Infertility is when one is unable to get pregnant after 6 to 12 months of regular sexual intercourse without the use of birth control. In some cases, female infertility can result from problems with the reproductive organs, hormones and even lifestyle factors. Infertility can also be caused by a blockage of the fallopian tube(s), the passages that the eggs travel through to get from the ovaries to the uterus (womb). If the fallopian tubes become plugged or narrowed, the egg may be prevented from reaching the uterus. Your physician can perform various diagnostic tests to determine the cause of your infertility. Blocked fallopian tubes do not often present symptoms other than difficulty conceiving.
How do IRs treat blocked fallopian tubes?
If a fallopian tube blockage is discovered, an interventional radiologist may be able to help you by recanalizing (or unblocking) the affected fallopian tube.
Fallopian tube recanalization is performed by an IR using X-ray images. Similar to an exam in your gynecologist’s office, a speculum is first placed in the vagina. Through the speculum, the IR passes a small, flexible tube (known as a catheter) into the vagina, through the cervix, and into the uterus to determine what is causing the blockage and, if possible, to open the blockage. Once the procedure is completed, the IR will remove the catheter and speculum and give you guidance on posttreatment care.
You are awake but sedated for this treatment, with minimal recovery time (approximately one hour) prior to release. Most often, you will be able to go home the same day. The treatment is very effective and carries few side effects or risks.
Disclaimer: SIR is providing this information as a public service. SIR assumes no liability, legal, financial or otherwise for the accuracy of this information or the manner in which it is used. SIR does not offer medical advice. This information is being provided for informational purposes only and should not be used to replace professional medical advice. It is best to seek advice and attention from your physician or qualified health care professional.