Can Tubal Ligation Be Reversed?
Tubal ligation is a surgical procedure that is performed by a gynaecologist. Essentially the procedure involves either cutting and separating the separated portions of the fallopian tubes or occluding them with a medical device such as a clip.It may be carried out as a day case and usually involves the use of a general anaesthetic.
How Might It Be Reversed?For those who are fortunate enough to be offered a reversal of sterilisation the procedure usually requires a general anaesthetic. A small incision is made in the abdomen and the fallopian tubes are detected and assessed.If the tubes have been clipped, the occluded portion of the tube will be removed and the two ends joined together using very fine sutures.
Of course it is not always possible to reconnect the tubes depending on whether they are healthy enough, if there is enough tissue left to reconnect and if there has been any other medical problems such as infections, endometriosis, and abnormal tissue or otherwise that may have affected the tubes.
In some instances, the tubes may not be patent any longer meaning that the inner opening is not sufficiently clear enough to allow any eggs to pass or implant after fertilisation.
Who Might Be Offered a Reversal of Sterilisation?Each individual who requests more information about this procedure will be assessed independently. Individual circumstance may play a part in whether they are considered as will their medical history and the type of sterilisation carried out in their previous procedure.
What Are The Success Rates?The success of the operation is highly variable and depends on many factors.Surgical technique might play a role, the presence or development of infection, the state of the fallopian tubes upon assessment during the procedure and anatomical factors may all affect whether the surgery is a success or not.Those who do undergo the procedure should be aware that the chances of suffering an ectopic pregnancy (when the fertilised egg develops in the tube instead of in the uterus) are higher.
Is It Available on The NHS?In general the answer to this question is no. There are very few health authorities that offer this procedure on the NHS and waiting list times can be very long.Most procedures will be performed privately at a cost of around £4,000 though these costs are variable depending on location, surgical expertise, healthcare provider and techniques used.
Reversal of a tubal ligation is a complicated operation and success rates are not guaranteed.The procedure can be very expensive and is not usually available through the NHS.In general, a sterilisation is offered as a permanent form of contraception and due to the nature of reasons for requesting a sterilisation reversal is not normally offered to younger women.
For those who believe they are sure they do not want any further family but are younger than 35, an alternative form of contraception may be recommended just in case circumstances change and further offspring are desired.