If you are struggling to get or stay pregnant, then you certainly aren’t alone. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 10 percent of women face the same obstacle. However, the good news is that there are some proven and effective ways to increase the chances of natural conception, including a type of microsurgery known as tuboplasty.
During tuboplasty, the surgeon attempts to repair blockages in one or more of the fallopian tubes that prevent the egg from reaching the uterus, and ultimately being fertilized by male sperm. These blockages are often due to a painful disorder known as endometriosis, which occurs when tissue that lines the interior of the uterus (also known as the endometrium) starts to grow outside of the uterus. While having endometriosis does not eliminate the possibility of getting pregnant, it does make it more difficult for about 66 percent of women affected by the disorder. About 13.6 million women in the U.S. suffer from mild to severe endometriosis.
There are five common types of tuboplasty surgery: Tubal Reanastomosis, Salpingostomy, Cornual Implantation, Fimbrioplasty, and Salpingolysis. Each of these is briefly described below (for a more detailed discussion visit tuboplasty.com).
- Tubal Reanastomosis (which is also referred to as Tubal Ligation Reversal, Tubal Sterilization Reversal, and Tubal Reversal) involves joining two healthy tubal segments.
- Salpingostomy is performed to remove an ectopic pregnancy or repair a damaged tube, and involves creating a new distal tubal opening (through which the oocyte enters during ovulation).
- Cornual Implantation is among the most complicated types of tuboplasty surgery. It involves resecting an occluded transmural segment of the fallopian tube, followed by connecting the distal patent segment of the Fallopian tube to the uterus. The result is that the fallopian tube connects to the endometrial cavity.
- Fimbrioplasty enables the egg to correctly move into the fimbria by reconstructing a part of the Fallopian tube near the ovary.
- Salpingolysis is a treatment for endometriosis (described above), and involves dividing the scar tissues around the fallopian tube. Restoring the opening of the tube increases the chances of fertility.
It is important to note that while tuboplasty has been performed around the world for decades, there are risks involved (as with any surgery). Furthermore, tuboplasty does not guarantee pregnancy. However, about 65 percent of women become pregnant within one year after the surgery, which means that it may be something that you want to discuss with your family doctor or OB/GYN.