Can I get pregnant with my tubes tied?
This is a common question almost every women will ask after getting a tubal ligation procedure. This question usually comes because they miss a period and are scared they may be pregnant…or they regret having their tubes tied and just want to have another baby.
Tubal ligation is intended to be permanent but many women know of at least one person who has become pregnant after having their tubes tied.
Pregnancies do happen after tubal ligation and it is possible to get pregnant after having your tubes tied!
Tubal Ligation Failure
Tubal ligation failures happen but they are not as common as most women think! Most women who have a tubal ligation operation will not become pregnant; however, up to 2% of women may experience tubal ligation failure after their procedures. All tubal ligation procedures have failures:
bipolar tubal coagulation (tubal burning)
tubal ligation and resection (tying and cutting)
unipolar tubal coagulation
In general, the younger a person is when the tubal ligation occurs the higher the chance for having a failure of the ligation procedure. Hulka clip and tubal coagulation procedures also have been shown in long term studies to have higher tubal ligation failures.
How Does A Tubal Ligation Work?
Tubal ligations work by causing permanent blockage of the fallopian tube. This prevents sperm from finding an egg and prevents the egg from ever finding the inside of the uterus.
Clips and rings cause pressure on the tube and the tube will heal closed after they are applied. Tying and cutting the tube causes the same process to occur but just removes a little more of the tube than do the clips and rings. Tubal coagulation uses electricity to generate heat to damage the portion of the tube to which the heat is applied and the tube will heal closed after the tubal sterilization procedure.
All of these methods are intended to result in permanent tubal blockage and prevent pregnancy. They key word is ‘intended’ because sometimes the intent is not realized.
How Does Pregnancy Happen After a Tubal?
Any tubal ligation is intended to damage the tube and cause the body to heal the damage. The healing of the tubal damage is what causes the tube to close. This is true regardless of the type of tubal ligation procedure a woman has undergone. Occasionally, during the healing response a small opening may remain in the segment of the tube closest to the uterus.
This small opening is called a fistula.
This small opening can easily allow sperm to find their way out of the uterus, through the incompletely closed tube and to the the released egg. When the sperm fertilize the egg then conception will occur. The fertilized egg will be blocked in the segment of the tube that has been separated from the uterus. This explains the high ectopic pregnancy rate among women who get pregnant after a tubal ligation. On some occasions the fertilized egg can find its way into the uterus, but this is like trying to thread the eye of a needle.
Another reason for tubal ligation failure is recanalization. Recanalization occurs when the two separated segments heal back together after the tubal sterilization. Recanalization is most common after a bipolar tubal coagulation if the tube has been burned minimally in only one place and the burn did not go all the way through the tube completely.
Of the two reasons for tubal ligation failure…abnormal fistula formation is the most common. Unfortunately, most pregnancies that happen after a fistula are pregnancies in the fallopian tube…or ectopic pregnancies. This happens because millions and millions of tiny sperm can easily find their way into the uterus, the beginning of the tube, and out of the tiny fistula. These sperm will fertilize the egg near the ovary but the larger fertilized egg will have a hard time finding the pinpoint fistula opening. Most times the fertilized egg will go into the end portion of the tube, remain there, and be a serious, life threatening ectopic pregnancy.
Can I Have a Baby After My Tubes Have Been Tied?
You can have a baby after your tubes have been tied. You only have three choices to get pregnant after tubal ligation:
- Pray for a ‘successful’ tubal ligation failure
- Have infertility treatment with IVF (in-vitro fertilization)
- Have tubal ligation reversal surgery (get your tubes untied)
IVF costs about $14,000 for each cycle and each cycle is about 30% successful. In comparison tubal ligation reversal will cost half the cost of IVF and you can get pregnant more than once!
If you only want one kid and have a lot of money then IVF may be a good choice. If your funds are limited, want more than one child, or just regret your tubal ligation the tubal reversal would be a very good option.Most women will choose to have a tubal ligation reversal.
If you have wondered if your tubal ligation can be reversed then we encourage you to watch this video:
If you have been pregnant after a tubal ligation then you should not count on a natural, normal pregnancy happening.
Most tubal ligation failure pregnancies will be ectopic. Pregnancy after tubal reversal surgery has a lower ectopic pregnancy risk than a pregnancy occurring to than a tubal ligation failure.n
You can get pregnant after your tubes have been tied, and tubal ligation reversal will provide the best chance of pregnancy.
Need More Information About Reversal?
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