surgery.
Tubal failures are not common and a large number of these failures will be ectopic pregnancies (tubal). Women should not count on tubal failure if they really want to be pregnant. IVF and tubal reversal surgery are the two best options. Many factors will have to be considered before choosing either tubal reversal or IVF. Couples will choose the option that bests fits their needs, desires, and financial resources.
As you can see the answer to the question is easy to provide; however, choosing the answer that is best for you and your partner can be far more challenging.
Submitted by Dr. Charles Monteith