Causes - Tubal - Treatment
Tubal factor infertility affects 1 in 4 infertile couples in the United States, making it far too common. Read on for information about tubal factor infertility screening and treatment.
Two common tests for tubal factor infertility include:
- Hysterosalpingogram (HSG)
This x-ray screening tool can show your fertility doctor if you have any tubal abnormalities or tubal blockages. If you do, you may need to follow up with a laparoscopy.
A laparoscopy is a minimally invasive surgery that shows your doctor if you have any tubal blockage or damage. This procedure requires general anesthesia, as your doctor will need to make a slight incision in your abdomen. He or she will insert a laparoscope into your abdomen to view your pelvic region and make a diagnosis. Once your diagnosis is complete, surgery is usually the treatment of choice.
There are basically two treatment options for women with tubal disease:
- Tubal surgery to repair, reconstruct or remove your fallopian tube(s)
- In vitro fertilization (IVF)
Tubal reconstructive surgery
If you have minimal tubal damage you may qualify for tubal reconstructive surgery. This surgery is often successful for many women, helping them conceive naturally. If you have a tubal blockage where the uterus and tube are joined, your fertility doctor can open the area. He or she will perform a procedure known as selective tubal canulation or transcervical tubal canulation. This may be one of the easiest ways to restore your fertility. Tubal surgery can reduce scar tissue build-up in the fallopian tubes, restoring tubal health and fertility. This surgery can also help many women with endometriosis, a condition that causes fertility problems for 1 in 3 infertile women.
In vitro fertilization
In vitro fertilization can help some women with moderate to severe tubal damage get pregnant and should always be considered the preferred treatment of choice for woman who are older, or who have a narrow reproductive window. During IVF, your fertility doctor extracts healthy eggs from your ovaries, fertilizes them in a lab setting, and then transfers a healthy embryo directly into your uterus. If you have tubal infertility, IVF can help you get pregnant by bypassing your fallopian tubes altogether, helping you get pregnant without any reconstructive surgery. At times, however, fertility doctors recommend tubal reconstructive surgery before IVF. In some cases, women need complete removal of the fallopian tubes to have success with IVF.
Tips for conceiving if you have tubal problems
Ask your fertility doctor for information about tubal factor infertility treatment options that might work for you. Carefully weigh the risks and benefits of each procedure before you make your final decision.