If you are asking yourself is it normal to regret tubal ligation then you probably have second thoughts about getting your tubes tied.
If you are having regrets don’t worry…it’s okay.
Many women regret taking the permanent step of having a tubal ligation.
To some extent regret can be a normal grief process. We have all regretted decisions we have made in our lives.
Regret becomes abnormal when it constantly intrudes into your life and you dwell on your regret.
If the thoughts of regret keep intruding into your life then perhaps it is a sign you need to act on your thoughts and do something to fix your previous decision.
As a former general Ob-Gyn, I delivered many babies and did many c-sections. Patients frequently asked for tubal ligation procedures during their pregnancies. Some even begged! They would tell me they did not want any more kids….none, not one and not ever again.
Often these patients would tell me, “Doc don’t just tie my tubes. I want you to tie them, burn them, and cut my tubes. You can even throw them in the trash because I am done. I just can’t be pregnant anymore!”
At the time of their pleading request, it never occurred to me many of these very same patients would seriously regret their decisions to have a tubal ligation.
Research shows tubal ligation regret is common
Medical research has shown a significant number of women regret getting a tubal ligation. Approximately 1 out of every 3 women who have their tubes tied will regret their decision in the future.
Although I was aware research studies showed high regret rates, I did not always think of tubal regret as a medical/surgical risk of tubal ligation. Why? Because none of my patients ever returned asking me for a reversal procedure. Now, I fully understand that tubal ligation regret is THE MOST COMMON RISK OF tubal ligation.
I now understand many of my patients did not return asking about reversal because they were too embarrassed to admit to me they made a serious mistake.
It never occurred to me many of my patients would eventually regret their tubal ligation.
It never occurred to me..that as serious as they were about not having children….if they regretted their decision…they would be as equally serious about undoing their decision.
Since becoming a tubal reversal expert, I now see what happens after a women makes that serious step of having a tubal ligation. As a doctor specializing in reversal surgery, I now guide people on the journey of undoing their regret.
Tubal ligation: A decision made during stressful times
After several years of performing tubal reversal surgery, I realized most …if not all…tubal ligations are done at stressful times in women’s lives. Pregnancy … from beginning until the end… is a continuous state of anxiety, fear, and worry. For some more than for others.
One should not make a decision about having a tubal ligation when under these stressful states.
Rough pregnancy starts
Usually women start seriously thinking about tubal ligation when they are pregnant.
When they first find out they are pregnant some have a fear of being pregnant and how their lives are going to be permanently changed for ever.
Once they realize the pregnancy is off to a good start they may have pain, cramping, and bleeding. They start to have uncertainty about the health of the pregnancy in the beginning…concerns of possible ectopic pregnancy or miscarriage. The worry of having your life change when you first learn you are pregnant then turns into the fear your life is going to change for the worse if you lose the pregnancy.
Many of these women will be relieved when they find out the pregnancy is normal and then go on to experience severe morning sickness, vomiting, and inability to eat.
This condition is also known as hyperemesis gravidarum. Most lay people refer to this as morning sickness but it really is all day, all night sickness.
I have seen women admitted to the hospital many times for IV fluids and anti-nausea medications. I have even seen some admitted for central IV lines and nutrition. Some of these women will get serious complications from these central lines: infections and blood clots. A few women will experience these problems their entire pregnancy.
I have often thought if the CIA wanted to have an effective means of making someone talk…then just give them pregnancy morning sickness. Make them feel extreme nausea for several weeks. Even the most hardened tough guy would start talking just to make the nausea go away!
Rough transitions in pregnancy
Some women will have a rough transition from the first to the second trimester. Their testing may suggest a birth defect or problem with their baby. I have learned that no matter how much the tests and ultrasounds results return saying everything is okay…most women will not be relieved until they hold their healthy baby in their hands. They will go through the entire pregnancy with severe anxiety.
Many women won’t feel relieved until their child is born, walks, talks, and graduates from high school.
Rough endings with traumatic delivery
The act of birthing is a rough and, oftentimes, traumatic experience.
Vaginal delivery is often prolonged, painful, and accompanied with lot of bleeding…sometimes life threatening bleeding. C-section deliveries are usually more traumatic. First it is surgery, second it is often scary, and thirdly, there can sometimes be serious life threatening bleeding.
If a patient has a traumatic delivery it can cause a serious blow to their mental state. The feeling you are going to die while giving birth and leave your newborn motherless can be a hard trauma to recover from.
I have seen several of my patients develop Post Natal PTSD Birth Trauma after a traumatic delivery.
Sometimes the delivery goes extremely well but the stress of caring for a newborn is way too much for some. This is especially true if you have other children to care for, a non-supportive partner, poor social support, and uncertain finances.
Some women will suffer from post-partum depression and this can seriously impact how they perceive their pregnancy and their life.
Women make decisions to get tubal ligation during all of these stressful times. It is a way to escape the trauma they have experienced.
It is only natural, as time passes, to view things differently when looking in the rear view mirror at your life’s experiences. They look differently on their past, they heal, they get better, they improve, and many times they grow to regret tubal ligation and desire to have another child.
Tubal ligation regret: Options after tubal ligation?
