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Blocked Fallopian Tubes

Our clinic helps many patients with blocked fallopian tubes become parents

Our Indianapolis fertility doctors help patients discover if blocked fallopian tubes are preventing them from developing a healthy pregnancy. Tubal infertility can prevent the sperm from reaching the egg. It can also stop the fertilized egg from reaching the uterus. As a result, this condition makes it more difficult to conceive. Thankfully, our doctors can recommend treatments to help patients fulfill the dream of parenthood.

Common causes of tubal infertility include pelvic inflammatory disease, endometriosis and sexually transmitted infections. Past ectopic pregnancy or abdominal surgery can also cause this issue.

A hysterosalpingogram helps doctors diagnose tubal infertility

If one of our doctors suspects a patient has blocked fallopian tubes, they’ll likely recommend a hysterosalpingogram (HSG). A radiologist often performs this nonsurgical evaluation between the end of a person’s menstrual cycle and before ovulation.

The first step of an HSG involves placing a speculum into the patient’s vagina. A radiologist then passes a small catheter through the cervix and into the uterus. They will typically inflate a small balloon to keep the catheter in place.

Next, the radiologist injects a radio-opaque dye, which is detectable by X-ray, through the catheter. The dye should move into the uterus and spill out of the fallopian tubes. If the dye is unable to pass through the tubes, there is a blockage.

During this exam, the radiologist takes X-ray images as the dye moves through the reproductive system. One of our Indianapolis fertility doctors analyzes these images after the test.

We offer various treatments for patients with blocked fallopian tubes

If the HSG reveals a blockage, a doctor at our clinic can develop a customized treatment plan for the patient. There are three primary treatments for blocked fallopian tubes.

In vitro fertilization (IVF) to bypass the fallopian tubes. IVF is one of the most popular and common treatments for tubal infertility because it bypasses the blocked tubes. During an IVF cycle, the doctor retrieves eggs from the patient’s ovaries. They send the eggs to the IVF lab. There, an embryologist fertilizes them with sperm from the patient’s partner or chosen sperm donor. The doctor then transfers one of the resulting embryos into the patient’s uterus.

Laparoscopic surgery to repair the fallopian tubes. This minimally invasive procedure consists of the doctor inserting a small telescope through an incision near the patient’s belly button. The doctor uses specialized tools to clear the blockages in the fallopian tubes.

Hysteroscopic surgery to repair the fallopian tubes. A hysteroscopic procedure involves the doctor inserting a small telescope through the patient’s cervix. They then use tools to remove the blockages in the fallopian tubes.

It’s important for patients to understand that if they select a procedure to remove blockages in their tubes and they are still unable to conceive, additional procedures to repair the blocked tubes are rarely successful. As such, our Indianapolis fertility doctors often recommend patients go straight to IVF. This treatment typically provides the best and fastest path to parenthood.

Contact us for more information about our fertility services.