Female Infertility Treatments

Blocked fallopian tubes are a common cause of infertility in women. Fallopian tube recanalization is a procedure that attempts to evaluate and open the fallopian tubes.

Who Should Consider Fallopian Tube Recanalization?

If your fallopian tubes have been studied with a hysterosalpingogram (HSG) and appear to be blocked at the point where the tubes connect to the uterus, this procedure may help to open one or both tubes, thereby increasing your chances of becoming pregnant. More than half of the time, one tube appears to be blocked on the first HSG but is not blocked when the HSG is repeated. For this reason, a repeat HSG may be ordered before fallopian tube recanalization is performed.


How does a fallopian tube recanalization work?

In many ways, the procedure is similar to your hysterosalpingogram (HSG). Small tubes are passed through the cervix into the uterus to support a small (less than 1mm in diameter), soft-tipped wire that is passed into the blocked fallopian tube(s).

Success Rate

What are the chances of success?

The rate of success for entering the tubes to evaluate them is 85 – 90%. The actual pregnancy rate within one year of the procedure, however, is approximately 10 – 15%. The chances of success vary according to:

  • the patient’s age
  • the specific underlying cause of the blockage
  • the location of the blockage
  • whether or not there has been any previous surgery on the fallopian tubes
  • whether one or both tubes are blocked
  • whether or not there are any other causes of infertility

What are the risks?

The procedure is uncomfortable, although you will be given medication to minimize your pain. You may have increased menstrual bleeding for a few days following the procedure. In rare cases, the tubes can be injured during the procedure and some small amount of bleeding can result. If a prior infection caused one or both tubes to be blocked, there is a small risk of infection. Your doctor will usually prescribe antibiotics to be taken before the procedure to decrease the chances of infection.


Are there alternatives to this procedure?

If the tubes cannot be successfully opened using fallopian tube recanalization in a young patient, surgery may be proposed to evaluate and possibly repair the tubes. For patients older than 35 and for patients who have scar tissue at the end of the tube(s) next to the ovary, I.V.F. (In Vitro Fertilization) is the most successful fertility procedure.


What is the Result of Having Fallopian Tube Recanalization?

In a young woman with fallopian tubes blocked at the point where the tubes insert into the uterus, recanalization may be able to unblock one or both tubes.

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Did You Know?

The most common cause of female infertility is a blockage of the fallopian tube through which eggs pass from the ovary to the uterus.