Women who regret having their tubes tied will often have to choose between tubal reversal surgery or in-vitro fertilization (IVF).
It can be a difficult choice influenced by many different factors.
For many it is a balance of cost and chance of success.
For others it is a choice between trying to become pregnant quickly and deciding what type of procedure they want to undergo.
Both treatments can help you become pregnant and there are unique considerations regarding each treatment.
Untying tubes or IVF? Which is the best?
The cost of tubal ligation reversal surgery is $5900 at our surgery center. The chance of getting pregnant is 60% to 70%.
Although reversing tubes is a surgical procedure, most women are back at work in 10 to 14 days. The main risk of tubal reversal is ectopic pregnancy. The main benefits of tubal reversal are the treatment is more affordable than IVF and you can become pregnant more than once.
Is IVF better than tubal reversal?
The cost of in-vitro fertilization ranges from $12,000 to $14,000 for each cycle attempted. The chance of pregnancy for each cycle attempted is approximately 38%.
Although IVF is considered a minor surgical procedure it does take several weeks of hormonal preparation before the eggs can be retrieved. The main risk of IVF is multiple gestation. The main benefits of IVF treatment is that it can allow you to avoid a major surgical procedure and have a chance at becoming pregnant quicker over a shorter time frame.
Which treatment is best for blocked tubes?
Often this is a personal decision and depends on how much money you have and what you are willing to do. Health insurance will often not pay for either treatment because each treatment is considered elective.
Many IVF experts will advise that you should plan on attempting 3 IVF cycles before you can expect a pregnancy. If it happens on the first cycle then great…but if not then you will need more IVF cycles. If pregnancy happens with IVF is may take 6 weeks to 12 months depending on how many cycles it takes to become pregnant.
Surgery for blocked tubes
Tubal reversal surgery to repair blocked tubes at our center is a one hour outpatient procedure. Our patients are back to work in 2 weeks and can attempt to become pregnant when they feel comfortable.
Most patients will become pregnant within 12 months and they can become pregnant more than just one time. Although ectopic pregnancy is a risk not to be taken lightly, ectopic pregnancy can often be safely treated by your doctor with methotrexate medication.
What do experts recommend: Tubal reversal or in-vitro?
Many doctors will tell you tubal reversal is not possible and you should do IVF.
These same doctors are often not aware that every year the American Society for Reproductive Medicine
(a leading group of IVF experts) issues a committee opinion on tubal ligation reversal which consistently supports tubal reversal surgery.
In committee opinion these IVF experts state in the summary section their professional opinion based on medical research,
“Tubal anastomosis (tubal reversal) for reversal of tubal sterilization (tubal ligation) has a higher cumulative pregnancy rate than IVF (more effective over time), and it is more cost efficient (affordable), even in women 40 years of age or older.”
Essentially these IVF experts are acknowledging tubal reversal has a higher cumulative chance of pregnancy than IVF. This means every month you have a chance and over many months these chances all add up. In comparison with IVF, you pay for each cycle and with each cycle you don’t become pregnant you then have to pay for another cycle.
If your doctor is recommending IVF over tubal reversal then they may not be aware of their own professional committee opinion or they don’t perform tubal reversal surgery and would rather stick with IVF.
Tubal reversal is more successful than IVF because with tubal reversal you have more than once chance.
Reversal is also more successful because conception takes place within the safe confines of the woman’s body…just where it was meant to happen!
Readers are encouraged to read what our patients have said about their decision to have tubal reversal or IVF.
If you are would like to become pregnant naturally and have a tubal reversal then give us a call at (919) 968-4656. We are here to help.
Submitted by Dr. Charles Monteith