There are many women who have had their "tubes tied" (tubal ligation) and then decide they do, in fact, want another child. In the tubal ligation surgery, a woman's fallopian tubes are separated in a surgical manner to prevent eggs from reaching the uterus for fertilization.
If you have had tubal ligation surgery and then decide you want another child, in vitro fertilization (IVF) is one option. With IVF, the eggs are retrieved from a woman's body, fertilized in the lab and then transferred back into the uterus — bypassing the fallopian tubes altogether. Another option, however, may be tubal ligation reversal, a surgical procedure to reconnect or reopen the fallopian tubes.
So how do you know if you should consider tubal reversal before proceeding to IVF?
"Depending on the age of the patient and type of tubal ligation, if the patient is younger than age 39 and has adequate tubal length for reversal, surgery is a viable alternative to IVF," says Donald C. Young, D.O., FACOG, medical director of Mid-Iowa Fertility. "It is very helpful for the tubal reversal surgeon to have the sterilization operation reports and/or pathology report from the surgery to give appropriate recommendations for a reversal versus IVF."
Robotics technology is definitely the way of the future, but in the here and now, it is already changing the way many surgeries are performed, some of which are reproductive surgeries. The technology offers reproductive endocrinologists a way to perform operations for conditions such as fibroids or endometriosis with a minimally invasive approach while offering enhanced visualization and the ability to repair reproductive organs for fertility that an open surgery offers.
What Is Robotic Surgery?
The technology for robotic surgery was created by the U.S. army during the 1980s and was then sold to Intuitive Surgical, which designs and builds the da Vinci® surgical systems. The technology — which includes a console where the surgeon sits and operates, a surgical tower with the robotic "arms" and a video tower — was approved for use in gynecologic surgery in 2005.
"Anything that can be done laparoscopically or as an open procedure can be done better robotically," says Sejal Dharia Patel, M.D., a fertility doctor with the Center for Reproductive Medicine in Orlando, Florida. "It's a different method of access with unique advantages."
If you need surgery to treat infertility, first and foremost make sure you're seeing a reproductive endocrinologist - fertility doctor - who is experienced in providing the treatment you need, explains Dr. Amos Madanes of Midwest Fertility Center.
Ectopic pregnancy can be terrifying for the woman experiencing it. And for her partner as well. On top of that fear is the fact that ectopic pregnancies can also be difficult to diagnose. And they can be wily. All this uncertainty makes them all the more scary. But once your doctor has made that diagnosis...then what?
Laparoscopy and hysteroscopy are two minimally invasive surgical procedures used in the diagnosis and treatment of certain female factor infertility conditions. For fertility patients with a suspected diagnosis of endometriosis, fibroids, or polyps, or for those with a history of pelvic infection, laparoscopy and hysteroscopy can be used simultaneously to ascertain the state of the uterine cavity.
Women who are having trouble trying to conceive may be surprised to find that tubal factor infertility is the reason for not getting pregnant. The fallopian tubes allow an egg to travel from the ovaries to the uterus. The fimbriated ends of the tubes grab hold of the egg and cilia help to pass the egg down to the uterus. Fertilization occurs in the fallopian tubes, so sperm must be able to enter the fallopian tubes. A blockage or structural damage to the fallopian tubes could significantly impact each of these processes and could also increase a woman’s risk of ectopic pregnancy.
A young woman who received the first successful uterus transplant is now planning for pregnancy via frozen embyro transfer.
Derya Sert was just 21 years old when she received the uterus of a cadaver donor last year. Sert was born without a uterus and would have had to rely on a gestational surrogate to carry a pregnancy for her. However, research efforts in Turkey allowed Sert to undergo the organ transplant and has prompted similar research in other parts of the world.