Surrogacy After Tubal Ligation (Tubes Tied)


Tubal ligation, commonly known as having one’s “tubes tied,” is a common form of permanent birth control in the United States. While the procedure does boast an impressive success rate at avoiding pregnancy in most instances, the procedure has no impact on a woman’s ability to be a successful surrogate. Here’s why.

In traditional pregnancies, the body will release an egg from the ovary. It will then travel through the fallopian tubes and into the awaiting uterus. Then, if fertilization occurs, the newly created embryo will grow in the uterus.

In gestational surrogacy, a woman graciously lends her uterus to a couple in need through an In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) pregnancy. In these pregnancies, an egg is taken from another woman, either the intended parent or an egg donor, and joined with sperm outside of the body to create an embryo. Later, typically on the third, fifth, or sixth day following embryo creation, the embryo is placed into the uterus of a waiting surrogate.

Since, in gestational surrogacy, the embryo is not introduced to the uterus until it is already formed, there is no need for a fallopian tube to even exist. In fact, a woman could be lacking tubes entirely and still conceive and carry a healthy child through IVF and gestational surrogacy.

Even more interesting is the fact that the person who supplies the eggs for embryo creation doesn’t have to have fallopian tubes, either. Egg donors and intended parents can also have their tubes tied and go on to successfully donate eggs to the IVF and surrogacy process. This is because the egg retrieval process removes the eggs from the ovaries before the body releases them into the fallopian tubes on its own.

Ultimately, you can not only be a successful surrogate with tied tubes, but a healthy child could be created, conceived, and carried without a single fallopian tube needed.

Kim Bergman, PhD, a licensed psychologist of 26 years, has specialized in the area of gay and lesbian parenting, parenting by choice and third party assisted reproduction for over two decades. Dr. Bergman has created a comprehensive psychological screening, support and monitoring process for intended parents, surrogates and donors. She is the co-owner of Growing Generations and is a member of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, the American Psychological Association, the Los Angeles County Psychological Association, the Lesbian and Gay Psychotherapy Association, and the Gay and Lesbian Medical Association. She is on the national Emeritus board of the Family Equality Council. Dr. Bergman writes, teaches and speaks extensively on parenting by choice. Along with co-authors, she published “Gay Men Who Become Fathers via Surrogacy: The Transition to Parenthood” (Journal of GLBT Family Studies, April 2010). Dr. Bergman’s is the author of the book, Your Future Family: The Essential Guide to Assisted Reproduction (Conari Press 2019) as well as the children's book You Began as a Wish (Independent Press 2019). Dr. Bergman created her own family using third party assisted reproduction and she lives with her wife of 35 years. She has two adult daughters.