Pregnancy After Tubal Ligation

Tubal ligation is simply the process of having your tubes tied surgically to block the fallopian tubes. This procedure is mostly recommended to women who are sure that they will not need to get any more children in the future. Tubal ligation simply stops the eggs from travelling from the ovaries to the fallopian tubes where they are fertilized by a sperm. Most women worry about pregnancy after tubal ligation, is it possible to get pregnant after a tubal ligation process? Find out the truth in this article.

What Is a Tubal Ligation?

There are different ways of closing the fallopian tubes and preventing them from releasing eggs into the fallopian tubes. These methods include cutting and stitching or even banding or clipping. Sometimes, this procedure involves cutting and burning the parts to ensure permanent closure.

Some of the most preferred tubal ligation procedures include:

1. A Mini-lap or Laparoscopy

These are done by inserting viewing instruments and surgical tools through minor insertions in the abdomen.

2. Postpartum Tubal Ligation

This procedure is done after birth as a mini-laparotomy. Immediately after birth, the fallopian tubes are higher in the abdomen and thus the insertion is made below the naval. This procedure is done within at least 36 hours after childbirth.

3. Open Tubal Ligation or Laparotomy

This is done through a much larger abdominal incision. It is highly recommended for people in need of abdominal surgery for one reason or the other, or suffers from a pelvic inflammatory disease or endometriosis, or they have undergone a previous pelvic or abdominal surgery. 

What Are the Pros and Cons of a Tubal Ligation for Postpartum Contraception?

1. The Pros

If you are completely sure that you do not need to sire any more children, tubal ligation can be an ideal solution for you.

The good thing about tubal ligation is that, unlike most birth control methods, you will not have to worry about missing a pill or applying or inserting anything before sex. This is especially ideal for busy moms.

Tubal ligation is a safe method for your child since it does not interfere with lactation, which is common with some hormonal contraception methods.

2. The Cons

  • Risks

As it is with all surgical processes, tubal ligation comes with risks, though they are rare. Some of the risks include excessive bleeding and infections. If you decide to have the procedure immediately after birth and you experience any side effects, it could make it much harder for you to recover from the child birth. 

  • Cannot protect you from sexually transmitted infections

Besides, tubal ligation is only a birth control method and this does not protect you from sexually transmitted infections or viruses such as herpes, HIV or chlamydia.

  • Permanent infertility

The most significant disadvantage to tubal ligation is its permanence. It may not be possible to have another child after this procedure even if you want to in the future. Though tubal ligation can be reversed, the cost is too high and the chances of success are minimal.

It is, therefore, important to ensure you do not want any more children in the future when you decide to go through with tubal ligation.

Is It Possible to Experience Pregnancy After Tubal Ligation?

There is slight chance that you may get pregnant after this procedure. This has been found to happen to five in every 1000 women who undergo the procedure and this happens within the first year. At least 13 in 10000 women experience pregnancy after tubal ligation five years later.

Pregnancy occurs when:

  • The tubes grow back and reattach or a new passage forms which makes it possible for eggs to be fertilized by a sperm. Discuss with your doctor on the most effective tubal ligation process that can prevent the tubes from growing back. 
  • The surgery is done incorrectly.
  • You were pregnant by the time you underwent the procedure.

Watch this video to get more advice on how you can have pregnancy after tubal ligation: 

What About Reversing a Tubal Ligation to Get Pregnant Again?

In most cases, it is possible to reverse tubal ligation, but it is best if you don’t count on it. Tubal ligation reversals cost a lot of money and most insurance covers do not cover this cost. Tubal ligation is much more complicated than simply the cutting and sealing of tubes and this diminishes the chances of ever conceiving after undergoing the procedure.

Only about 40% of the women who undergo tubal ligation reversal are able to give birth with success and the risk of ectopic pregnancies increase.

Tubes that have been cut and burned to seal are much harder to put together as the heat destroys the lining of the tubes which allows for reattachment. Also, reconnecting tubes that are blocked through nonsurgical means is even more complicated and is less likely to be successful.