Tubal Factor Infertility

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There are a number of reasons why women are unable to conceive children the “old fashioned” way. Just as there are numerous reasons why conception will not occur naturally, there are a number of ways to treat infertility and help women conceive the child they have always wanted. If you have been trying to get pregnant but have not been successful, the medical team at Houston IVF (in vitro fertilization) can help. Our clinic is home to some of the top infertility specialists in the country, and our Embryology team alone has over 50 years combined experience.

One cause of infertility is tubal factor. Tubal factor infertility is the term given to the inability to conceive due to tubal disease; tubal disease is responsible for 25-35% of female factor infertility (infertility due to an issue with the female, not the male).

Causes/Types of Tubal Disease

When a woman has tubal disease, her fallopian tubes are blocked or damaged. Tubal Factor Infertility is an abnormality that prevents the union of sperm and egg. Causes of tubal disease include pelvic infection, development of scar tissue from endometriosis, prior surgeries, a ruptured appendix or certain types of trauma. Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, commonly referred to as PID, if left untreated, can also cause tubal disease and lead to infertility. Tubal disease manifests itself in the following ways:

  • Proximal tubal occlusion prevents the sperm from reaching the part of the fallopian tube where fertilization typically takes place.
  • Distal tubal disease ranges from mild adhesions to complete blockage of the fallopian tubes.
  • Hydrosalpinx is acondition whereby a tube is filled with inflammatory fluid, caused by injury to one end of the tube that leads to obstruction. The tubal glands continue to produce fluid within the tube, and the fluid causes distension of the tube.

Diagnosis and Treatment of Tubal Factor Infertility

We use state-of-the-art technology to diagnose tubal factor infertility; a hysterosalpingogram (HSG) or laparoscopy can diagnose tubal factor infertility. Once you have received a confirmed diagnosis of tubal factor infertility, we will discuss treatments, which include surgery or vitro fertilization. We will also discuss with you the pros and cons of each and decide what option is best for you. Risks, success rates, side effects, recovery time, and possible complications will all be covered thoroughly with you, and all of your questions will be answered. Many of the patients at Houston IVF have experienced great success with in vitro fertilization.

IVF is a several-stage process, and should it be an option for you, the Houston IVF team will be by your side every step of the way. Because IVF is not inexpensive, you (and your partner, if applicable) will have to discuss how much you are willing to spend on the procedure(s). The success rate of the first IVF treatment varies according to a number of factors including age, previous pregnancies and general health, so more than one procedure may be required. Each Houston IVF patient has her own financial counselor who will work with you to address payment-related issues including insurance, pre-authorization and other payment arrangements.

If you want to conceive but have been unable to, please contact Houston IVF today to schedule an appointment, or you can even schedule your appointment online.  Please read Your First Visit so you’ll have a good idea of what to expect at your first appointment, and please call in advance if you have any questions or concerns.

Author: Katherine K. McKnight, M.D


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