The fallopian tubes connect the uterus with the ovaries. It is where the oocyte is released after ovulation and where fertilization by sperm occurs after having passed through the female reproductive tract. The embryo generated in the fallopian tube descends to the uterine cavity where its implantation takes place. If the tubes are closed for any reason, fertilization of the oocyte by the sperm is not possible naturally.
What is tubal ligation?
Tubal ligation, also called bilateral tubal occlusion (BTO), consists of preventing the passage of sperm into the fallopian tubes, thus preventing the fertilization of the egg. The surgical technique sections part of the tube or removes its large part. It is considered a safe, permanent and irreversible method of contraception. Therefore, this method is recommended to women who are sure that they have fulfilled their reproductive desire. In many cases, it is even performed at the same time after the birth or the caesarean section.
Will I be able to be a mother after my tubal ligation?
Many women choose to have the procedure voluntarily since it is a definitive contraceptive method however, over the years, new personal circumstances may arise that make us want to have a new child.
So, is it possible to be a mother after a tubal ligation? Yes, it is possible to become a mother again after a tubal ligation, and there are two ways to achieve this: by repairing the tubes through surgery or by turning to in vitro fertilisation (IVF). We should take into account that in most cases surgical tubal ligation reversal is not possible due to losing their function.
In vitro fertilization to achieve pregnancy after tubal ligation
At present, the method of choice for becoming mother after tubal ligation is IVF (in vitro fertilization), since it is highly reliable, allows a short-term pregnancy without the need to undergo a new surgery which, moreover, presents a reduced effectiveness.
In this technique, the sperm and oocytes are united in the laboratory thus simulating the process that naturally takes place in a woman’s fallopian tube when she becomes pregnant. The embryo is then transferred into the uterus with excellent results (Read more about in vitro fertilization).
Tubal ligation reversal
Tubal ligation reversal aims to rebuild the tubes. It consists of a surgical intervention under general anaesthesia in order to reverse the ligation process and requires microsurgical techniques given the small diameter of the tube. This procedure is not always effective. It depends mainly on the amount of tube tissue removed, the time that has elapsed since the ligation operation and the age of the patient.
It would only be indicated if the procedure that was used at the time to tie the tubes did not involve the removal of its fragments.
The complexity of the technique and its reduced effectiveness make in vitro fertilization the most satisfactory option.