Getting your tubes tied is a procedure known as tubal ligation or a tubectomy. During this procedure, clamps are used on the fallopian tubes to block them and prevent eggs from passing through, either sealing them or severing them. When the eggs can’t get through, they are unable to meet sperm and are therefore unable to fertilize and implant into your uterus, this preventing you from getting pregnant.
There are a number of ways in which you can have your tubes tied including tying them together, cauterizing them (or burning them) with the help of an electric current (mild), or even using a clip or ring to tightly seal the tube off.
Known to be a ‘permanent’ form of birth control, this is a procedure that must be taken seriously. It does not interfere too much with your menstrual cycle unlike more serious methods such as a hysterectomy and is a procedure that can be done at any time such as at the same time as a caesarean section to deliver your baby.
Can tubal ligation be reversed?
You CAN reverse a tubal ligation but it is normally a procedure that offers no promises or guarantees and pregnancy isn’t always successful afterwards.
Your success rates of tubal ligation reversal will very much depend on the type of procedure you had done and you will need to have a serious chat with a surgeon before making any final decisions. There are a number of things that will be taken into account including your age, the health of your body and your reproductive system, the type of tube-tying surgery you had to begin with and things like your lifestyle, weight, etc.
Can you get pregnant with your tubes tied?
Although some women DO want to have their tubal ligation reversed, many do not. Just as with other forms of contraception and birth control however, getting your tubes tied is not a 100% guaranteed way of ensuring you don’t get pregnant. Although the risks are slight, there is still a one percent chance that your tubal ligation could fail, and over ten years following the procedure, the risks jump up to just below two percent.
What causes pregnancy after having your tubes tied?
It seems like a 100% foolproof way to prevent unwanted pregnancy but as with many things in life, there are risks associated with tubal ligation including the procedure not going quite to plan.
If you have a ring or clip to seal off your fallopian tubes, the sealing may not have been complete and occasionally an egg will still manage to slip by and become fertilized. If a fistula has occurred during the healing process (a tube of sorts), the egg can still pass through. After your procedure it is recommend that you avoid sexual contact for between six to eight weeks to ensure the healing pattern happens as it should do and avoid unwanted pregnancies.
For any of the types of procedure, pregnancy can still occur when the healing process hasn’t worked as it should, with gaps, fistulas and maybe even small tears allowing either the egg to pass through, or the sperm to reach the egg. In the latter case, ectopic pregnancy is a risk with the egg unable to pass through to implant in the uterus, implanting in the fallopian tubes instead.
In very rare cases, you can get pregnant after having your tubes tied because the tubes themselves fuse or ‘heal’ back together, allowing both sperm and egg to pass through as it normally would.