Friday Fertility Fundas: Can a woman with blocked tubes have a baby?
Fertility is a topic that most people shy away from talking about. But when it comes to burning questions that you are just too shy to ask someone face to face, we have the answers for you
Fertility is a topic that most people shy away from talking about. But when it comes to burning questions that you are just too shy to ask someone face to face, we have the answers for you; answered by our expert Dr Rajalaxmi Walavalkar: Consultant, IVF and reproductive surgery, Cocoon Fertility.
Here’s today’s question
Can a woman with blocked tubes have a biological baby?
Fallopian tubes connect the ovaries and the uterus and help carry an egg from an ovary to the uterus. Fertilisation happens when the egg is fertilized by the sperm and this happens in the fallopian tubes, so when blocked either partially or completely, it hampers conception and causes infertility
Fallopian tubes damage is typically seen in women who have suffered pelvic infections including sexually transmitted infections, endometriosis, scarring from previous pelvic surgeries, fibroids, previous ectopic pregnancy or appendicitis and ofcourse from previous tubal ligation operations. Sometimes the tubes may be partially damaged and there may be collection of fluid, called hydrosalpinx, in the tubes. Such tubes may appear open but are actually significantly damaged.
If the blocked tubes have been diagnosed at HSG ( Xray Test) or at an SSG ( ultrasound test) we recommend that a laparosopy be performed. This allows for a complete assessment and in event of a normal tube appearing closed due to external pressures, the external adhesion can be treated, thus giving an open tube.
As long as the your ovaries have a good ovarian reserve ( tested by AMH hormone and ultrasound for antral follicle count) you can have a biological child of your own. The question then arises -- tubal surgery Vs IVF for a biologically normal child?
This decision will depend on the degree and cause of tubal damage and age of the patient. Though technically possible, time taken to pregnancy, risk or re-blockage due to secondary scarring, risk of ectopic pregnancy, limit the acceptance of tubal surgery. IVF has become more affordable and accessible to patients with around 35-40% success at one attempt and indeed may be the option of choice for many couples.
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