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Can you get pregnant after a tubal ligation?

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Quick Answer

WebMD explains that although a tubal ligation is a permanent form of birth control, pregnancy occurs in less than 2% of women who have had this procedure. The procedure is thus not a perfect preventive measure to stop pregnancy.

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Full Answer

Tubal ligation, or "having one's tubes tied," is a procedure where an ob/gyn or surgeon cuts and ties or cauterizes a woman's Fallopian tubes, thereby preventing eggs from entering the uterus. Sperm have no access to the eggs, and pregnancy is thereby prevented. A woman's hormone production and menstrual cycle should not be affected by a tubal ligation. WebMD states that a tubal ligation is reversible and has a higher success rate than male vasectomy reversals.

During a tubal ligation reversal procedure, the Fallopian tubes are untied, reconnected or reopened, which allows sperm through to fertilize the egg, according to WebMD. Whether a woman is a candidate for the procedure depends on her age, the type of tubal ligation that was performed, the overall health of the woman and the health of her ovaries, Fallopian tubes and uterus. In particular, the length of the remaining Fallopian tubes is important, since they will affect the success of the procedure. Women seeking the procedure who are younger than 40 and had the procedure during the postpartum period are good candidates.

The procedure is typically performed on an outpatient basis with the use of a laparaoscope, notes WebMD. This allows the surgeon to use minimally invasive techniques to restore the functionality of the tubes.

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