Tubal reversal — which is also called advanced tubal reversal, tubal ligation reversal, microsurgical tubal reanastomosis, and tubal sterilization reversal — is a surgical procedure that restores fertility after a woman has undergone tubal reversal (i.e. has had her “tubes tied”). While the process is complex, it essentially involves reconnecting the blocked segments of the fallopian tubes, so that eggs and sperm can once again travel through them, and under the right circumstances fertilization has the chance to occur.
While tubal reversal has been around for decades, as with many health topics — particularly those that are personal, intimate and sensitive — there is quite a bit of misinformation floating across the web; especially on discussion boards and chat rooms. This isn’t to suggest that people are deliberately going out of their way to confuse or mislead others, because they aren’t. But as the old saying goes, “a little knowledge can be a dangerous thing.” Unfortunately, this applies to the topic of tubal reversal surgery.
To point you in the right direction — which, of course, is not to advise you on what to do, but simply to help you separate fact from fiction so that you can head towards making an informed decision — below I debunk three enduring myths about tubal reversal surgery:
Myth: You’ll have heavier and more painful periods after tubal reversal surgery.
Fact: Actually, the opposite is the case. Tubal ligation is what typically leads to painful, heavy periods, along with unease and moodiness. Tubal reversal diminishes or eliminates these symptoms.
Myth: The recovery period after tubal reversal surgery lasts for months.
Fact: As noted by WebMD, most women go home the same day they have surgery (which takes about 2-3 hours), and return to their normal day-to-day activities in about 2 weeks.
Myth: Getting tubal reversal surgery is a virtual guarantee that you’ll get pregnant.
Fact: The pregnancy rate for tubal reversal is 40-85 percent, and when conception happens, it usually does so within the first year after surgery. While these are good odds (especially since the chances of pregnancy after tubal ligation but before tubal reversal is zero), it is clearly not a guarantee. There are many factors involved, including the male partner’s sperm count and motility.
The Bottom LineX
Naturally, this article — or any other for that matter — cannot cover everything that you need to know about tubal reversal surgery. The best person to speak to is your OB/GYN, who may then refer you to a microsurgeon for more information (note some OB/GYNs are also microsurgeons).