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Considering Surgery for Infertility? Here’s What You Should Know

Dec 13, 2023 | Fertility

Finding out about your own infertility can come as an unwelcome surprise if you want to have kids in either the near or distant future. Thanks to advancements in modern medicine, you have many avenues to take next.

Once you discover the probable underlying cause of your infertility, you can work with a trusted OB/GYN to address the problem with professional treatment.

Our team of exceptional obstetricians and gynecologists takes a compassionate approach to treating infertility, always staying mindful of the emotional challenges that come with infertility for many couples.

When non-surgical treatments can’t improve your chances of pregnancy, we can step in with surgical interventions in many cases.

At The Association for Women’s Health Care in The Loop in Chicago and in Northbrook, Illinois, we always strive for the best possible outcome with the lowest possible risk.

If you’re among the 19% of women ages 15-49 who struggle to get pregnant after a year of trying, we can find the best-suited medical solution to increase your chances.

We can address several common structural causes of infertility with minimally invasive surgery, which uses small incisions for faster healing, less scarring, and greater precision.

When to consider surgery

Surgery for infertility is typically only an option if you have trouble getting pregnant because of a structural issue. Hormones can also be an underlying cause, but in those cases, hormonal treatments or ovulation-stimulating medications are the preferred option.

Structural issues typically involve some blockage within your reproductive tract that prevents sperm from meeting with the egg. There are multiple different conditions or growths that can cause such a blockage.

Using pelvic examinations and imaging tests, we can detect structural barriers like:

Scar adhesions

Scar tissue growing in the reproductive tract is quite thick and can cause obstructions at various points. There are many conditions that can lead to the growth of scar adhesions, including some sexually transmitted diseases, previous surgeries, and severe endometriosis.

Fibroids

Uterine fibroids are growths that show up on the muscles of your uterus and vary in size. They may prevent your uterus from supporting a fertilized egg, thus causing infertility.

Endometriosis

Endometriosis is a condition that causes the tissue that typically only grows inside your uterus to grow elsewhere. It may grow inside the reproductive tract and obstruct the fallopian tubes.

Congenital conditions

Some people naturally have atypical features or obstructions in their reproductive tract that may cause infertility.

Your surgical options

We prefer to use minimally invasive surgeries, which use small incisions or no incisions at all. A corrective surgery to treat infertility uses one of the following techniques:

Hysteroscopy

Hysteroscopy is a surgical technique with no incisions necessary, which means no scarring either. Entering through the vaginal canal, we use a device called a hysteroscope to view your organs and can use small tools to remove adhesions, fibroids, or other blockages.

Laparoscopy

Laparoscopy is still minimally invasive but does require several small incisions. Your surgeon uses a device called a laparoscope to view the tissues within as well as small tools in the incisions to remove obstructions or repair your fallopian tubes.

Preparing for your surgery

Any minimally invasive surgery for infertility requires some preparation on your part, including an initial consultation and diagnostic exam. Depending on the type of surgery, we might advise you to stop eating around midnight the night before and avoid drinking anything other than water.

You should stop smoking for as long as possible before your surgery too, and talk to your surgeon about possible medication adjustments based on the medications you take.

If you’re not having any luck with trying to get pregnant, we’re here to assist with or without surgical interventions. Schedule a visit online or over the phone at The Association for Women’s Health Care to explore your fertility treatment options.