Reversal of Sterilisation

What is reversal of sterilisation? 

Reversal of sterilisation is a surgical procedure performed to restore your fertility after you have had a sterilisation operation.

What is sterilisation?

Sterilisation is a surgical procedure performed to permanently prevent pregnancy. It involves applying clips to the Fallopian tubes. For many reasons, 5-10% of women want the sterilisation reversed. They may have a new partner or want additional children due to unforeseen circumstances.The reversal operation rejoins together each of the Fallopian tubes.

Who can have a reversal of sterilisation?

Women who have been sterilised using clips are likely to have the best chance of success. Women who have had a sterilisation operation where the tubes have been removed cannot have a reversal. All women requesting a reversal of sterilisation are treated with a totally non-judgemental attitude. No one can predict what is to happen in their lives and this service is offered to help individuals become fertile again.

Does a reversal of sterilisation work?

Reversal of sterilisation are most successful in women who had Filshie clips applied at the time of their sterilisation.

Main factors affecting success rates are:

  • A woman's age
  • Condition of the tubes
  • Regularity of the menstrual cycle
  • Fertility of partner
  • A problem with another part of the reproductive system

What happens during the operation? 

The procedure usually takes about 1-2 hours under general anaesthetic and involves precise surgery. The Fallopian tubes have very small internal openings and are best seen using magnification. This enables the surgeon to join the tubes together accurately using delicate stitches to give the best possible results.

The surgeon makes a bikini line incision approx 10-12cm in length across your lower abdomen (tummy). If you have been sterilised using clips, these are then removed and the Fallopian tubes are joined together in 2 layers. Occasionally it is only feasible to do the operation to one tube. The wound is closed in layers, a single skin stitch will be removed after 5 days.You should be able to get back to normal activities within a month.

What happens after the operation? 

You will be given painkillers to make you comfortable and will spend one to two nights in hospital. You will need someone to drive you home. You will need Ibuprofen and Paracetamol to keep you comfortable at home. These can be bought over the counter. You should take the first week at home very easy and then gradually get back to normal activities.

Possible Complications

At the time your doctor consents you for the treatment he will discuss possible complications with you, these may include: bruising around the wound which is common and does not need treatment. Occasionally infection occurs in the wound and you may need antibiotics.


If you miss a period and think you may be pregnant , perform a pregnancy test. When you are about 6 weeks pregnant you will need an ultrasound scan to make sure the pregnancy is in the womb.

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