Can tubes come untied? Can they grow back?
These are very common questions from women who have had their tubes tied.
Many women will miss a period after having their tubes tied. Some of these women will be dreadfully afraid they are pregnant and wonder if their tubes became untied or if their tubes grew back together in some way or some fashion.
Some women will be thrilled and hope it is a miracle from God. Some will desire to have another child and wonder what are their chances of becoming pregnant after a tubal ligation.
Women have many different reasons to become concerned about the possibility of pregnancy after a tubal ligation.
Tubal ligation failure is a very real possibility for many women; however, the failure of the tubal ligation is never because their tubes have become ‘untied’ and never because their tubes have ‘grown back together’.
Below are the real reasons for pregnancy after tubal ligation. Although you can get pregnant after tubal ligation, pregnancy does not happen because your tubes came untied and pregnancy does not happen because your tubes grew back together.
Can my tubes come untied?
Can tubes come untied? The simple answer is, “No!”. Your tubes can not become untied. Why?
Because they are never just ‘tied’ to prevent pregnancy. Many people believe the tube is tied like a piece of rope to prevent pregnancy. Others believe the tube is tied with a piece of string and once the string is removed then pregnancy will happen.
Tubal (fallopian tube) ligation (to tie) is an incorrect medical term which has been perpetuated by the medical community. Society has picked up on this term because it is easier to understand and easier to convey meaning.
Rather than say to your doctor, “I would like a bilateral fallopian tubal occlusion sterilization procedure“, it is much easier to request, “Please tie my tubes!”
Tubes are not tied. They are occluded ( or blocked) with a surgical procedure. There are tubal clips and tubal ring procedures, tubal coagulation procedures, and ligation and resection procedures.
Basically, most doctors just tell you they tied your tubes because an exact surgical description is too complicated to get into, most people won’t really understand…or even care for that matter, and most women just want to know that they won’t become pregnant!
Can I get pregnant after my tubes are cut and tied?
You can get pregnant after your tubes are cut and tied…and it is only because of tubal ligation method failure. Nothing is 100% perfect. There is always a small…less than 2% chance…tubal ligation can fail and you can become pregnant. Most of these will be ectopic pregnancies..or pregnancies in the fallopian tubes.
When you undergo a tubal ligation and resection procedure the tubes are cut and a small piece is removed from each tube. Cutting a segment of the tube out removes a small part of the pathway for the sperm to meet the egg.
Suture is then tied around the cut ends. The purpose of tying the ends with a suture is to prevent the cut ends from bleeding. The suture is intended to dissolve. Occasionally, when the tubal ends heal they may heal with a small opening.
This small opening is called a fistula and can easily let sperm out of the tube but it is much harder for a fertilized egg to finds its way to the small opening, inside the tube, and safely to the cavity of the uterus.
To better understand this concept it is helpful to imagine a funnel. It is much easier for small sperm to get through the funnel from the wider end and much more difficult for the larger egg to both find and get through the narrower side. Often this will be chemical pregnancies (early miscarriages detected by pregnancy tests only) or ectopic pregnancies.
So here is exactly how you get pregnant after tubal ligation:
- You get a tubal ligation
- Your tubes dont heal completely closed
- Sperm easily swim through small openings to fertilize an egg
- Large egg can’t find the small openings to get into uterus
- Most fertilized eggs will be trapped closed tube near the ovary (ectopic pregnancy)
Pregnancy can happen after any female sterilization procedure and it is estimated that 1-2 per 100 women may experience a failure of their tubal ligation. Occasionally these will be normal pregnancies but many times they will be ectopic or tubal pregnancies.
Can my tubes grow back together?
Tubes can not grow back together but they can heal with a fistula or the inside of the tube may not be fully closed.
Inadequate tubal closure occurs more commonly with tubal coagulation procedures, but can also occur with ring and clip procedures. During these tubal procedures, the doctor may not have applied enough heat energy to fully close the tube. Sometimes with a healthy blood supply this partial opening can result in pregnancy.
So technically tubes can not grow back together, but they can be poorly or inadequate closed or separated during the tubal ligation procedure.
Can I get pregnant after a tubal?
Pregnancy can happen after a tubal. Many women will miss a period after a tubal ligation procedure and naturally their first concern will be if they are pregnant. Skipping periods is abnormal and is likely due to hormonal imbalances.
Some women wonder if they can get pregnant after a tubal because they have changed their minds about their tubal procedure and want to know what the alternatives are for getting pregnant after a tubal ligation operation.
Only a small percentage of women will become pregnant naturally after their tubes have been tied. This is because of tubal failure. Although a few women will have a normal pregnancy many will have an ectopic pregnancy which will need urgent evaluation and treatment.
How can tubes come untied? Watch This Video
How can my tubes become untied? They only way to have your tubes become untied and a good chance at natural pregnancy is to have a tubal ligation reversal procedure.
If you have ever wondered if your tubal ligation can become untied then we encourage you to watch this video: Can my tubal ligation procedure be reversed?
At A Personal Choice, we have extensive experience with tubal reversal surgery and over 98% of patients who come to us can have at least one tube successfully ‘untied’. About 2 out of every 3 reversal patients will become successfully pregnant.
Need More Information About Reversal?
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