Contraception guide

Can I get a sterilisation reversal on the NHS?

Female sterilisation is considered a permanent form of contraception. The operation involves cutting, sealing or blocking the fallopian tubes. This prevents the eggs from reaching the uterus (womb) where they could become fertilised, resulting in pregnancy.

Reversing female sterilisation

Female sterilisation can be reversed, but it is a very difficult process that involves removing the blocked part of the fallopian tube and rejoining the ends. There is no guarantee that you will be fertile again (be able to get pregnant) after a sterilisation reversal.

The success rates of female sterilisation reversal depend on factors such as age and the method that was used in the original operation. For example, if your tubes were clipped rather than tied, a successful reversal is more likely. The current success rate of sterilisation reversal is between 50 to 60%. This means that out of 100 women who have a sterilisation reversal, 50 to 60 will become fertile again.

Availability

Sterilisation reversal is not usually available on the NHS. If it is available in your area, there may be a very long waiting list. Speak to your GP for more information.

It is possible to have a sterilisation reversal done privately, although it will cost in the region of £4,500-£5,500. Again, there is no guarantee that the procedure will be successful.

If a sterilisation reversal is not possible, fertility treatment such as IVF may be an option. The cost will depend upon the treatment you have and you should consult your GP for further advice. As with a reversal, there is no guarantee that fertility treatment will be successful.

For these reasons, sterilisation is only usually recommended if you are completely sure that you no longer want children. Before deciding to be sterilised, you should also consider the other options that are available to you.

Long-acting contraception

Long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) methods, such as the contraceptive implantcontraceptive injection and IUD (intrauterine device, or coil), may be more suitable if you do not want to get pregnant in the next few years but you decide to in the future.

vasectomy (male sterilisation) is another possibility, and it might be a better option if you and your partner already have children and you do not want to have any more.

Page last reviewed: 08/07/2013

Next review due: 07/07/2015

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The 1 comments posted are personal views. Any information they give has not been checked and may not be accurate.

danpoppyrose said on 14 July 2014

My husband had a vasectomy two yrs ago i try to tell him that i was not happy when he had it done our relasionship struggled we stayed together because i love him. He has realised he has made a big mistake and wants it reversed could we get it done on the nhs? Please can someone help us

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