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Getting pregnant can be tough no matter what, but for those dealing with blocked Fallopian tubes, the challenges may be a bit more difficult to overcome.

Essentially, Fallopian tubes must be open, have no swelling, and be free of scar tissue to function properly. With at least one tube in a healthy condition, having a natural or IUI-assisted pregnancy is certainly possible. On the other hand, if both tubes are experiencing problems, there are several procedures that can be done to mitigate issues and achieve positive results. 

Here's what you need to know about blocked Fallopian tubes and how to increase your chances of starting a family with fertility treatment options

What Causes Blocked Fallopian Tubes?

Blockages can occur in the Fallopian tubes for a number of reasons, but the most common cause is pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)

Typically the result of a sexually transmitted disease, PID is a bacterial infection of the reproductive organs that affects the uterus and Fallopian tubes. The infection may lead to pelvic pain, abscess growth, scarring from adhesions, and may even cause an ectopic pregnancy if left untreated. 

Additional causes of blocked Fallopian tubes include an ongoing or past experience of...

  • Uterine infections
  • STD infections
  • Miscarriages
  • Abdominal or pelvic surgeries
  • Endometriosis

pregnant with blocked fallopian tubes

How Do You Test for Fallopian Tube Blockages?

There are several ways to test for Fallopian tube blockages that are fairly routine without too much recovery time afterward. 

Three main procedures that check for tubal swelling or obstructions are hysterosonograms (HSN), hysterosalpingograms (HSG), and laparoscopy with chromotubation of the tubes. 

Hysterosonograms (HSN)

An HSN is a type of high-resolution ultrasound used with saline solution, rather than dyes and x-rays. 

The process is less demanding on the body and offers a clear visual representation of the uterus, allowing a specialist to see any abnormalities within it. However, gaining a thorough look into the Fallopian tubes is somewhat limited. 

Hysterosalpingogram (HSG)

An HSG provides a more in-depth look into the Fallopian tubes through the use of an iodine liquid filled into the uterus, which is contrasted by an x-ray that shows you how the liquid moves throughout your reproductive system. 

This process is fairly quick altogether, typically taking less than 10 minutes, and patients can return home shortly after. With that in mind, it has been known to cause cramping and may be a secondary course of action for those who need further review of their Fallopian tubes.

Laparoscopy with Chromotubation 

Being the most demanding procedure of the three, a laparoscopy with chromotubation is an inpatient procedure carried out with general anesthesia. 

Two incisions are made, one for a fine telescope (laparoscopy) to be inserted into the abdomen, and another in the pubic region for a small probe to provide an obstructed view of the reproductive organs. Once everything is in place, the chromotubation process (dye test) begins, filling the womb with a light-blue liquid. If the Fallopian tubes are open, then the dye will spill from the ends into the pelvis area, but if nothing comes out, then a blockage is usually the issue. 

After this procedure, it takes approximately one week to recover. 

Read About Other Surgical Options with Great Success Rates

Can Fallopian Tube Blockages Be Removed?

Similar to laparoscopy with chromotubation, blockages within the Fallopian tubes can be temporarily fixed with a process called tubal cannulation. 

What is Tubal Cannulation?

Tubal cannulation uses two types of surgical procedures called hysteroscopy and laparoscopy. 

Through a small incision of the abdomen, a narrow tube outfitted with a camera and light source is inserted into the womb. Next, a thin wire (cannula) is guided through the Fallopian tube, creating an opening and clearing blockages. Once complete, a dye is sent through the womb to see if it can pass through the Fallopian tubes without being deterred. It if flows freely, the surgery is a success.

According to research from Saint Mary's Hospital in the UK, 75% of women who undergo tubal cannulation are successful in getting pregnant between 22% and 33% of the time. However, a downside to the procedure is that Fallopian tubes cannot be reopened permanently and may reclose at a later date. 

Can I Still Get Pregnant with Blocked Fallopian Tubes?

Yes, you can get pregnant naturally or with the assistance of an IUI with one Fallopian tube open. However, if both tubes are blocked, then an in vitro fertilization (IVF) may be required.

Learn More About Low-Complexity Therapies Like IUI

How Does an IVF Bypass Blocked Fallopian Tubes?

In vitro fertilization (IVF) works around blocked Fallopian tubes by developing the embryo outside of the body in a controlled laboratory setting and transferring it to the uterus through a small insemination catheter. Over time, the embryo grows naturally in the same fashion as a traditional pregnancy without relying on the Fallopian tubes to function. 

With that in mind, a condition known as hydrosalpinx (swollen tubes) can have an effect on the outcome of an IVF, leading to a 50% reduction of its success. Also, anyone who has had a tubal ligation (tubes tied) may have trouble finding success with an IVF, although a tubal reversal is possible. 

Kofinas Fertility Group is Here to Help

In any case, it's always best to consult with a fertility specialist before deciding to undergo any procedures. 

At Kofinas Fertility Group, your health is always a priority, and any challenges you may have with blocked Fallopian tubes will be fully assessed to ensure the right course of action that leads to you having the family of your dreams. 

To learn more about Kofinas Fertility Group or inquire about any questions you may have, please feel free to request an appointment today.Request An Appointment

The Future of Healthcare: “Pioneering Fertility Technologies” with Dr. Jason Kofinas

Kofinas Fertility Group | 1 July, 2019 | 0 Comments

Ovarian tissue freezing is the future. One strip of ovarian tissue can provide many usable eggs. Cancer patients who do not have two weeks to freeze their eggs are increasingly looking for other viable options and one of those is ovarian tissue freezing and can be done within 24 hours of the Oncologist’s request.

