Is IVF Possible With Tied Tubes?
Sometimes chemical and physical methods of contraceptives are not completely foolproof. When couples decide that they have built their family and that they have no room for a new member, most of them go for a surgical method of sterilization. If the procedure is conducted on men, it is called vasectomy and when done on women it is called tubectomy.
The layman's term for tubectomy is ‘getting one’s tubes tied. However, a few years down the line, some couples might rethink their decision and want to plan for another child. In such cases, what are the possible options? Do you have to reverse your tubal ligation at any cost or can you do IVF if your tubes are tied? Keep reading to get to the bottom.
What Is Tubal Ligation?
You may have heard people talking about getting their tubes tied. But what does that mean? In women, the eggs are stored in the ovaries where each matures and gets released every month. The egg moves down the fallopian tube and finds the sperm if intercourse has happened before 3-5 days. Fertilization occurs there and the dividing zygote comes down to the uterus, the implantation site while forming an embryo.
Tubal ligation, a surgical birth control method, works by preventing the meeting of the sperm and the egg. In the procedure, the fallopian tubes are severed and tied or clipped permanently. This blocks the sperm from reaching the egg, thus ruling out any possibility of fertilization and consequent pregnancy.
Is Pregnancy After Tubal Ligation Possible?
Some women, after surgically sterilizing themselves, might plan another child. There are several ways through which pregnancy after tubal ligation is made possible. One way is to reverse the tubal ligation through surgery. This mends the passage between the ovaries and uterus and allows the sperm and egg to meet. Another way is freezing the eggs before the surgery. However, if neither the eggs have been frozen nor is there a wish to reverse the effects of birth control, one can opt for IVF after tubal ligation to conceive again. So the answer to ‘ can you have IVF if your tubes are tied’ is a grand yes!
IVF With Tied Tubes
IVF after tubal ligation is one of the most suitable options for getting pregnant post-tubectomy. Since the procedure does not involve the fallopian tubes and the natural meeting of the sperm and egg, tubal ligation does not interfere with the success rates of IVF.
How Is IVF With Tied Tubes Done?
IVF proceeds the same way as in the case of women who have not undergone tubal ligation. The ovaries are stimulated to produce multiple eggs. Just before ovulation, the eggs are retrieved and mixed with the sperm collected from the male partner to facilitate fertilization.
In the case of low or poor-quality sperms, the desired sperm is injected directly into an ovum in a procedure known as Intra Cytoplasmic Sperm Injection. After 3-5 days, a few embryos are released into the uterus where at least one is expected to get implanted.
No More Surgery
One of the greatest advantages of doing IVF after tubectomy is to maintain the birth control effects. Women who opt for the tubal ligation reversal usually have to undergo another surgery that requires at least a three-month recovery period before trying for pregnancy the natural way.
However, IVF is less invasive. There is no recovery period and the results can be known in a very short period. It usually takes one month to get prepared for IVF and during the following menstrual cycle, the procedure can be conducted. Pregnancy can be confirmed after two weeks of embryo transfer.
Pregnancy Possible With Poor Quality Sperm
In addition to this, IVF also increases the chances of conception when the sperm quality of your partner is not as good as expected. Before a tubal reversal or an IVF, your partner will be asked to undergo a semen analysis. If the sperm quality has dropped over the years, then getting a tubal reversal might not be of help. In such a situation, the probability of fertilization increases only through IVF.
Pregnancy Independent Of The Tubal Status
The remnant of the tubes on both sides, called the tubal stumps are assessed before the tubal reversal surgery. If they are not long enough to be effectively sealed, then pregnancy might be a difficult case post the reversal.
In addition to that, if the fimbriae, which are long hair-like structures at the ovarian end, present to collect the released egg are damaged, the chances of fertilization are significantly reduced. Since IVF involves direct retrieval of eggs from the ovary and in-vitro fertilization, such damages won’t hamper the chances of pregnancy.
Pregnancy Despite Scar Tissues
If you have endometriosis, a condition where uterine tissues grow in places outside of the uterus- fallopian tubes and ovaries, then the chances of getting pregnant reduce after a tubal ligation. The case is the same for other scar tissues present near the ovaries, which might be a result of the tubectomy.
Women with such conditions have a higher risk of ectopic pregnancy, even if they conceive the natural way after tubal reversal. IVF in addition to increasing the chances of pregnancy reduces the risk of ectopic pregnancy in such cases.
Hope you got an answer to, ‘ can you do IVF if your tubes are tied’ and some other questions bugging you about IVF after tubal ligation. We tried giving you an insight into the IVF process so that you easily understand why it is possible to even after a tubal ligation surgery. In this article, we did not mean to scare you away from opting for a tubal reversal. You can very much keep that in your list of options.
However, opting for an IVF will save you from undergoing another surgery, its recovery period, and certain conditions that might potentially reduce the chances of pregnancy post the tubal reversal. You have a small window for your choice. Discuss thoroughly with your doctor and go with what they say. Trust them as they know what is best for you.