Houston Fertility Center

IVF for Obstructed Fallopian Tubes

By Sonja Kristiansen, MD on July 29, 2019

Talking with a fertility doctorDr. Sonja Kristiansen take pride in her work. Over the years, she has helped countless men and women in the greater Houston, TX, offering in vitro fertilization (IVF) to treat different infertility issues as well as various assisted reproduction procedures.

A number of women who meet with Dr. Kristiansen have blocked, damaged, or otherwise obstructed fallopian tubes. Let’s examine the issue in more detail and see how IVF can help.

Why Obstructed Fallopian Tubes Affect Fertility

When couples naturally attempt to conceive, the sperm travels through a woman’s uterus to the fallopian tubes, where a viable egg is waiting to be fertilized. When sperm cannot access the egg in the fallopian tubes, the egg cannot be fertilized.

There’s another issue to consider if the egg is successfully fertilized, however. The fertilized egg may not be able to reach the uterus. In these cases, the egg may simply fail, or it may attach to the fallopian tube, which can lead to a potentially deadly ectopic pregnancy.

Causes of Obstructed Fallopian Tubes

There are many different causes of blocked fallopian tubes. These include:

  • Endometriosis
  • Fibroids
  • Previous ectopic pregnancy
  • Previous surgery on the pelvis or abdomen
  • Inflammatory disease affecting the pelvis
  • Certain sexually transmitted diseases

Some women may also have intentionally blocked fallopian tubes as a birth control procedure. In these cases, a woman who has had her tubes tied may have second thoughts about the procedure, and may want to consider fertility treatment.

When Is IVF an Ideal Option?

If you have blocked fallopian tubes, IVF can help you have a child when it seemed otherwise unlikely. The fertilization of the eggs is accomplished in a lab, meaning that the sperm will not need to contend with obstructions, and the fertilized egg will not risk failure to implant or a possible ectopic pregnancy.

During your visit to Houston Fertility Center, we can assess your situation and note the cause of your blocked fallopian tubes. We can then determine if IVF or another type of fertility treatment would be best for you and your needs.

The IVF Procedure When Fallopian Tubes Are Obstructed

There are typically two options to consider when performing IVF on women with blocked fallopian tubes:

  • Traditional IVF - Fertility drugs are used to stimulate the production of viable eggs in the ovaries. When the eggs are ready, they will be extracted using a needle inserted through the vaginal wall. Fertilization then takes place in a lab. Once the embryo is ready, it is transferred to the uterus where it will implant.
  • IVF Using Donor Eggs - If the egg retrieval process is not an option for a patient, a donor egg can be used. This egg comes from a carefully screened third-party which the patient selects based on physical characteristics, education, and so forth. Using donor eggs, the IVF process continues as described, with a woman carrying a donor’s fertilized egg to term.

Is IVF Right for Me?

IVF is just one fertility treatment option, and it may turn out that another procedure is best for your needs. During your visit to our practice, we can go over all of your options for care and which might be most ideal for you. If IVF is not best given your goals, we’ll be more than happy to discuss all potential alternatives.

Learn More About Treating Female Infertility

If you are struggling to become pregnant and are looking for professional advice and treatment, be sure to contact a skilled fertility doctor. You can reach Houston Fertility Center by phone at (713) 862-6181.

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