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Diagnosing and Treating Tubal Factor Infertility

Although some women experience pelvic pain or fever, most women don’t know they have blocked or scarred fallopian tubes until they have problems getting pregnant.

Diagnosis of Scarring or Blockages

Several tests are available to diagnose blocked or scarred fallopian tubes:

  • Hysterosalpingogram (HSG). A hysterosalpingogram (HSG) is an X-ray that shows the inside of your fallopian tubes. The radiologist injects dye into the tubes and monitors its flow. If you don’t have a blockage, the dye goes through the tubes and into your belly. If you do have a blockage, the dye doesn’t leave the fallopian tubes. This test not only shows the location of the blockage. Even if there’s no blockage and the dye flows freely, an HSG shows any scarring or defects inside the tubes which can cause fertility problems.
  • Sonohysterosalpingogram. A sonohysterosalpingogram uses sterile saline and air, which is passed through the cervix into the uterus and visualized by transvaginal ultrasound. The test allows the fertility doctor to assess the uterine lining, shape and texture, as well as the fallopian tubes. The test may cause some cramping as it is being performed.
  • Hysterosonogram. A hysterosonogram is similar to a hysterosalpingogram but uses ultrasound to get a more detailed picture. A sterile saline solution (salt water) is injected into your uterus to expand it and increase visibility. This test gives a more detailed picture than HSG and may detect problems the other test might miss.
  • Laparoscopy. A laparoscopy uses a small telescope-like tube called a laparoscope to examine the fallopian tubes. Unlike HSG and a hysterosonogram which reach the uterus through the vagina, a laparoscopy involves a small incision near your navel and requires general anesthesia.

Treatment of Scarring or Blockages

If you have blocked or scarred fallopian tubes, the surgeon may use the laparoscope to treat them. The doctor can cut away scar tissue from the tube or make a new opening at the end of the tube. To maximize your chances of a successful outcome, be sure to get a referral to a specialist in tubal surgery.

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Comments (69)

You can get pregnant with a blocked tybe! Its up to god when so be patient i lost my right tube from an ectopic in jan! I asked if i can get pregnant she said ya but i really have vad scarring and adhesiinsss but she said i can even tgough i have a 10% chance of concieving dont give up ladiessss!! Prove your drs wrong!

I am 27 with a 9 year old little girl. Thinking about trying again for baby #2 and ultrasound showed tubes were dilated and had some "spillage". Had laparoscopy and HSG during procedure. MD stated no fluid in tubes and HSG went through without an issue. "Nothing I could see would cause an issue conceiving". I am concerned that she missed something. Why did ultrasound show issue but nothing on laparoscopy? Anyone else had an experience like this?

Christine - if your doctor said there shouldn't be an issue and you're still concerned you should get second opinion. If you need help finding a different Reproductive Endocrinologist in your area please feel free to email me directly at Julie@fertilityauthority.com - I'm happy to help

Thank you Julie. I guess I don't know if I should be concerned. I didn't understand how one test can show something devastating and then another show nothing. It just seems like maybe she missed something? But is that really possible with a Lap?

i had done lapro last month, how much time it will take to get pregnant now

my right tube was block and last month laproscopy done successfully, my husbands reports are ok and my other reports are also ok. now how much time it will take to get pregnant now. i m worried i m 31 yrs old we are trying for baby from last 1 year.

Hey there! I would your reproductive endocrinologist or whoever performed the laproscopy. Good luck from the FA team!

Im 36, I had an ectopic pregnacy,resulted in an emergency tubal removal, my right tube. Be for that I had the dye test an was told my left tube was blocked. When the surgery was done that dr looked an said that the left tube was fine.that was 2yrs ago an still nothing. I really dont know where to turn. I feel less then a woman each day, im so depressed,ive all ways wanted to be a mom, please help me..

