Skip to main content
CNN.com CNN.com -- Health
ASK AN EXPERT
Got a question about a health story in the news or a health topic? Here's your chance to get an answer. Send us your questions about general health topics, diet and fitness and mental health. If your question is chosen, it could be featured on CNN.com's health page with an answer from one of our health experts, or by a participant in the CNNhealth community.




* CNN encourages you to contribute a question. By submitting a question, you agree to the following terms found below.
You may not post any unlawful, threatening, libelous, defamatory, obscene, pornographic or other material that would violate the law. By submitting your question, you hereby give CNN the right, but not the obligation, to post, air, edit, exhibit, telecast, cablecast, webcast, re-use, publish, reproduce, use, license, print, distribute or otherwise use your questions(s) and accompanying personal identifying and other information you provide via all forms of media now known or hereafter devised, worldwide, in perpetuity. CNN Privacy Statment.
Thank you for your question!

It will be reviewed and considered for posting on CNNHealth.com. Questions and comments are moderated by CNN and will not appear until after they have been reviewed and approved. Unfortunately, because of the voume of questions we receive, not all can be posted.

Submit another question or Go back to CNNHealth.com

Read answers from our experts: Living Well | Diet & Fitness | Mental Health | Conditions

Expert Q&A

  • Share this on:
    Share
  • E-mail
  • Save
  • Print

Is pregnancy still possible if your tubes are tied?

Asked by Sherry, Illinois

Open quote
Close quote

Is it possible for a woman to still get pregnant after having her tubes tied?

Expert Bio Picture

Living Well Expert Dr. Jennifer Shu Pediatrician,
Children's Medical Group

Expert Answer:

There is a very small chance of becoming pregnant after having fallopian tube sterilization. More than 1 million women have the procedure each year, and according to the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, the risk of getting pregnant is less than 1 percent.

Tubal sterilization aims to prevent pregnancy by blocking an egg and sperm from meeting in the fallopian tube. The procedure may include either cutting and removing a portion of the tubes, using an electric current to burn (cauterize) part of the tubes, sealing off the tubes with a ring or clip, or inserting an implant that creates scar tissue that will eventually block the tubes.

Depending on the type of procedure used, the sterilization may be effective right away or may take a few months to work. Sometimes, a special X-ray test called a hysteropsalpingogram must be performed to make sure the tubes are completely blocked.

If a pregnancy does occur following tubal sterilization, it is more likely to happen if the clip method was used. The risk is also higher in women who had the sterilization done before the age of 30, as well as in women who had an implant placed but did not follow up with the X-ray test to confirm blockage of the tubes.

Pregnancies following tubal sterilization are often "ectopic," which means that the fertilized egg grows outside of the uterus, most commonly in a fallopian tube. Ectopic pregnancies must be treated immediately to prevent harm to the pregnant woman, so it's important to consult with an obstetrician right away if you suspect a pregnancy following tubal sterilization.

Your obstetrician can talk with you in more detail about the risks and benefits of the different types of tubal sterilization, how soon the sterilization is expected to take effect, whether back-up birth control needs to be used for a short period after the procedure, and the chances of becoming pregnant afterward for your specific situation.

More Q&A

  • CNN's Medical UnitCNN's medical unit brings you the best experts available to answer your questions about current events and health issues that matter most to you.
What are the potential problems with ovarian cysts?asked by: Asked by Jane Coles; Virginia
Why do I no longer need an antibiotic before teeth cleaning?asked by: Asked by Janet; Leeds
How frequently should a man urinate daily?asked by: Asked by Brian; Canada
Quick Job Search
keyword(s):
enter city:

CNN Comment Policy: CNN encourages you to add a comment to this discussion. You may not post any unlawful, threatening, defamatory, obscene, pornographic or other material that would violate the law. All comments should be relevant to the topic and remain respectful of other authors and commenters. You are solely responsible for your own comments, the consequences of posting those comments, and the consequences of any reliance by you on the comments of others. By submitting your comment, you hereby give CNN the right, but not the obligation, to post, air, edit, exhibit, telecast, cablecast, webcast, re-use, publish, reproduce, use, license, print, distribute or otherwise use your comment(s) and accompanying personal identifying and other information you provide via all forms of media now known or hereafter devised, worldwide, in perpetuity. CNN Privacy Statement.

The information contained on this page does not and is not intended to convey medical advice. CNN is not responsible for any actions or inaction on your part based on the information that is presented here. Please consult a physician or medical professional for personal medical advice or treatment.

Home  |  World  |  U.S.  |  Politics  |  Crime  |  Entertainment  |  Health  |  Tech  |  Travel  |  Living  |  Money  |  Sports  |  Time.com
© 2014 Cable News Network. Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. All Rights Reserved.