With permanent birth control comes regret, studies show

Options regarding tubal reversal


Nearly half of all pregnancies each year are unintended and many women who are finished having their families will opt for a permanent birth control solution.

According to a National Survey of Family Growth study done in 2002, 10.3 million women rely on female sterilization for birth control.

But up anywhere from .09% to 26% of women will regret their decision to seek permanent sterilization.

"In many cases, that's because of a change in circumstances, such as remarrying and wanting to have children with a new partner," said Dr. Jeffery Goldberg, a surgeon and fertility expert who co-authored a paper on this topic in the Obstetrics and Gynecology Review in 2008.

The paper, done at Harvard Medical School, reports that women under 30 are the most likely to have regret following a tubal ligation operation. 

At the Cleveland Clinic, Dr. Goldeberg performs many tubal reversal procedures because most are reversible.

However, one type of original procedure — hysteroscopic tubal ligation — is irreversible. 

Goldberg performs minilaparotomy — a minimally invasive outpatient procedure, that requires an incision of only 2 inches and has the same success rates as more invasive techniques.

Prior to getting a female sterilization, Goldberg recommends having your partner's fertility checked with a semen analysis, if his results are poor the chances of natural conception are poor.