Hi - If you've been trying to get pregnant for two years, you really should see a fertility doctor. The issue may be your left tube, or there may be another issue that a fertility doctor can diagnose and treat. If you'd like more info please contact our Patient Care Advocates at 855-955-2229 r carecoordinator@fertilityauthority.com. Best, Claire

I have 2 boys who are going to be 11 and 8 next month and we have been trying for baby #3 for 4 years and nothing. is a hysterosalpingogram (HSG) going to help conceive?

I'm so sorry to hear you are having trouble getting pregnant. You really should see a fertility doctor who will schedule a consultation and a fertility workup to determine what the problem is. Please let me know if you'd like help finding a fertility doctor in your area. Or you can call us at 855-955-2229. Best, Claire

Just recently had a hysterosalpingogram and found out my right fallopian tube is blocked. I am 33 yrs old now and both me and my husband are heart-broken and crying out in dispair. All that's happened is we now owe tons of money. I feel all hope is gone and all anybody out there cares about is money. I am desperate. Please help.

I am 30. After two years of ttc i finally get pregnant to find out 2 month later it was a ruptured ectopic that cause me to lose my right tube. They said my left tube was in bad shape too. Now what! I cried and cried. Now we are ready to try again. But im terrified. I am starting to save money towards IVF terrifyed of that too. Have you looked into grants or financial assistance for fertitlity treatments. I read different states have laws making insurance companys pay fo fertilty treatment. In NY i know theres a grant you can apply for if you qualify for the help. Try doing research online for help.

Hi Lucy, I am so sorry you are going through this. You are right, you will need IVF to get past this if the remaining tube is not in good shape. You can look into Cade Foundation for grant assistance or clinicaltrials.gov for fertility treatment research opportunities which would allow you to do treatment at little to no cost. Best of luck! Kim

I also had BV that Infected my tubes. I had lap surgery 2 weeks ago with hsg. The doctors said I had a cyst on my ovary. Turned out not to be on my ovary but on my tube.The dr drained the water from it but said it could possibly come back. Like most woman Ive been infertile for many yrs. Im thinking about ivf considering that my ovaries and uterus are great. I guess Im let down cause my heart is broken. What a let down. im torn on what to do. ivf or not.:(

my right tubes are block, doc suggest me to do iui.....pls pray for me

My tubes are really hurting

Like many of the other women posting, I too dreamed of bearing a child. My husband and I had been trying for years until I finally made an appointment with a fertility specialist. At first I was devastated to find out the HSG showed I had one blocked tube. Surgery would be required. I had my left tube removed along with some fibroids. I felt hopeful and was anxious to begin trying to conceive after I healed. I went to my post op to be told I had a "pretty serious case" Apparently I must have had some kind of infection at some point in my life because my other tube was not good either. (Guess a yearly pap, STD screening, and health exam cannot find everything) I broke down in tears at the appointment. They recommended IVF. $15,000 for only a 60% percent chance of conceiving. After thinking long and hard about it, my husband and I decided not to take the IVF route. Creating a life in debt was not the route for us. It's been 6 weeks since the surgery. In the immediate beginning I felt sooo angry, cheated by life, undesirable (in my eyes, not my husbands) and really felt so devastated because I wanted nothing more than to have and give my husband a daughter or son. I'm still trying to make peace 6 weeks later. My libido has decreased a ton. Sex seems less fun in my head because the excitement of trying to create life has been taken. When we are having sex, I'm picturing my once infected fallopian tubes. Sad but true. There is an emptiness that I believe will forever live inside me. I am slowly trying to accept fully but it will take some time. Something to think about..I suffered from chronic BV a few years back. Besides an occasional yeast infection this is the only problem I ever had in my life? I sometimes wonder if there is a correlation between the BV and infected fallopian tubes? My fertility doctor had no answers for me about that-

Ok I started this process in 2008 and now we are in 2013. Am 41 5mth away from being 42. I had two miscarriage and four days ago I had an hsg done, the dr said ur tubs are blocked. The dr called me at work so the convo was mot too much and am left with so so many question.. now how can this happe after getting pregnant twice?

