It is not uncommon for women to wish to reverse ligation surgery, and many women undergo surgery to do this each year. The surgical approach is extremely successful, with less than 15% of women opting for the procedure finding that they are unable to conceive.
However, some women do not wish to undergo further surgery – it is invasive, it can take a couple of weeks to recover fully, and there are associated risks (as there is with any type of surgery).
For other women, there is concern regarding tubal ligation reversal cost – while some countries offer the surgery for free, or as part of your normal health insurance package, others will expect you to pay for the procedure, which can be expensive.
You may just wish to try to conceive naturally before going down the surgical route – if this is the case, what are your options?
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Natural Conception Following Ligation
If you are wondering how to get pregnant after tubal ligation without reversal, believe it or not, your first option may be to do nothing! For some women, after a period of time, the surgery basically fails – this means that the cut fallopian tube simply heals itself.
This is far more common in women who have had the procedure done in their twenties. At this age, the body’s natural healing mechanism is far more aggressive, and this is one of the reasons that ligation is not usually advised for women under 28. It is estimated that as many as 5% of women in this age bracket will experience natural conception following ligation with no additional attempt to become pregnant. As you age, the probability of this happening becomes lower, as your fertility and your body’s ability to heal itself naturally declines. This does not mean that it is impossible to reverse tubal ligation naturally after your twenties, but it does make it more unlikely.
Your first step if you are considering pregnancy following ligation should be to visit your Doctor or Family Planning Clinic – they will be able to refer you for tests to see if your ligation is still in place. If this is not the case, then no further action will usually be required – you can just begin attempting to conceive naturally, and no tubal ligation reversal will be required.
What Are My Options if My Ligation Is Still in Place?
Some women believe that they have conceived naturally following ligation by using something called self-fertility massage.
This is a method by which you regularly massage yourself in the area of your uterus (lower abdomen). Proponents of this practice believe that it can cure a range of fertility issues, including ligation.
The theory behind it is that it helps to improve blood flow to the uterus and fallopian tubes, which in turn causes improved reproductive health.
You will be able to find many, many instructional videos and manuals on this topic online – they are frequently low cost or free, and there seem to be lots of different methods of applying the massage.
Although evidence that self-fertility massage actually works is mostly anecdotal, it is highly unlikely that the massage would cause you any harm. This means that if you would like to attempt to conceive naturally before going down the surgical reversal path, it’s an ideal choice – it’s non-invasive, non-harmful and may actually help your tubes to heal.
The worst case scenario is that it won’t work. This can only be problematic if you are older and attempting to conceive. If this is the case for you, you may wish to carefully consider your options before taking part in potentially lengthy processes for natural conception.
Another method which some women claim has worked for them is castor oil therapy. This is a type of natural therapy whereby a cloth soaked in castor oil (sometimes known as a castor oil pack) is placed over the area in which the patient wishes to be ‘healed’.
It has been believed for many years that castor oil promotes increased natural healing, and this is the theory behind this practice. Some women may wish to take the oil orally – if you decide to do this, follow the dosage recommendations closely. The oil is a natural laxative, and there is some evidence that it can make you very unwell in high doses.
In all honesty, placing a cloth soaked in castor oil over your abdomen is highly unlikely to have any effect on your fallopian tubes. It is improbable that it will penetrate further than your skin, and even if it did, there is no way of knowing if it ever actually reaches your tubes There is also no scientific evidence that castor oil has any real effect on increased rates of healing.
However, this is another method which is unlikely to have any adverse side effects, so trying it is not going to cause any harm.
What Is the Conclusion?
In simple terms, there is no harm in trying natural ligation reversal methods. However, there is no clinical data to suggest that any of the natural methods actually work. If time is important to you (for example, if you are older and attempting to conceive), you may not wish to attempt potentially lengthy processes with no guarantee of success.
In their favor, they will not decrease your fertility or cause you any direct harm, so if you are in your twenties using one of these methods might be worth a try. It would probably be wise to set a cutoff point (e.g. if you have not conceived within a year, you should probably consider going to your GP or clinic for further advice).
In any event, regardless of age or fertility, you should take the advice of your clinician prior to attempting to conceive; as previously discussed there are cases where ligation reverses itself naturally. If you are lucky enough to be one of these women, you should be able to conceive with no additional intervention.