Tubal reversal or IVF? Fertility considerations when tubes are tied
At Park Avenue Fertility, our Connecticut fertility center recognizes that sometimes, after a woman has had her tubes tied to prevent future pregnancy, life shifts, and family-building goals change. Feelings of regret after tubal ligation are not uncommon, as the American Society of Reproductive Medicine reports up to 20% to 30% of women regret having their tubes tied.
Andrew Levi MD has experience in guiding women to the clearest and safest path to pregnancy after tubal ligation. Of the two options to achieve pregnancy – tubal reversal or IVF – IVF is preferred. Here’s why.
Tubal reversal risks
When a patient surgically has her tubes tied, a section of the fallopian tubes is cut, blocked or sealed off, so sperm cannot reach the egg. The decision to surgically alter this process via tubal reversal is serious.
There are several possible risks of tubal reversal that our Connecticut fertility center considers.
- Tubal reversal involves major surgery to repair the fallopian tubes under general anesthesia. It can pose risks of infection, blood clots and damage to other organs, and the procedure is costly.
- There is an increased risk of an ectopic pregnancy after scarring from tubal ligation or reversal. An ectopic pregnancy happens if a fertilized egg implants in a fallopian tube instead of the uterus. This is serious and can be life-threatening.
- Tubal reversals do not always end with a successful pregnancy. In some cases, the success rates are quite low. There also is a significant decrease in success for women older than 35, making the choice between tubal reversal or IVF easier for some women.
IVF is preferred to tubal reversal
For patients who opt for IVF versus tubal reversal, there are several advantages to consider.
- No major surgery.
- Lab setting provides benefits. With IVF, an egg is fertilized in a lab, bypassing the fallopian tubes, and then an embryo is directly transferred into the uterus. This is an advantage for those with damaged or blocked fallopian tubes who risk an ectopic pregnancy. Male infertility also can be addressed with IVF, thanks to the controlled lab environment with a more direct path for egg fertilization.
- Genetic testing. As IVF has become more refined, patients can select the healthiest embryos with the help of genetic testing before an embryo is transferred.
- Shorter timetable to possible pregnancy. The pregnancy timetable can be accelerated with IVF. A pregnancy test can be administered about 14 days after IVF, whereas some patients experience a wait of a year or two to get pregnant after tubal reversal.
- After IVF, the tubal reversal remains in place as a permanent form of birth control.
Choosing tubal reversal or IVF
At Park Avenue Fertility and Reproductive Medicine, we understand some patients have regrets after a tubal ligation. We can guide you in options personalized to you when considering tubal reversal or IVF. Contact Dr. Levi at our Connecticut fertility center to learn how we can help.