What You Need to Know About Permanent Birth Control

3. It might be reversible, but it might not be

couple meeting with a female doctor

There’s no guarantee a procedure is reversible. | iStock.com

While the idea of permanently avoiding unwanted pregnancy might spur people to sign up immediately, it’s not the type of decision anyone should make lightly. More and more people are finding they regret their decision, opting for reversals after changing their minds about rearing children. While these procedures exist, they don’t guarantee you’ll be able to have kids. Johns Hopkins Medicine says only 50% to 80% of women become pregnant after reversing tubal ligation.

As for those who opt for Essure, it’s really hard to say. Because the treatment is so new, information about pregnancy rates after removal is shaky at best. In-vitro fertilization, however, is still an option.

Men tend to have more success, but there’s still no guarantee he’ll be able to father children. Part of it depends on the method of reversal. According to a recent review, anywhere from 72% to 96% of men can expect to reopen the blockage. This still doesn’t guarantee pregnancy, though. The same review reported pregnancy rates of 28% to 40%. It’s maybe more important to note the studies referenced have all been relatively small. For all we know, the chances of successfully becoming pregnant could be significantly higher or lower.

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