When Is Reproductive Surgery Necessary?
For many women, fertility is a complicated subject. Thanks to the increasing accessibility of assisted reproductive technologies such as intrauterine insemination (IUI) and in vitro fertilization (IVF), many women are able to find a treatment option that works for them and allows them to have a child. However, infertility is sometimes caused by an underlying congenital or acquired condition in the reproductive system.
Fertility Conditions That Require Surgery
There are some fertility conditions that compromise the structure of your reproductive organs. These conditions are sometimes extreme and require surgery to be corrected. Some of these conditions are:
- Endometriosis: This is a condition in which uterine tissue starts to grow beyond the uterus, typically on the ovaries, Fallopian tubes, pelvic region, bladder, and bowels. In a regular menstruation cycle, this tissue departs the body from the uterus through the vaginal opening. However, because the tissue is growing outside the uterus and cannot leave the body, it becomes trapped. This can lead to a wide range of complications, including scar tissue, adhesions, and blockages – all of which can contribute to infertility.
- Adhesions: An adhesion is a type of scar-like fibrous tissue that can form between tissues and cause organs to bind together. When this tissue forms in ovaries, Fallopian tubes, the uterus, or the pelvic area, it can cause infertility.
- Fibroids: Fibroids are benign tumors that form in the uterus. A common condition, fibroids often don’t cause any symptoms but can still prevent embryos from implanting in the uterus and can lead to miscarriage.
These conditions can disrupt the reproductive system and may require surgery.
Types of Fertility Surgery
There are two types of fertility surgery – laparoscopic and hysteroscopic surgery.
In laparoscopic surgery, a thin fiber-optic telescope with a small video camera is used to view the ovaries, uterus, Fallopian tubes, and pelvic region. In this minimally invasive procedure, the telescope and camera are inserted through two small incisions in the abdomen. It is often used as a diagnostic procedure, as it helps your fertility specialist explore your reproductive system for damage or structural abnormalities. It can also be used to remove endometrial tissue, adhesions, and uterine fibroids.
Hysteroscopic surgery also uses a video camera and is considered to be minimally invasive. It is utilized to investigate the uterus and uterine lining. In this procedure, the telescope goes through the cervix into the uterus so that the entire uterine cavity can be examined. It is typically used for the removal of fibroids, polyps, and scar tissue.
Whether you’ve already been diagnosed with one of these conditions or suspect that you might have one, laparoscopic or hysteroscopic surgery can possibly help. To learn more about fertility surgeries, contact the fertility specialists at Washington Fertility Center.