If you have had your tubes tied and are considering IVF, it is important to contact a clinic like ours (there are several in the Southern U.S.) to see if your tubal ligation can be reversed. This is important even if your doctor has suggested only IVF. This could save you huge amounts of money and prevent you from being exposed to unnecessary risks.
Strong words? You bet, but tubal reversal is, unfortunately, a well-kept secret. Most of the reasons that IVF costs so much is because the powerful drugs that are used are extremely expensive. The companies that make them have done a wonderful job of selling them to the doctors, the media, and the general public. You don’t hear too much about the risks but they are real, including death.
Potential IVF Complications
Ovarian Hyperstimulation Syndrome
There is a condition called ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome where the ovaries overreact to the drugs used in IVF. It usually resolves with time and pain medication but can require hospitalization and surgery to cure. There have even been fatalities reported! The enlarged ovaries can twist, cutting off their own blood supply. If this happens, surgery would be necessary to try and save the ovary.
Another condition caused by IVF is known as Hereroectopic pregnancy. This is where a patient becomes pregnant in the womb and in the tube at the same time. This occurs in approximately 1 out of 1,000 pregnancies in which IVF is used. Without IVF the risks are about 1 in 100,000. Additionally, the babies that are born as a result of IVF are more likely to be premature and have other health problems. Even the mother is at risk for ovarian cancer later in life due to the use of ovary-stimulating drugs.
Multiple births are an additional risk with IVF. If you were only to have twins, there are still greater risks for the mother and the babies. (These risks are NOT small!) But, if you do finally decide on IVF, do not allow the doctor to transfer more than 2 embryos. This will dramatically reduce your chances of multiple births. Remember twins, triplets and more are cute in movies but not in real life.
With tubal reversal at Lakeshore Surgical Center, your risk of ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy in the tube where it can’t become a baby) increases slightly to about 2 %. A woman who has her tubes tied has a risk of about ½% of ectopic pregnancy. Most facilities who do tubal reversals report 10 to 30% ectopic pregnancies. We feel the reason our patients do better with ectopics is our policy of sewing the tubes in layers and dye testing the repaired tubes. This makes sure that they are both sewed together and sewed open. All of our patients are taught how to detect an ectopic early on when it can be treated with medicine.
Fewer Risks with Tubal Reversal
Your natural inclination is probably to say that reversal is surgery and that has risks, doesn’t it? Yes, it is surgery, but there are far fewer risks in tubal reversal (in a professional clinic such as ours) than in a single month of IVF. Please read that sentence again! A tubal reversal in our clinic is done through a 2 to 3-inch incision right above your pubic hairline. The procedure takes about an hour and most patients are fully recovered in 3 days. We have never had to transfer a patient to a hospital, admit a patient for further care, transfuse anyone, or treat them for infection. The risks associated with tubal reversal are even less than the risks you took to tie them in the first place.