Tubal reversal versus IVF: Which is the best choice for me?
As a woman who opted for a tubal ligation sterilization in the past, but now is experiencing new circumstances and desires, you may be faced with the decision between tubal reversal surgery or IVF to achieve pregnancy. This blog will help break down the pros and cons of each.
Tubal ligation sterilization is a common contraceptive method utilized by women in the United States with approximately 27% of fertile women choosing tubal sterilization as their method of contraception. About half of these surgeries are performed after giving birth and the other half as a procedure remote from a pregnancy. Tubal ligation procedures are meant to be permanent and most women enter into the decision with a sincere intention to prevent additional pregnancies.
But life is full of surprises
However, circumstances change, relationships change, and family-building goals may change accordingly. Despite having consented to permanent sterilization, up to 14% of sterilized women request information regarding fertility options within 14 years of the procedure. What are the options for women and couples who desire pregnancy following tubal sterilization?
The answer to that question is as varied as the women and couples asking it. Many factors may influence the decision-making process. Generally speaking, the categorical options are either tubal reversal surgery to reverse the sterilization or in vitro fertilization (IVF). But how do you choose between the two options and which is most likely to result in a successful pregnancy?
Age, cost, time and method of sterilization will factor into your decision
Many factors influence the answers to these questions and often prompt yet more questions. How old are both intended parents? How many more children does she want to have? Is the couple concerned about effective contraception after a successful pregnancy? Are there other fertility problems for either or both partners?
Age and time are often interrelated when it comes to deciding a treatment path. Since most women considering having more children after choosing sterilization are older by the time they change their minds, in vitro fertilization is often the better recommendation. This is because the chances of success are often much higher with IVF and the woman does not have to dedicate the time it takes to have surgery and heal from it.
However, for a significant number of women, tubal reversal surgery remains a very valid – and relatively cost-effective – option. In vitro fertilization can be expensive, especially if more than one IVF cycle is needed to conceive.
One overriding factor in the choice between tubal reversal surgery versus IVF is what method your surgeon used to do your sterilization in the first place. Many methods of sterilization cannot be reversed, so knowing this information is paramount to making a decision. Some methods cut off a segment of the tubes, others use a clip to pinch the tube closed, while others stitch the tube closed. Your chances of becoming pregnant again depend greatly on the method used and how well the tube can be restored back to its original condition.
Consult one of our specialists to fully understand the pros and cons
The decision between IVF and tubal reversal is highly complex and profoundly affected by the factors of age, cost, and time as well as the presence of other potential fertility problems. If you are thinking about adding to your family, contact our office to schedule a consultation to discuss your individual case and circumstances.