Can Your Tubes Come Untied?

Getting your tubes tied or tubal ligation is a sterilization procedure. You may want to consider this option if you have decided that you no long want to have children. It is permanent in nature, so it is important to understand the procedure before you really have it performed. While tubal ligation is 99.5% effective, many women still have questions about its effectiveness. Some women even ask, are there ways to become pregnant even after getting your tubes tied? Let's find out now.

Can Your Tubes Come Untied?

No, they cannot. The reason is that the tubes are not tied in the first place. Many people are under the impression that tubal ligation involves tying the tube like a piece of rope to prevent pregnancy. Others think that a piece of string is used to tie the tube to prevent pregnancy. Both explanations are wrong.

The truth is that during tubal ligation procedure, your tubes are not tied but they are blocked or occluded with a surgical procedure. Different procedures are in use today – some involve tubal rings while others use tubal clips. Similarly, ligation and resection procedures as well as tubal coagulation procedures are also common today.

There is another common concern regarding the tubes growing back together. Usually, tubes do not grow back together, but there may be inadequate tubal closure during tubal coagulation procedures. It means the doctor does not apply enough heat energy to close the tube properly. In this case, the chances of becoming pregnant go up.

What it implies is that once closed, tubes cannot grow back together, but it usually depends heavily on how the tubes are closed in the first place. Inadequate closure may lead to certain complications later, so it is important to work with a specialist only.

Can You Get Pregnant After Tubal Ligation?

Just like "Can your tubes come untied?" people have many other questions regarding tubal ligation and other related sterilization procedures. Here are some of the most common questions asked about tubal ligation.

1. Is It Possible to Become Pregnant after Tubal Ligation?

As tubal ligation is 99.5% effective, you are less likely to become pregnant after the procedure. Still, it is not 100% effective, so it is possible for procedure to fail and you become pregnant. This can happen if the clips, rings, or bands used to block the Fallopian tubes come off, allowing the egg to enter the uterus.

2. What Should You Do If You Want to Get Pregnant Again?

When done properly, tubal ligation is quite permanent. Still, there are certain options you can try. If you have your tubes tied with clips or bands, you may consider undergoing a tubal ligation reversal procedure. However, you are a good candidate for a tubal ligation reversal if you are under 40 years of age and it has been less than 10 years since you have had your tubes tied. Moreover, your doctors will order several tests to confirm you are a good candidate for a tubal ligation reversal. Keep in mind that sometimes when tubes are burned or cut completely, tubal ligation reversals are not possible.

3. What Are Some Other Options You Can Consider for Pregnancy?

In case a tubal ligation reversal is not possible, you can try other ways to conceive. For instance, you can try an assisted reproduction technique to conceive even after tubal ligations. Some women who cannot have the procedure reversed opt for IVF to get pregnant – the procedure works because it does not require the fallopian tubes for pregnancy. Using a surrogate is another option available. And of course, you can consider adopting a child in case other options do not work.

Something You Should Know about Tubal Ligation

Tubal ligation is quite effective and saves you from taking birth control pills to prevent unwanted pregnancy. However, you should have complete information about the procedure and know about its risks and limitations before you finalize your decision. Here is what you should know other than knowing, "Can your tubes come untied?"

1. The Risks Are Real

While tubal ligation is usually a safe procedure, you should still know the types of risks associated with it. You are less likely to experience any complications if you are in overall good health, have not had a surgery before, and have a healthy body weight. Still, there is a risk of injuring the bowel or bladder during surgery – anesthesia also carries a risk.

2. Do Your Homework

Doing your homework is important to have a better understanding of risks and limitations of tubal ligations. This also helps protect you against surgical slipups. Be sure to ask your doctor exactly how many procedures they have performed in the past and how many times they have dealt with complication. Look for someone who has performed more than five procedures without any complications.

3. Have It Performed with a C-Section

If you are really thinking of having tubal ligation, you should consider getting it done after a C-section. This is the best time to have it. This way, you will not have to experience any additional pain and there will be no additional recovery time either.

4. Consider Vasectomy as an Option

A vasectomy is a much better choice when you two do not want children. Your partner can have it and you two can continue to have sex. It also lowers prostate cancer risk and involves much fewer complications as compared to tubal ligation. No general anesthesia is involved, which is another big plus.

5. Periods Do Not Go Away

Tubal ligation only blocks the fallopian tubes, but your hormones will continue to work in a normal way. Therefore, you are going to have your periods, but there may be some changes in severity, duration, and symptoms associated with periods. Most of the times, your periods become lighter with fewer cramps after tubal ligations. 

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