Fast track your treatment
To book an appointment or speak with one of our friendly team, please get in touch using the options below
Surgery to restore your fertility after sterilisation
It is also known as tubal ligation reversal, tubal reanastomosis, or tubal sterilisation reversal.
Reversal of female sterilisation is a complex procedure and more difficult to perform than the initial sterilisation surgery. There is no guarantee that you will get pregnant after the procedure. Currently, between 50% and 80% of women get pregnant after reversal of female sterilisation.
Call or book online today to arrange a consultation to discuss private reversal of female sterilisation with a consultant of your choice at Circle Health Group.
This page explains what a reversal of female sterilisation is, what happens during the procedure and what to expect during your recovery.
Female sterilisation is a surgical procedure where a woman's fallopian tubes are blocked or cut to permanently prevent conception and pregnancy.
The operation can be performed in several ways:
Female sterilisation is intended as a permanent contraceptive procedure for women who do not want to have children or have had children and do not want any more.
A change of circumstances may mean that some women decide they do want to have children after sterilisation, and between 5% and 10% of women choose to have their sterilisation reversed.
Reversal of sterilisation is not possible if your fallopian tubes have been removed with a procedure called a salpingectomy.
Some factors that can influence the success of your reversal of sterilisation include:
Your consultant will ask you some questions about your age, general health, and your original sterilisation procedure. If possible, bring any documentation you have from your sterilisation with you to your appointment.
Your consultant may ask:
Your consultant may arrange for blood tests and imaging scans such as an MRI or ultrasound to check that your womb and ovaries are normal. They may request a procedure called a hysterosalpingogram (HSG) to check the length and viability of your fallopian tubes.
Your consultant may also recommend that your partner has tests like a semen analysis and sperm count to rule out any fertility issues on their part.
At Circle Health Group, your first appointment is very important as it's where we get to know you, discuss your expectations for treatment and provide an individualised treatment plan.
It is important to us that you are as well-informed and comfortable as possible before, during, and after your treatment, so please ask your consultant any questions you may have.
At the end of your appointment, your consultant will advise you on whether a reversal of female sterilisation is suitable for you based on your age, general health, the type of sterilisation you had and the results of any tests or scans.
The main benefit of a reversal of female sterilisation is that if successful, it allows you to get pregnant naturally without the need for techniques such as in-vitro fertilisation (IVF).
Other benefits include:
Your consultant will tell you everything you need to do to prepare for your surgery. If there's anything you're not sure about, or if you have any questions about how to prepare for your surgery, speak to your consultant or call the hospital for advice. Being well-prepared for your surgery will ease any anxiety you may have as well as help your surgery and recovery to go more smoothly.
Before your surgery, tell your consultant about any medical conditions or allergies you have and any medication, including over-the-counter medicines you are taking.
Your consultant may tell you to stop taking some medications like blood thinners before your operation. This is to reduce the risk of bleeding during and after your surgery.
You will not be able to eat or drink anything from midnight on the day of your operation.
Being in optimal health before your surgery can reduce the risk of complications and speed up your recovery.
To make sure you are as healthy as possible before your surgery:
Your consultant will make a cut across your lower abdomen, known as a bikini-line incision. Any clips or rings are removed, and the ends of your fallopian tubes are reconnected to your uterus (womb) using tiny stitches. Your consultant will inject a dye through your uterus to check the tubes are properly connected. The incision is closed, and a sterile dressing is applied.
Reversal of female sterilisation normally takes between one and two hours.
After your surgery, you'll be taken to the recovery room where your heart rate, blood pressure, blood oxygen level and breathing are monitored closely as you come around from the anaesthetic. When you are fully recovered you will be taken to your room.
Your consultant will be able to give you an estimated recovery timeline based on your individual circumstances.
You may have some pain for a few days after your surgery. Your healthcare team will give you regular painkillers while you are in hospital to help manage any post-operative pain. Please let a member of staff know if you experience any pain or discomfort after your procedure.
After you are discharged, you can continue to take an over-the-counter painkiller like paracetamol or ibuprofen if needed.
Most people spend one to two nights in hospital after a reversal of female sterilisation.
You will not be able to drive yourself home from hospital after your surgery. Please make arrangements for someone to come and collect you, or we can organise a taxi if you prefer.
How soon you can go back to work after your surgery depends on what happened during your procedure, your individual recovery, and the type of job you do. We recommend taking at least a week or two off work after your operation, longer if your job is very physical or involves heavy lifting. Talk to your consultant about when you can expect to go back to work after your surgery.
You should not drive until you can safely control your vehicle and perform an emergency stop comfortably. This is normally around a week after your surgery. Driving before you are ready could be dangerous and may invalidate your insurance. Make sure you get permission from your consultant and your insurance company before driving after surgery.
Recovery from surgery is different for everyone and it's important that you go at your own pace during your recovery. We recommend that you rest at home for the first week after your procedure and then gradually resume normal activities. Avoid heavy lifting or sexual intercourse until your consultant tells you it's safe.
Most people are able to resume most daily activities within a month.
As with all types of surgery, reversal of female sterilisation carries a small risk of complications. Your consultant will explain all the possible risks and complications before your surgery and answer any questions you may have about your procedure. Being as well-informed as possible about what to expect from your surgery will help put your mind at rest and allow you to make an informed decision, so please ask any questions you may have.
Possible complications of any surgery include:
Possible complications specific to reversal of female sterilisation include:
If you would like to see a consultant or learn more about reversal of female sterilisation book your appointment online today or call a member of our team directly on 0141 300 5009.
Content reviewed by Circle in-house team in March 2023. Next review due March 2026.