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Hum Reprod. 2011 Feb;26(2):354-9. doi: 10.1093/humrep/deq326. Epub 2010 Nov 28.

Pregnancy outcomes and prognostic factors from tubal sterilization reversal by sutureless laparoscopical re-anastomosis: a retrospective cohort study.

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Department of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, Máxima Medical Centre, PO Box 7777, MB Veldhoven, The Netherlands.



Female sterilization is a widely used contraceptive method but in a small group of women, post-sterilization regret occurs. A dilemma for these women is the choice between surgical re-anastomosis and IVF. We evaluated the factors that affected pregnancy rate after laparoscopic tubal re-anastomosis for sterilization regret.


We included women who underwent a laparoscopic tubal re-anastomosis between January 1997 and March 2008 at Máxima Medical Centre, The Netherlands, in a retrospective cohort study. Microsurgical laparoscopic re-anastomosis was performed using a serosa-muscular fixation/biological glue technique. The primary outcome was time to clinical pregnancy (TTP). Other outcomes were ongoing pregnancy and ectopic pregnancy. We studied whether clinical characteristics, including age, fertility history, BMI, semen quality, remaining tubal length and type of anastomosis, could predict the chance of pregnancy.


Data from 127 patients were analysed. The 40-month cumulative clinical pregnancy rate was 74%, whereas the ongoing pregnancy rate was 59%. There were five ectopic pregnancies (3.9%). Only age was found to influence the probability of a positive pregnancy test, hazard rate ratio (HRR): 0.32 [95% confidence interval (CI) 0.12-0.88] and ongoing pregnancy [HRR 0.21 (95% CI 0.05-0.87)]. Previous pregnancy increased pregnancy probability [HRR: 2.2 (95% CI 0.51-9.8)]. A total sperm motility count of <20 million was related to prolonged TTP.


Sutureless laparoscopic tubal re-anastomosis is an effective treatment for women who regret sterilization. Age, previous pregnancies and sperm quality should be considered when counselling for tubal sterilization reversal versus IVF. A randomized prospective trial comparing success rates of surgical reversal and IVF after sterilization regret should be conducted.

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