Hi Sandee,

It is possible that one tube was open until recently. Your doctor can try to remove the blockage or do IVF. I would recommend IVF with PGD for a woman over the age of 35 who is trying to conceive, though I am not a doctor. Best of luck!

Kim

Last year I had some fribroids removed and because of the location I had to remove one of my tubes, now its really heard to get pregnant. I am going to see a specialist with my husband to make sure everything is ok. To all you ladies get a second and or third opinion before making a decision..

Hi Older Woman,

It sounds like you might be a candidate for IVF. Give us a call at 855-955-2229 and we can connect you to a fertility doctor in your area. I personally struggled with infertility for nearly 3 years, so I know how difficult it can be to go through the process. It is often confusing to know which doctor and procedures are right for you.

Best wishes,
Kim

Hi love,

How are you tracking your ovulation? You have to keep in mind that you are only ovulating from the left side, if you are in fact ovulating. You might not be ovulating monthly, but bimonthly as women typically ovulate from one ovary each month (example: right side one month, left side next month). Also, has your partner had a semen analysis done? It is possible for there to be a male factor infertility issue.

Best of luck,

Kim

I had a reversal of sterilisation done in september 2009 And we had been trying for 6months And then the doctors did Android hsg told me I had blocked tubes but they won't do anything else for me.

Hi Jaydeb74 - Is your doctor a fertility doctor - a reproductive endocrinologist? It is important that you are seeing a doctor who specializes in infertility. If your tubal reversal wasn't successful, or if your tubes are blocked, a fertility doctor can provide treatment, such as IVF, to help you get pregnant. Let me know if you have any questions.

Best,
Claire

i am 27 years old and have been trying for a baby now for 3 years, i went to the doctor's and explained that nothing was happening, they sent me to the hospital to have some test and found out that both my tubes was blocked, they said it was though scar tissue, i was told that the only way to have a baby was ivf however i can not afford ivf and have been looking for other ways to have a baby, i have found a web site saying there is a 7 step program to unblock fallopian tubes and reduced the scar tissue!!! its natural way to open up the fallopian tubes and conceive, i dont know if it works yet but i would love to give it ago, its based on techniques from Traditional Chinese Medicine and Aryuvedic Medicine. when i was looking for more information t on this it gave a hope as reading all the other women stories helped when they was told the same thing as me and had tryed this method and became pregnant!!!! do u know anything about this???? I find i can go out, sounds silly but everywhere i look i see new born babies and my hearts hurt really bad, please help in anyway! thanks

Thank you for writing. Has your doctor seen a fertility doctor (reproductive endocrinologist)? There may be surgical options to unblock the tubes or assisted reproduction technology options, such as IVF, that can help your daughter get pregnant. To find a fertility doctor in your area, go to the find a doctor search on each page of the website and put in your zip code. Good luck!

My daughter-in-law, 24, just found out that her tubes were blocked due to scaring and the doctor said she cant get pregnant. is there anything that she can or someone else she can see that can help her?

I am 32 and I had a lap done and the results are that my tubes are scarred so bad the dye wont got through. That is why I can't get pregnat. They removed some scares but it was hopeless to much. What can I do besides invitro or adoption?

i am in need of help ive had 2 ectopic pregnancies and lost both of my tubes...is ivf the only way to have a bby i really want to be a parent and im scared my boyfriend will leave me for someone who can have kids naturally....is it possible for people to donate tubes?

I am 36 years old and I have been trying to conceive with my husband for over 13 years now. Last year I finally decided to see a fertility specialist to determine the causes of my not getting pregnant. To my surprise, I found that my tubes were blocked and scared according to my doctor. The doctor actually told my husband who was there following my surgery. I asked if my tubes can be repaired and she responded with a definite no. So I believed her and went through the expensive in-vitro procedure that not only landed me in serious debt but, left me childless as well. I am slowly getting over the shock of the negative pregnant test and wanted to know if it would be wide for me to try the holistic approach to infertility or should I go to another doctor regarding surgery to repair my tubes? I feel as though my clock is ticking fast and I don't wont to ruin my chances of becoming a mom. I dream and pray about it every night!