As a part of my series on the future of healthcare, I had the pleasure to interview Dr. Jason Kofinas.

Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

My interest in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility started in 1995 when I went to work with my father and he put me in his IVF lab and told me to stand in the corner and watch the amazing things that were happening. By the end of the day I had convinced his embryologist to let me play with the micro manipulator and microscope and I was comparing the work to the latest Nintendo game. I told everyone that would listen that I would be in this field and I would change it for the better. Now 24 years later I am in this field and a lot of the work I do will hopefully lead to significant advancement in the field and help many people.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your clinic?

By far the most interesting story that has happened in my fertility clinic is one that includes my own family. It is incredibly rewarding being able to help so many people build their families since I came to Kofinas Fertility. I very much appreciate my role in adding to the long legacy of family building that this company has a great reputation for. So, when my wife and I realized that we needed help creating a family of our own, we knew we were in great hands. Kofinas Fertility Group has always been a family that builds families — now, it includes our beautiful baby girl! This very personal experience has given me layers of perspective that I believe my patients appreciate as it reflects in their care.

Can you tell our readers a bit about why you are an authority in the healthcare field?

I have published a fair amount in the clinical aspect of infertility, however, what sets myself and our group apart is our surgical ability and expertise. At a time when surgery has become a lost art, we are honing our skills and we continue to help many women and couples achieve pregnancy with simple and natural ways as opposed to immediate usage of IVF.

What makes your clinic stand out? Can you share a story?

I remember meeting a patient who had been to 3 centers before they walked through my door. She had expressed her desperation for a different approach after having failed multiple IVF cycles throughout New York. I remember asking her a simple and routine question — do you have painful periods? The patient told me that every menstrual cycle was like a dagger through her belly. I asked her if endometriosis had every been mentioned. To my surprise, it had not come up in previous discussions. I took this patient to the operating room and found stage 4 endometriosis with significant alteration of the normal anatomy, as well as significant scar tissue. After 4 hours of careful surgical restoration of her anatomy the patient left the operating room in much better condition than she entered. After surgery, I informed the patient of how severe her case was and how IVF was the next and very logical step after the surgery. I asked her to come in two months after surgery to discuss the start of IVF. The patient instead called one week after her expected cycle and was found to have a positive pregnancy test. After many failed IVF cycles all over New York, the surgical correction of her endometriosis led to a natural pregnancy and delivery of a beautiful baby boy. This case highlights the importance of unveiling and treating the root cause of infertility.

Can you share with our readers about the innovations that you are bringing to and/or see in the healthcare industry? How do you envision that this might disrupt the status quo? Which “pain point” is this trying to address?

There is a lot of work to be done still in the field of fertility preservation. On average one egg freeze cycle can yield 10–15 eggs. In older patients or patients with other conditions that can affect egg quality this number of eggs should not and does not provide a level of comfort needed when pursuing egg cryopreservation.

Ovarian tissue freezing is the future. One strip of ovarian tissue can provide many usable eggs. Cancer patients who do not have two weeks to freeze their eggs are increasingly looking for other viable options and one of those is ovarian tissue freezing and can be done within 24 hours of the Oncologist’s request.

Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?

Our new center located in Lower Manhattan now has 2 in-house research laboratories to help develop these industry-disrupting technologies. Our research labs are going to be answering very important questions that align with our drive to improve embryo quality, the interaction between embryo and uterus, and ovarian tissue freezing technology.

Let’s jump to the main focus of our interview. According to this studycited by Newsweek, the US healthcare system is ranked as the worst among high income nations. This seems shocking. Can you share with us 3–5 reasons why you think the US is ranked so poorly?

In the field of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility, the US is at the forefront of science and clinical work. The US is routinely regarded as the #1 country to receive infertility treatments based on success rates and technological achievement. I believe this is possible because of the proper regulation of our industry and implementation of evidence-based medicine.

You are a “healthcare insider”. If you had the power to make a change, can you share 5 changes that need to be made to improve the overall US healthcare system? Please share a story or example for each.

Better access to preventative medicine

More partnership between doctor and patient to achieve the common goal of better outcomes

In the fertility world, better access to care is one of the most pressing issues. Access to fertility preservation, not just for cancer patients, but for patients who are experiencing a premature decline in their fertility potential.

Thank you! It’s great to suggest changes, but what specific steps would need to be taken to implement your ideas? What can individuals, corporations, communities and leaders do to help?

In the fertility world, I applaud New York State for recently increasing access to fertility therapies that were previously inaccessible due to cost and minimal insurance coverage. I look forward to helping more people than ever with this recent change in coverage and hopefully it will lead to better preventative care for overall reproductive health.

What are your favorite books, podcasts, or resources that inspire you to be a better healthcare leader? Can you explain why you like them.

I am an avid reader and am always interested in learning and creating innovative ways to further my industry. One recent book that I have read is “The Telomere Effect” by Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn and Dr. Elissa Epel. This book makes very important points of how daily stress can affect overall health and lifespan.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

Our company’s website, www.kofinasfertility.com, has a great deal of resources that we create internally to not only help explain the technical side of the fertility treatments we offer, but how to optimize your reproductive health to better achieve your goals. Subscribing to our blog is something that has been very helpful for our current patients and especially to people who are seeking solution-oriented information that makes them more confident in taking their reproductive health into their own hands. Kofinas Fertility Group can also be found on major social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn. As always, we hope that our resources resonate with people who are seeking a comprehensive and individualized approach.