Tubal ligation is a procedure that one in four married couples will choose as a form of birth control. Otherwise known as “having your tubes tied,”the procedure involves cutting and tying off the fallopian tubes to prevent eggs from entering the uterus. This is considered a permanent form of birth control. However, surgery can reverse the procedure, although the reversal process does not guarantee the possibility of getting pregnant.
Is Pregnancy Possible?
Tubal ligation is one of the most effective ways to prevent pregnancy, with rates of pregnancy around 1/1,000 after the first year, and between 2-10/1,000 after five years. Although the possibility of becoming pregnant is low, the chance is still there. Unfortunately, after the procedure, the risk of experiencing an ectopic pregnancy increases if a pregnancy were to occur.
If you have had tubal ligation surgery in the past and believe that you are currently experiencing pregnancy symptoms, talk to your health care provider. Although the probability of getting pregnant is very low, it is still possible.
Reversal & Pregnancy
As noted earlier, tubal ligation is considered a permanent form of birth control. However, a reversal procedure can be used to reconnect the fallopian tubes. Success rates of reversal surgeries range from 25 to 80%. It is also important to be aware that tubal ligation reversal increases the chances of an ectopic pregnancy.
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Compiled using information from the following sources:
1. Beckmann, C. (2010).
2. Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.
3. Dhar, N. B., & Jones, J. S. (2007). Vasectomy: A simple snip? Indian Journal of Urology. 23(1). doi:
4. Johns Hopkins Medicine. (n.d.). Tubal ligation.
5. The Society of Obstetricians and Gynecologists of Canada. (n.d.). Tubal ligation (Female surgical sterilization).