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Unfortunately, it is possible to get unintentionally pregnant after a vasectomy or tubal ligation. Nothing in this world is 100 percent. Approximately 1 percent of women who've had tubes tied or cut will still get pregnant. Postpartum tubal ligation, one done just after delivery, is extremely effective, with pregnancy rates of just 0.7 percent.
For the men, approximately 2 to 10 in 1,000 who've had vasectomy and waited the three months for a negative sperm count will get a female partner pregnant. That means a failure rate of between 0.2 and 1 percent.
Now if you change your mind and want to get pregnant after a vasectomy or tubal, there are reversal procedures for both. However, the surgeries are complex and success rates are highly variable. So please be sure you're seeing a fertility expert.
Harvesting your eggs from the ovary or sperm from the testes and then doing IVF is more likely to result in pregnancy. IVF success rates are also highly variable and are affected by a patient's age.
So while vasectomies and tubal ligations are very successful at preventing pregnancies, nothing is 100 percent effective. If you've had one of these procedures but want to get pregnant, ask your doctor about the options we discussed.
Video production by Paige Bierma.