If you regret your tubal ligation then you do have options after tubal ligation. You have a chance to have another child.
You have three main options after tubal ligation:
- In-vitro fertilization (IVF)
- Tubal ligation reversal surgery
All the above treatments have pros and cons. They all involve time and costs.
Adoption is not always easy and not always cheap. There are many kids that need loving families. Unfortunately, adoption is a long process, can be expensive, and you are not guaranteed a newborn or young baby. Obviously the child will not be genetically similar to you and for many couples this is a very important part of having another baby.
Adoption, believe it or not, can cost more than IVF and tubal reversal combined. Adoption is not always the more affordable option.
IVF is a treatment process. They use eggs from the mother (as long as she is under age 43) and sperm from the father. If the mother is over age 43 they will require you use donor eggs from a younger woman. IVF is an expensive treatment.
The average cost for a single cycle of IVF is approximately $15,000 + and the average chance of success is 30% to 40%.
More information: How much does IVF cost?
If you do IVF and want it to work you will have to plan on trying at least three cycles. Your may get lucky and get pregnant on the first try…but it also may take several attempts.
Tubal ligation reversal surgery
Tubal reversal surgery can be a nice alternative to IVF. Tubal reversal is usually done as an outpatient surgery. When done by an experienced reversal specialist outside of a hospital setting the surgery can be very affordable… more affordable than a single IVF treatment. If your doctor tries to do your surgery in a hospital setting it is going to be very expensive.
I perform affordable table reversal surgery in an outpatient setting in my speciality center in Raleigh, North Carolina.
For more information visit my informative website: A Personal Choice Tubal Reversal Center
Tubal reversal often costs half as much as a single cycle of IVF. Tubal reversal can offer twice the success of IVF with success rates ranging from 60 % to 80% depending on the age of the woman and the type of tubal ligation being reversed.
The beauty of tubal reversal is that it restores natural fertility. You have a chance to become pregnant every month, you can become pregnant more than once, and you can have more than one child.
What tubal ligations can be reversed?
Almost all types of tubal ligations can be reversed. The only tubal that cannot be reversed is a complete salpingectomy. This is when they remove the entire fallopian tube on each side.
For a detailed explanation of what types of tubal ligation can be reversed visit: What types of tubal ligations can be reversed?
Tied and cut or ligation and resection
Usually we call this ligation and resection…which means to tie and cut. Tied and cut tubes can be reversed easily. During a tied and cut tubal ligation the doctor ties a section of tube and cuts a small piece out. During reversal the closed tubal ends are opened and rejoined.
Tubal clips and rings
Tubal clips and tubal rings close off the tube and cause the tubes to heal closed.
Clips and rings do not come undone. They can be inappropriately placed, but they do not come undone. They may slip off the tube, but the tube has healed closed by the time this occurs. During a reversal of a tubal clip or tubal ring tubal ligation the devices are removed and the closed ends of the tube are removed and the tubes are surgically rejoined in the place where they were divided by the clips and rings.
Burned tubal ligations
Coagulation, more commonly known as ‘burning’, causes the tubes to heal close as well. Usually a small section of tube is burned in the middle. This tissues dies and is absorbed. The closed ends of the tube are opened and then rejoined. Most people are not aware but most burned tubal ligations can be reversed.
Can tubes regrow, can tubes reconnect, can tubes come undone?
Most people who want to know is it normal to regret tubal ligation will also hope their tubal ligation fails. They have all heard stories of tubes growing back together. Unfortunately this does not happen.
Tubes can not reattach, they can not reconnect, nor can they regrow. Tubes will never come undone without a surgeon repairing them.
Tubal ligation failure is possible when fallopian tubes heal incompletely with a fistula after the tubal ligation, but tubes will never reconnect by themselves.
A fistula is when the end of the tube heals mostly closed but with a very small opening. Think of a fistula like a small hole in a bag… liquid is going to slowly leak out. A small fistula can result in tubal ligation failure and pregnancy.
Don’t count on tubal failure if you want to become pregnant because many of these pregnancies will be serious ectopic (tubal) pregnancies.
Is it normal to regret tubal ligation? You have options!
Tubal ligation regret is incredibly common. It is normal to regret tubal ligation and many women do.
If you regret your tubal ligation… don’t despair because you do have options.
- You can adopt a child or have in-vitro fertilization.
- You can also restore your fertility, reverse your regret, and have your tubes surgically rejoined through tubal reversal surgery.
For the best chance of success look into having reversal with Dr. Monteith of A Personal Choice in Raleigh, NC.
You can send your tubal ligation records to him for a a free review and find out if you are a candidate for tubal reversal surgery.
Regretting tubal ligation: Find out if you are a candidate for reversal surgery?
If you would like to consider tubal ligation reversal then watch this video to find out if you are a candidate for tubal reversal surgery.
Most tubal ligations can be reversed. The only tubal ligations that cannot be reversed are complete tubal salpingectomies (removal of the entire fallopian tube on each side).
The key to having the best chance at a successful tubal reversal surgery is picking an experienced surgeon whose skill can provide you the best chance of reversing your tubal ligation and help alleviate the regret you have over a previous life altering decision.