Reversal of Sterilisation. Mr Mostafa Metwally answers the FAQs...
Mr Mostafa Metwally, Consultant Gynaecologist
Claremont Clinics: Tuesday PM
I have had a sterilisation and at the time it felt that it was the right thing to do but things have now changed and I would like to try for another baby. Can I have the sterilisation reversed?
Yes, in most cases sterilisation can be reversed although this is not available on the NHS. There are many types of sterilisation although using small clips on the tubes is the most commonly performed operation. The possibility of doing a reversal will depend largely on the type of sterilisation you have had done.
What does reversal of sterilisation involve?
The fallopian tubes are very small tubular structures. Delicate surgery using an operative microscope is required to stitch the two parts of the tube back together again as seamlessly as possible. This operation is done through open surgery with a small abdominal cut, similar to a Caesarean section.
How successful is the operation?
Provided the surgery to reconnect the tubes goes well and you and your partner don’t have any other infertility issues, the success rates for pregnancy can be quite good and similar to how it was before having the surgery in the range of 50-70%. Bear in mind, however, that it doesn’t work for every patient.
What is the recovery time after the surgery?
The recovery time will be similar to having a Caesarean section, about five to six weeks, however, there is no reason why you cannot start trying for a baby once you feel ready.
Are there any risks to a pregnancy achieved after having a reversal?
Once the tubes have been sterilised, there is always a degree of scarring and this may increase the chance of having an ectopic pregnancy afterwards. I would always advise my patients to have an ultrasound scan in the early stages of pregnancy, around six weeks, to ensure that the pregnancy is placed normally within the cavity of the womb rather than the tube.
Do I have any other options?
When you have had a sterilisation, you have two options if you would like to try again for a pregnancy. One of them is having the operation reversed and the second would be to have IVF. This is why it is important to see a doctor who specialises in both these techniques so that they can advise you on which one would be most suitable in your particular case as many other factors need to be taken into consideration including your age and the quality of your partner’s sperm.
An initial consultation with Mr Metwally costs £200 Claremont if you don't have health insurance. To book an appointment, just call our friendly Private Patient Team on 0114 263 2114. You will need a referral letter from your GP or you can see one of our Private GPs quickly for this if you prefer.
Copyright Mostafa Metwally, 2017.