Can You Still Get Pregnant With Your Tubes Tied?

Having a surgical sterilization, sometimes known as a tubal ligation or “having your tubes tied,” is generally very effective at preventing pregnancy. This procedure closes the fallopian tubes, through cutting, burning, or blocking with clips, bands, or rings. This blocking keeps the egg from traveling from the ovary to the uterus. In addition, it prevents sperm from reaching the fallopian tube. A tubal ligation is around 99.5% effective at preventing pregnancy. Still, it is not impossible for you to get pregnant with your tubes tied.

In some cases, after having your tubes tied, you can get pregnant when a small section of the fallopian tubes may grow back together. If this is the case, the egg could still travel through the tubes, where it could be met by sperm and become fertilized.

Another possibility for a woman who has had her tubes tied is an ectopic pregnancy. An ectopic pregnancy refers to a condition in which the egg, when fertilized, implants somewhere other than the uterus. The fertilized egg develops until it is big enough to cause pain for the mother. Generally, the fertilized egg attaches to the fallopian tubes, the cervix, or in the abdomen. For women with their tubes tied, an ectopic pregnancy is most likely to occur in the fallopian tubes. The fertilized egg cannot develop normally and receive nutrition in these locations. There is no procedure that can move a fertilized egg from one of these locations to the uterus.

Generally, an ectopic pregnancy will produce a positive pregnancy test. If your hCG levels are lower than expected, however, this can be a symptom of an ectopic pregnancy.

An ectopic pregnancy is treated surgically. The health care provider removes the fertilized egg from the woman’s body. This can be done laparoscopically, which is much less painful and evasive than traditional surgeries. If an ectopic pregnancy is detected extremely early, it can be treated with an injection which will dissolve the fertilized egg.

There are a couple of important factors to consider when thinking about having your tubes tied to reduce your chances of getting pregnant. Having your tubes tied does not protect against AIDS or other sexually transmitted diseases. In addition, while it is possible to have your tubes tied reversed, the reversal is not always successful. If you intend to have children in the future, having your tubes tied is probably not the best option.

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