Follow Us:
Female Sterilization

Female Sterilization

Female sterilization can be reversed

Female sterilization is the most widely used family planning method worldwide and has been chosen by more than 15 million women in the US. The main advantages of female sterilization are its high degree of effectiveness, convenience, and the fact that routine follow-up medical care is not usually needed as for other contraceptive methods. Female sterilization is considered by most doctors to be permanent. Fortunately, tubal ligation is reversible in most cases. Between 5 to 10 percent of women later regret their decision to have been sterilized, most often related to changes of marital or financial status, loss of a child, or religious beliefs.

Risks of female sterilization

Surgical sterilization has the same short term risks as other abdominal operations such as bleeding, infection, or injury to an internal organ. A long term risk is the risk of unintended pregnancy. In the past, it was thought that the risk of unintended pregnancy after tubal sterilization was limited to the first year or two after the procedure. But a recent study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) shows the risk of pregnancy to continue for many years after sterilization. By 10 years after tubal sterilization, the overall pregnancy rate was 1.8 percent among all women in the study. For women 34 and older, the failure rate at 10 years was 0.7 percent. Women 33 or younger had more than three times that pregnancy risk (2.6%). When unintended pregnancy occurs after a tubal sterilization, the probability of having a tubal pregnancy may be high as 50 percent.

Benefits of female sterilization

Aside from the obvious benefit of preventing unintended pregnancy, female sterilization may also protect against the risk of developing ovarian cancer. One study that followed more than 396,000 women for up to nine years after tubal ligation reported that the sterilized women had a one-third less risk of developing ovarian cancer than women who were not sterilized. The explanation for this protective effect is not known.

Methods of female sterilization

The many techniques of tubal sterilization can be grouped in the following categories: ligation/resection, electrocoagulation, or clip/ring. Tubal ligation illustrations for the most widely used techniques are provided along with descriptions and pregnancy rates after sterilization reversal. Also shown are the methods for reversing tubal sterilization.

Cost of female sterilization reversal

Throughout the US, the average cost of having a tubal sterilization reversal is $10,000 to $15,000, and in most cases health insurance does not pay for this operation. The high out-of-pocket cost prohibits many women from having access to the reversal procedure. The alternative treatment (in vitro fertilization or ivf) is just as expensive.

By creating a specialty center exclusively for sterilization reversal, the high cost and need for hospitalization have been eliminated. The cost for tubal reversal at Chapel Hill Tubal Reversal Center is $5900. Due to the lower cost, more couples can afford to have their tubal reversal performed by Dr. Berger who is the reproductive surgeon with the most experience worldwide with this operation.

Have a Question? Drop Us A Line!

If you are considering reversal surgery and have questions about the procedure, fill in the form below and we'll get back to you as soon as we can! If you would like to speak with a nurse for a Free Consultation then feel free to call us at (919) 977-5050.

Please view our most frequently asked questions before sending your questions.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.