For intended parents that hope to build families, in vitro fertilization (IVF) and other state-of-the-art procedures to overcome hurdles to parenthood.
A number of women who come to our practice experience infertility as a result of blocked fallopian tubes. Getting pregnant in such situations can be near impossible, and potentially dangerous. Let’s take a moment to consider why this condition occurs and how IVF can help.
What is Fallopian Tube Obstruction?
A fallopian tube blockage refers to cases in which one or both fallopian tubes are obstructed in some manner. When this happens, sperm cannot reach a viable egg waiting to be fertilized.
If sperm does manage to reach the egg, the egg will usually not be able to leave the fallopian tube and implant in the uterus as it naturally would. Should this happen, the egg could implant in the fallopian tube resulting in an ectopic pregnancy, which is potentially life-threatening.
Causes of Blocked Fallopian Tubes
There are numerous causes of fallopian tube blockage. Some of these include:
- Endometriosis - When a woman has endometriosis, the tissue that normally forms within the uterus develops outside the uterus. This can cause cysts and scar tissue to form around the fallopian tubes.
- Fibroids - Fibroids are noncancerous growths that could develop within the fallopian tubes, causing obstructions.
- Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) - Infections of the pelvis could cause scar tissue that leads to obstruction of the fallopian tubes.
- Prior Ectopic Pregnancy - If you have had a past ectopic pregnancy, it could lead to damage and blockage of the fallopian tubes.
- Prior Abdominal or Pelvic Surgery - Surgical procedures can potentially lead to the formation of scar tissue that negatively impacts the fallopian tubes.
- Certain Sexually Transmitted Diseases - STDs such as gonorrhea and chlamydia can lead to pelvic inflammation, scar tissue, and obstruction of fallopian tubes.
- Tubal Ligation - A form of permanent birth control, some women have their tubes tied in order to prevent pregnancy.
Getting Pregnant with Blocked Fallopian Tubes with IVF
If you suffer from tubal blockage, IVF allows your fertility specialist to circumvent the fallopian tubes altogether and insert embryo(s) within the intended mother's uterus following fertilization with the intended father's (or donor's) sperm.
This means that women with blocked fallopian tubes can still become pregnant through IVF, even if one or both fallopian tubes are blocked!
What Happens During IVF?
During the IVF procedure, viable eggs are retrieved from a woman's body after monitoring visits, testing, ovarian stimulation and cycle synchronization.
These retrieved eggs are then fertilized with sperm in a lab setting, and the intended parents can choose to screen the embryos for quality and gender through a technique called preimplantation genetic screening (PGS). When ready, some of the resulting embryos are transferred to a woman’s uterus to implant and be carried to term.
How Successful is IVF with Blocked Fallopian Tubes?
The success rates of IVF can vary from patient to patient. According to WebMD, the pregnancy rate for all IVF cycles is somewhere around 27.3 percent. That said, women under 35 typically experience higher rates of success, which is common given the normal nature of fertility. At PFCLA, we're proud to have some of the highest success rates across the nation.
Is IVF Right For Me?
The best way to find out if IVF is ideal for your needs is to schedule a complimentary consultation at PFCLA. We can discuss the infertility struggles you’ve faced and evaluate your candidacy for fertility treatment. Contact us today to learn more about your fertility treatment options.
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