After Tubal Reversal Ligation: Trying to Conceive

By: Charles Monteith


Tubal reversal ligation gives great chances at pregnancy and many of tubal reversal patients will become pregnant. Pregnancy statistics show that more than 70% women will become pregnant over time. Yet many of patients will not become pregnant immediately after surgery and obtaining a successful pregnancy, for some, may take several years.

The tubal reversal experts of Chapel Hill Tubal Reversal Center in North Carolina would like to share some helpful advice on how to become pregnant after reversal surgery.

After tubal reversal, women can ensure a healthy pregnancy by monitoring their nutrition, eating a healthy diet, and taking a daily multivitamins. One of the nutrients critical to a successful pregnancy is folic acid. Research studies demonstrate taking a daily dose of 400 micrograms of folic acid will greatly reduce the risk of pregnancy birth defects and miscarriage. Taking a multivitamin every day is good pregnancy insurance.

Cigarette smoking is a habit, which has conclusively been shown to be very harmful during pregnancy. The substances found in cigarette smoke cause poor healing and may cause poor healing of the tubes after reversal surgery. Women who smoke during pregnancy have more miscarriages, preterm births, placental abruptions, and smaller babies. It is important to stop smoking and the same goes for consumption of alcohol.

Consulting with your doctor before or after reversal surgery is a perfect idea if you have medical problems. The most common medical problems, which can cause problems during conception, are diabetes and thyroid disease.

Women with poor control of their blood sugar are more likely to miscarry or have fetal birth defects. Women with poorly controlled thyroid disease are also likely to have problems conceiving. Good control of blood sugars and thyroid disease is critical to having healthy conception and pregnancy.

If you are on prescription medications then it is advisable you consult with your doctor prior to becoming pregnant. Some prescriptions medications can be harmful to a pregnancy and can cause pregnancy miscarriage or birth defects. Medications to be concerned about are certain antibiotics, blood pressure, seizure, and blood thinning medications.

Not regular ovulation is the most common problem faced by many patients after tubal ligation reversal. Many women can develop irregular ovulation (irregular egg release) as they become older or as they gain weight. The most visible sign of irregular ovulation is erratic periods. If a woman is skipping periods then eggs are not being release reliably and consistently. Irregular ovulation can make conceiving very difficult because it is harder to predict ovulation to best time sexual intercourse.

It is recommended to use ovulation predictor test kits after tubal reversal to increase the chance of conceiving every month. If ovulation is not being documented then a consult with your doctor to determine the cause is recommended.

Most women will become pregnant within a year after their tubes are untied; however, some may require longer becoming pregnant. When all factors are ideal the chance of becoming pregnant with intercourse on the day of ovulation is about 8-10% for that month. Therefore, we recommend our patients wait 12 months before deciding to have an HSG x-ray to determine if their tubes are blocked.

In our experience, approximately 5% of patients will have a least one tube blocked after tubal reversal surgery. Most of our patients will have open tubes after reversal surgery.

Sometimes ovulation will be regular and tubes will not be blocked. Although male infertility can contribute to a couple’s infertility 50% of the time, most men will have normal semen counts. We encourage all patients to consider a semen analysis and especially if the male has not fathered any children or has serious medical problems.

If conception has not occurred after a year, ovulation has been documented, and the tubes are open then we advise a semen analysis. Occasionally a low sperm count can be identified as the possible cause when all other factors have been evaluated.

Since tubal reversal restores the natural ability to become pregnant, women also have to endure the natural challenges to pregnancy.

Most of these challenges can be overcome with a positive outlook, healthy lifestyle changes, ovulation monitoring, and consultation with a doctor.

Many women will have success conceiving after tubal reversal, but this does not mean pregnancy will occur immediately or quickly for all women.

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Article was written by doctor Charles Monteith, M.D. and doctor Gary S. Berger PhD who work in Chapell Hill Tubal Reversal Center in North Carolina.

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