Can Tubal Factor Infertility Be Avoided?
If your fallopian tubes become blocked, or do not work properly, you may have tubal factor infertility. This condition can make it difficult, if not impossible, to conceive naturally. However, there are some ways to avoid this serious fertility problem.
Tubal problems and infertility
Approximately 25 percent of all diagnosed infertility in the United States includes a tubal factor; this is a really high statistic when you take into account that most cases of this type of infertility can be completely and easily avoided.
How your fallopian tubes work
Did you ever stop to think about how your fallopian tubes work? In order for you to get pregnant, your fallopian tubes have a specific, precise job to do. Connecting the ovaries to the uterus, your fallopian tubes help sperm get all the way from your uterus to the egg waiting near your ovaries. Inside the fallopian tubes, your body creates the perfect environment for conception to take place. Fine hairs and slick fluid help transport the fertilized egg back to the uterus, with hopes for implantation.
Problems with fallopian tubes
If you have scar tissue or another blockage in your fallopian tubes, sperm won't be able to travel through the tubes to fertilize your egg. Even if the sperm can get to the egg, the fertilized egg may not be able to travel back down to the uterus for implantation.
Causes of tubal factor infertility problems
The primary causes of tubal factor infertility are damage and disease. Below are three common problems that can lead to tubal factor infertility:
- Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
Pelvic inflammatory disease typically results from exposure to sexually transmitted infections (STI's), most notably, Gonorrhea and Chlamydia. PID can also be caused by bacteria that isn't transmitted sexually or intestinal infections including appendicitis.
- Scar tissue
Scar tissue can stem from problems with endometriosis or a number of surgeries. Thankfully, surgery trends are leaning towards minimally invasive surgical procedures, like laparoscopy. This procedure uses a small incision, which can reduce the chances of scar tissue in the tubes.
- Tubal ligation (tying your tubes)
It may seem obvious that tubal ligation will affect your fallopian tubes, but this is one way to certify that your tubes are severed, sealed, or pinched shut. As a result, you will be infertile.
Tips to help you avoid tubal factor infertility
- Get checked for STIs! Some diseases that cause problems leading to tubal factor infertility can be easily screened at your doctor's office. Gonorrhea and Chlamydia do not always cause symptoms. This means that you may never get tested or treated for these infections. 50 percent of Gonorrhea and 70 percent of Chlamydia cases are asymptomatic.
- If you have an STI and catch it early there will be no long-term consequences. These infections never resolve on their own. Lack of treatment may lead to increased risk for tubal factor infertility and ectopic pregnancy.
- To reduce the risk of STI’s, use condoms every time you have sex
If you are sexually active, make sure you are screened for STIs on a regular basis, which can help you avoid fertility problems like tubal factor infertility.
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