I work at a pain management facility dr. called me in room to help him. He states we were going to break down scar tissue on a new patient with this laser machine we have. I coukdn't believe my ears. i machine is called the D-actor 100. used to break down scar tissue. i can't believe this machine has been sitting in my office for over a year, and i had no idea what it was used for. i started treatment yesterday 5-23-2011, im praying this is the answer to my problems. i have been trying to get pregnant for over 2 yrs. now. ill keep you all informed of this works..be blessed all. patty

Is it available in Canada? It would be great if it is

Is it available in Canada? It would be great if it is

I had a reverse tubal done about 8 months ago. My husband and I are trying to have a baby and its like nothing is working. This month I was 4 days late (which I'v never been that late before) so I took a hpt and it come up negative, I did start my period later that day. I was so upset because I thought this was it that I was pregnant all I could do was cry. What should I try or do?

i too had a tubal reversal 2 yrs. ago. I also had a test (ultrasound or something) where they insert the dye. Well one of my tubes was unblocked and the other was blocked. I also had another procedure done laproscopy and that dr. told me both tubes were blocked and my only chance was IVF. i was so upset. Well this last month i was 7 days late, never have I been late, took pregnancy test NEGATIVE. started my period the next day. very upset to say the least. i dont understand why 3 different doctors have told me 3 different things. SO CONFUSED AND FUSTRATED. patty

hi i am 27 yrs old and my dr said both of my fallopian tubes are blocked,what can i do to unblock them?

I think it's better for you to meet the doctors to get their advise and any possible treatment they give. I am 27 too and I will get married in few next months, so I feel very worry about issues that women may have for pregnance.

Tony is Webmaster at notary classes

Hi I am 37yrs and have been trying to have a baby since I was 24 I have had 3 ovarian cyst. I have lost one of fallopian tube and the other one is blocked with scar tissue. I can not afford IVF so what can I do to unblock my only fallopian tube?

In some instances a laparoscopy can be used to both diagnose and treat blocked fallopian tubes. But every situation is unique. You should really see a fertility doctor - also known as a reproductive endocrinologist - who can discuss treatment options with you. There's a "Find a Doctor" search on every page of FertilityAuthority. I encourage you to find a fertility doctor in your area. Good luck.

Claire

I am 31 years old, had 2 c-sections 1 in 2001 and the other in 2007 along with a tubal. I have been cramping and had a ultrasound done to find out there was something in my right fallopian tube. What could it be? Thanks!

Hey! I need some help. I have just come home from lap surgery and found out that I have really damaged tubes on left and right side. They are both blocked and I have a infection in both tubes. All the doctor said was a long term name for the infection and I can't remember what it was. He said also know as SNI infection. Someone please help me find a website or just the correct name for it cause I wanna know what all I am dealing with here. I can't find anything for just SNI infections. Thanks!

While I was researching my own dianoses i ran into what you mentioned. It is called Salpingitis Isthmica Nodosa (SIN) Hopefully this helps

I AM 35 YEAR OLD BLACK WOMAN. I HAVE BEEN TRYING TO HAVE A BABY SINCE I WAS 25 WITH NO LUCK. I FOUND OUT FROM MY MOTHER THAT I HAD A BLOOD CLOT IN MY FALLOPIAN TUBES WHEN I WAS ONLY 3YRS OLD. AND I WAS SENT TO A DOCTOR IN ALABAMA, NO ONE REMEMBERS HIS NAME, BUT IT WAS IN THE 70'S AND I RECENTLY READ ABOUT HOW SOME DRS. PERFORMED STERILIZATION METHODS ON THE BLACKS AND HISPANICS AND I AM WONDERING IF IT HAPPENED TO ME. I HAVE BEEN TESTED AND TESTED AND NO ONE CAN FIND A REASON FOR THIS. MY UTERUS IS IN TACT, MY EGGS ARE THERE, BUT THEY DO NOT MATURE, I DON'T OVULATE, I DON'T HAVE MY MONTHLY MENSES. I DON'T KNOW HOW TO FIND OUT IF I HAVE BEEN STERILIZED OR NOT.

