Dear Dr. Kate, Can I Have My Tubes Untied?

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Dr. Kate is an OB/GYN at one of the largest teaching hospitals in New York City and she answers your medical questions here once a week. To ask her your own question, click here.

Dear Dr. Kate,

My tubes been tied for fifteen years and I’m really thinking about getting them untied. I’m 37 and would like to have another baby before I turn 40. If I do this, what are my chances that I will have a successful surgery?

— In Knots

Dear IK,

Fifty-fifty at best. Tubal sterilization reversal is a skilled surgery that few doctors are able to perform. And the financial outlook is tough: Depending on where you live, it costs about $10,000, is never covered by medical insurance, and works approximately 50% of the time. Sounds dismal, I know. Add that to the fact that it’s harder to conceive over age 35, and you may have a tough road ahead. Another option is in-vitro fertilization—depending again on which state you’re in, it costs between $6,000 and $10,000 a cycle, and your tubes can stay sterilized. I would have a consultation with a reproductive endocrinologist—they can give you all the information about both a tubal reversal and about the IVF option.

— Dr. Kate

dr_kate_100Dr. Kate is an OB/GYN at one of the largest teaching hospitals in New York City. She also lectures nationally on women’s health issues and conducts research on reproductive health. Check out more of her advice and ask her a question at Gynotalk.com.