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My Tubes are Tied – Can This Be Reversed?

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Some time after getting their tubes tied; there are women who discover that they want more children. Now the question is, can this process be reversed? First, let’s consider the facts. The common term used is "tying your tubes" but the medical term for this type of sterilization is called tubal ligation. In this process, the fallopian tubes are cut or blocked. This way, the eggs or sperm will never be able to fertilize, thereby preventing pregnancy.

Benefit and Risks

If you no longer want to become pregnant or have babies, this is an option you may want to consider. Also, according to the Mayo Clinic, a tubal ligation may decrease your risk of ovarian cancer. However, not everyone is a candidate for this procedure. This is especially so if the following is true in your case:

• You might want to become pregnant
• You're obese
• You have severe cardiac or pulmonary disease
• You have blood-clotting problems
• You have internal abdominal scarring
• You have a pre-existing gynecologic condition — such as irregular periods or abnormally heavy or prolonged periods — that may be better treated through hormonal contraception

It is important to remember that tubal ligation is considered a major surgery. So as with all surgeries, there are risks to consider such as:

• Damage to the bowel, bladder or major blood vessels
• Adverse reaction to anesthesia
• Wound infection
• Prolonged pelvic or abdominal pain

You may be at higher risk of complications from a tubal ligation if:
• You've had previous pelvic or abdominal surgery
• You have a history of pelvic inflammatory disease, obesity or diabetes

Even after surgery, particularly within the first year after the procedure is done, one out of 100 women can still get pregnant during this time. Also, the sterilization failure rate is higher for younger women. When a woman does get pregnant after her tubes are tied, the chance of having an ectopic pregnancy (becoming pregnant in the fallopian tubes) is higher.

So can it be reversed or not? And is there anything else to keep in mind about this procedure?

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.