Surgery for Tubal Factor Infertility

Tubal factor infertility surgery Tubal factor infertility surgery

Tubal issues can make it harder for you to get pregnant. In this article, we review several issues to consider regarding tubal surgery for tubal factor infertility problems.

What is tubal factor infertility?
Tubal factor infertility is disease or damage of the fallopian tubes that prevents the sperm and the egg from meeting, preventing pregnancy. With tubal factor infertility, your fallopian tubes might be completely or partially blocked. Also, you might have one tube obstructed and one open.

What causes tubal factor infertility?
The most common reasons for tubal factor infertility are:

  • STDs (such as a Gonorrhea or Chlamydia infection)
  • Endometriosis
  • Previous pelvic or abdominal surgery
  • A prior C-section
  • Previous tubal surgery such as for reversal of tied tubes or ectopic pregnancy
  • Tubal ligation and other types of elective sterilization

Some women may have tubal factor infertility without having any risk factors or any identifiable causes.

How do you treat tubal factor infertility?
The primary two treatment options for tubal disease are tubal surgery or in vitro fertilization (IVF).

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. For severely damaged tubes, tubal surgery may not be effective. IVF may be the treatment of choice. One of the positives about IVF is that you may be able to get pregnant without any reconstructive surgery. However, your fertility doctor may recommend that you have tubal reconstructive surgery before trying IVF.

For women who are older, have extensive tubal or pelvic pathology, or have a narrow reproductive window, IVF should be considered before tubal surgery. The time required for tubal surgery may just compromise a woman’s ability to conceive, since IVF success rates decline with age. Your doctor will explain these options to you, and help you decide whether tubal surgery is right for you.

Authored by Dr. Brian Barnett and Dr. Lowell Ku, infertility specialists at Dallas IVF