This is probably the most frequent question that we get about tubal reversal. The only way to tell accurately what your chances are of pregnancy is to reverse your tubal ligation. When your tubal ligation reversal surgery is underway, it is possible to see your ovaries and tell for sure if they are making eggs regularly, which is important. It’s possible to fix some conditions that will improve your chances of getting pregnant, more about that later. Anyone who guarantees results is more interested in getting your business than in being honest with you. When you actually look at the tubes during a reversal you can tell what the chances of success are. It has been estimated that the natural fertility of women under age 31 is 74%. Women aged 31 to 35 have a 62% pregnancy rate and ladies over age 35 have a 54% chance of pregnancy when artificially inseminated with sperm from fertile donors. Nothing anyone doing a tubal reversal could improve on these numbers. These figures were calculated from studies of patients who never had a tubal ligation.
We see a lot of ridiculous claims being made about success with reversal and with IVF. We just completed a study of all of the patients we reversed in 2009. Our age-corrected pregnancy rates were within a percentage point or two for every class of patients. What this means is that in the year 2009 we were able to give our patients almost the same chance of being pregnant as they would have if they never had their tubes tied.
What things that increase your chance of pregnancy after tubal ligation reversal:
If you got pregnant easily before you had your tubes tied, you will probably get pregnant easily if they can be reversed.
Being under age 40 is good. After age 35 your fertility starts to decline and after 40 you can get pregnant but your chances are probably in the 50% range
If you never have had a serious pelvic infection it helps your chances after tubal reversal. One advantage of our facility is that we only do one or two tubal ligation reversals a day and we can take the time to reverse some of the effects we see from pelvic infections. The best thing is to have never have had an infection, but we will take the time, if need be, to fix what we can.
If you have a female relative with a history of twins or you yourself have had twins that is a sign of superior fertility. If you have a woman on your side of the family that has had a pregnancy after age 40 that is good.
If you ever got pregnant on birth control pills, the shot or right after stopping either, then tubal reversal is a good choice for you.
If the type of tubal ligation you had has left you with enough length of tube once your tubal ligation reversal is done. More is better. There is some controversy as too how much length of tube is needed. Things get real good if you have at least 6 centimeters and 8 or more is excellent. The generally accepted length for fallopian tubes that have never been tied is 13 centimeters. I have seen tubes that have been tied with clips [they don’t use up hardly any tube] and they are only 9 centimeters; some women must have naturally shorter tubes.
The fallopian tube is shaped like a trumpet, it is different widths at different parts of its length. It helps if your tubes were tied in a way that leaves us with two similar pieces to join. We can join narrow tube to wide tube and we will take the time to do it but you have a better chance for a baby if the tubes are closer in width.
If you are in good health, your chances are better after tubal ligation reversal. Being pregnant is a strain on you and the body seems to resist pregnancy when you are in poor heath. You probably need to think twice about getting pregnant if you are not in good health. It’s dangerous for you and the baby.