U need to specifically see a fertility doctor and they can perform those tests.

I FEEL U ON DAT I JUST WENT IN YHE HOSPITAL TO HAVE A D/C N LIPOSCOPIC I WOKE UP I ASK THE DOCTOR TO TELL ME ABOUT THE SURGERY SHE TOLD ME UM SORRY WEN I WAS DOING YOUR SURGERY I NOTICED YOUR RIGHT TUBE WAS SWOLLEN SO I REMOVED IT THE LEFT TUBE SHE CUT IT FROM THE UTERUS I ASK Y SHE SAID IT LOOKED SUSPICIOUS TELL ME HOW WOULD U FEELCALL ME SO WE CAN TALK 9044826189

I had my tubes cut after i had my little girl. My doctor asuerd me that i can not come out pregant anymore and that is what wanted to happen. I sdont want any more kids. Is this 100 percent accurate for a women not to become pregant or can u still come out pregnant with this fallopian tube blockage and is it the same thing as geting ur tubes cut so u cannot have anymore kids?

Hey everyone,
I am so upset that I allowed this one doctor to remove my right tube after three ectopic pregnancies. Then to find out that my left tube was also blocked. My right tube was the working tube, and this other doctor told me I should have never removed it. My boyfriend and I are so upset at the decision. We will probably now have to consider IVF which is about $10,000. I don't know how that money will be raised, but in the meantime, I found an herbal medication that cleans out the uterus and other parts. It made me bleed very heavy during my period. It also made my period late. We are praying everyday, but my biggest fear is that my boyfriend will leave me and find someone else that CAN have kids naturally. He already has two, but not living with us. Don't want to go looking for a new partner. Too many diseases out there. Just looking for support right now. Live in a small island in the caribbean.

HI IM 34 IVE BEEN TRYIN FOR A YEAR AND DECIDED TO FIND OUT WAT WAS GOING ON. I FOUND OUT MY TUBES WERE BLOCKED BUT WHEN I WENT TO GET THE DYE PUT THRU I SAW WIT MY OWN EYES IT WENT THRU AND TO MY BELLY I WATCHED ON THE SCREEN.I ASKED THE DOC IS ERTHING OK HE TOLD ME PERFECTLY FINE IN FACT UR TUBES ARE WIDE OPEN. SO WHEN I WENT TO SEE THE DOC THAT REFERRED ME TO READ MY RESULTS HE TOLD ME IT WAS NO WAY I COULD EVER HAVE A BABY. I STILL CRY UNTIL THIS DAY. HE REFERRED ME TO SUMBODY TO TRY AND GET THEM UNBLOCKED AND NO ONE TAKES MY MEDICAL. I RESEARCH SO MUCH BCUZ I REALLY HAVE FAITH THAT IT WILL HAPPEN ON GODS TIME. ITS HARD TO LIVE WITH THIS BUT IM NOT GIVING UP NOT JUST YET. I BELIEVE IN GOD AND HE HAS THE LAST AND FINAL SAY SO. IM ACTUALLY 4 DAYS LATE TODAY AND PRAYING TO GET A POSATIVE TEST. BUT IM NOT GONNA TAKE ONE DNT WANNA PGET MY HOPES UP TI GET A NEGATIVE SO IM GONNA WAIT ABOUT ANOTHER WEEK DNT GIVE UP

Hi Rashida,

Sometimes the HSG test (dye test) can unblock your tubes. If the dye was flowing through, it sounds like they are open. I suggest you get a second opinion. Good luck!

Kim

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