Treatment for Blocked Fallopian Tubes
If you are looking for treatment for blocked fallopian tubes, you will be pleased to find that there are two highly effective treatments used by fertility specialists to help you achieve pregnancy despite having damaged or blocked fallopian tubes.
The first is repairing your fallopian tubes with advanced microsurgery. In cases where it is not possible to repair the damage, another option is to bypass the crucial function of the fallopian tubes in achieving pregnancy by undergoing in vitro fertilisation (IVF) treatment. We look at each of these two treatments in more details below.
Which treatment is right for you will depend on various factors, explained in more detail below, along with more information about where you can safely undergo these advanced treatments.
Treatments available for blocked fallopian tubes
There are two options for treatment to enable a successful pregnancy if your fallopian tubes are blocked or damaged: tubal surgery and IVF treatment. Both these treatments for damaged or blocked fallopian tubes require the expertise of qualified specialists.
Tubal Surgery to Repair Blocked Fallopian Tubes
Depending on the position of the damage or blockage to the fallopian tubes – and the severity of the damage, a skilled surgeon may be able to repair a fallopian tube.
Surgery is often a frightening option. Thankfully minimally invasive surgery (also called laparoscopy) provides an alternative to “open surgery.
Minimally invasive surgery or laparoscopy involves an incision in your umbilicus, through which a small camera is placed, allowing the specialist to look directly into your abdomen and pelvis to evaluate and potentially treat gynaecological problems such as scar tissue, adhesions and endometriosis.
Before this operation you will given a general anaesthetic allowing you to sleep during the procedure. After the incision is made next to the navel, the laparoscope is inserted into the abdominal cavity. Carbon dioxide or nitrous oxide gas is then passed into the cavity to separate the abdominal wall from the underlying organs to make the examination of the internal organs easier. One to three more incisions may be made to allow access for other surgical instruments, for example, a laser. Once a diagnosis is made or the problem is removed (or both), the instruments are taken out, the gas allowed to escape and the incisions sewn shut. The stitches may need to be removed at a later stage or will dissolve by themselves.
In most cases you will go home the same day.
Most women experience bloating, abdominal discomfort and/or back and shoulder tip pain for 24-48 hours after surgery. This is normal and is related to the gas used to distend your abdomen during the surgery. This pain should not be severe and should gradually improve over a day or two. You may also feel abdominal bloating, nausea, abdominal cramps, or constipation.
Most patients can resume normal activities within a few days to one week. We recommend that you do not engage in any strenuous physical activity for about a week or so. Following a pelvic laparoscopy, we recommend you use sanitary towels instead of tampons to cope with any vaginal bleeding or discharge.
It is absolutely essential that only a competent qualified fertility specialist perform this advanced surgery.
In Vitro Fertilisation (IVF) Treatment
If your Fallopian tubes cannot be repaired by surgery, another treatment option is In Vitro-Fertilisation (IVF).
In vitro fertilisation treatment was originally developed for women with damaged or missing fallopian tubes almost 40 years ago, in 1983. Since then more than 5 million babies have been born worldwide as a result of IVF treatment, with success rates comparable – and even superior – to those of nature.
In the simplest terms, IVF treatment is a process of assisted reproduction where the egg and sperm are fertilised outside of the body to form an embryo, which is then transferred to the uterus to hopefully implant and become a pregnancy.
However, IVF treatment is not a single event, but rather a series of procedures that are completed over five stages to complete a treatment cycle.
IVF treatments commence with a course of hormone therapy to stimulate the development of several follicles in the ovary. Under ultrasound guidance, these are then punctured with a specialised needle to retrieve eggs, which are then fertilised in a petri dish (‘in vitro’ which literally means ‘in glass’) to create several embryos. After three to five days in an incubator, one or two of these embryos are transferred through the vagina to the uterus, where implantation occurs and pregnancy begins. The whole process from commencement of ovarian stimulation up to the embryo transfer stage usually takes just under three weeks.
Which blocked fallopian tubes treatment is right for me?
In short, the position and severity of the damage or blockage in your fallopian tubes will determine which treatment is right for you.
Only a qualified fertility specialist will be able to determine whether your fallopian tubes are blocked or damaged, as well as where the damage or blockage is – and how severe the blockage or damage is.
This is determined through the use of a hysterosalpingogram (HSG) or pelvic x-ray. During the procedure a special dye is injected into the uterine cavity, allowing your specialist to see the damage or blockage on the x-ray of the uterus and tubes, which is taken at the same time.
Possible damage includes reduced flexibility of the fallopian tube, which means that it can’t pick up the egg when it is released from the ovary. There may be damage to the inside wall of the fallopian tube, preventing an embryo from moving down to the uterus, which could result in an ectopic pregnancy, where the embryo attaches to the side wall of the fallopian tube, resulting in the tube rupturing at about seven weeks pregnancy duration. If there is a total blockage of the fallopian tube, the sperm and egg will be prevented from meeting and producing an embryo.
A qualified fertility specialist will be able to determine the position and extent of the damage and advise you about the treatment that is most likely to result in a successful pregnancy.
Where to get the right treatment for blocked fallopian tubes
Medfem Fertility Clinic offers both advanced microsurgical treatments as well as in vitro fertilisation as therapy for tubal factor infertility.
Medfem Fertility Clinic’s specialists are experts and leaders in minimally invasive surgery. It is one of the first institutions in South Africa to have developed a fully comprehensive operating theatre with all the necessary equipment to perform minimally invasive surgery. The specialists at Medfem Fertility Clinic have all undergone extensive training abroad and teach endoscopic surgery on an ongoing basis to visiting gynaecologists.
In addition, at Medfem Fertility Clinic, our highly qualified fertility specialists have over 100 years of collective experience and are nationally and internationally recognised as pioneers and innovators in the field of fertility treatment. They are supported by extensively experienced embryologists; trained, qualified theatre staff, nurse practitioners and clinical psychologists; as well as specialist pharmacists and friendly administration staff, ensuring you receive the best care possible.
Starting your blocked fallopian tube treatment is as simple as contacting us to book an initial consultation by clicking here or contacting us telephonically on +27 (11) 463 2244. We look forward to meeting you!