Tubal Reversal at San Diego Fertility Center
Reversal of tubal sterilization is a microsurgical procedure performed to restore the function of fallopian tubes blocked by previous sterilization surgery. Often life leads to unexpected changes and women who previously were convinced they no longer needed or wanted fertility may, in fact, change their minds. Fortunately, the success of microsurgical tubal reversal is very high!! This is especially true if the procedure is done by highly trained and experienced surgical sub-specialists, like Dr. Hummel and Dr. Kettel. In our hands, the success rates for this procedure is up to 90% or more.
There are three specific factors that determine the success of tubal reversal.
- Tubal length - After completing the tubal reversal, the overall length of the intact remaining open tube should be greater than 4 centimeters (about 2 inches). Sometimes, extensive tubal damage occurs during the initial tubal sterilization or some other disease damages the tubes and the resulting tubal length could be compromised.
- Sperm quality - If the male partner does not have proven fertility, it is important to make sure there is no problem with sperm quality or male infertility issues. We often require that a semen analysis (sperm count) be done before the tubal reversal surgery. Obviously, if there is a problem with sperm then there may be a problem becoming pregnant after the reversal. It is better to know about this before surgery than go through an entire operation only to find out that your chances for pregnancy are slim.
- Age of the female- Despite our never ending hopes to discover the fountain of youth, the truth is that it is simply harder for women to get pregnant as they get older. The age related decline in fertility begins around age 35 and decreases steadily thereafter. A blood test done on the third day of menstrual bleeding (cycle day 3) to measure serum FSH and estradiol can be very helpful in determining the degree of these age-related changes.
After the tubal reversal procedure, you can try to conceive as soon as you feel up to it. The tubes should function immediately after surgery and lots of women have successfully become pregnant the first cycle after tubal reversal. If you haven't conceived within six months the tubes need to be evaluated to make sure they are still open. The vast majority of women who have this procedure, get pregnant quickly and without additional treatment.