Monday, May 17, 2010

Pregnancy After Bilateral Tubal Ligation

Pregnancy After Bilateral Tubal Ligation

Questions about pregnancy after bilateral tubal ligation are frequent topics on the Tubal Reversal Message Board. This brief article gives an answer to some of these questions.

Can I Get Pregnant after Tubal Ligation?

Bilateral tubal ligation (BTL) is not a perfect operation. The failure rate in terms of subsequent pregnancy ranges from 0.1% to as high as 5% depending upon the type of tubal ligation, the experience of the doctor performing it, and the length of follow-up. Most studies show about a 0.5% to 1% pregnancy rate by 1 year after BTL. Studies that have followed patients for up to 10 years show higher rates.

What is The Risk of Pregnancy after Tubal Ligation?

The primary risk for women who become pregnant after tubal ligation is the risk of ectopic or tubal pregnancy. This is more likely to happen when tubes have been separated into unattached segments. If one tube remains open and the other is separated, an egg can wind up in a segment of tube that is not connected to the uterus. Sperm can travel through the open tube and fertilize the egg in the blocked segment.

What Can I Do to Become Pregnant After Bilateral Tubal Ligation?

If you want to have a baby after your tubes have been tied, you can have the tubes repaired through tubal reversal surgery or undergo treatment by IVF (in vitro fertilization). The long-term follow-up study from Chapel Hill Tubal Reversal Center shows higher pregnancy rates after tubal ligation reversal compared with IVF. This is because conception is possible every month after tubal reversal surgery. With IVF, at the end of the treatment either pregnancy has occurred or not. IVF does not offer the chance of pregnancy every month like tubal reversal.

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