Most women are born with two healthy fallopian tubes. Also known as uterine tubes or oviducts, these female structures are responsible for the monthly transport of ovum from the ovary to the uterus. If sperm is introduced through the vagina and fertilization occurs, the fallopian tube is the means of transportation to transfer the fertilized egg to the uterus for implantation.
The fallopian tubes play an important role in conception. For this reason, there is a common misconception that pregnancy is not possible with only one functioning fallopian tube. However, this is generally not the case. Many women are able to get pregnant and deliver healthy babies with just one fallopian tube.
Problems With the Fallopian Tubes
The fallopian tubes refer to the slender tubes that connect the ovaries to the uterus. In the typical female reproductive tract, there is one fallopian tube and one ovary on each side of the uterus. These muscular ‘J-shaped’ tubes are usually open, allowing eggs to pass through from the ovaries. However, various problems and abnormalities may exist that block or damage one or both tubes.
Obstructions in the fallopian tube can prevent an egg from traveling through the tube and into the uterus. Also known as tubal factor infertility, a blocked fallopian tube can prevent fertilization and increase a woman’s risk of a tubal or ectopic pregnancy.
Blocked fallopian tubes are most commonly caused by pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). This is often a result of a sexually transmitted disease. Blocked fallopian tubes can also have other causes, such as endometriosis, previous ectopic pregnancy, prior surgery involving the fallopian tubes, history of a ruptured appendix or abdominal surgery, and a history of uterine infections caused by miscarriage or abortion.
Getting Pregnant With One Fallopian Tube
Getting pregnant may seem simple but there are actually many variables at play. When determining the likelihood of getting pregnant with one fallopian tube, you’ll need to consider factors like age, menstrual cycle, and overall health.
Age matters when it comes to the quality of your eggs. The eggs in a woman’s ovaries are “primordial” or immature. When you ovulate, your eggs go through a phase of cell division known as meiosis. During this division process, older eggs are more likely to develop DNA errors that can lead to genetically abnormal eggs. Poor egg quality combined with one fallopian tube can make it difficult to conceive. Fortunately, a Melbourne fertility clinic may have some great solutions available for you.
You’ll also want to consider the regularity of your menstrual cycles. The average woman experiences a period roughly every 21 to 35 days. Irregular periods may be a sign of something amiss in the reproductive tract and should be evaluated. Tracking your periods and using an ovulation prediction kit (OPK) can help you better identify your “fertile window.” This is the time when you are most likely to conceive.
Even if you have one fallopian tube that is blocked or damaged, you may still be able to get pregnant with the remaining fallopian tube if it is healthy. Undergoing a fertility test in Melbourne can help you determine if your remaining fallopian tube is healthy and free of any obstructions.
Conceiving With IVF
Fertility treatment may be needed for some women with only one fallopian tube to conceive. In vitro fertilization (IVF) is often recommended to women who have been trying to get pregnant for approximately a year with no success.
What makes IVF a good option for women with only one fallopian tube is that the treatment completely bypasses the fallopian tubes. Eggs are harvested directly from the ovaries and introduced to sperm for fertilization outside the woman’s body. Once the egg is fertilized, it is implanted into the woman’s uterus. The chance of conceiving with IVF is about 40 percent for women under age 35 and 12 percent for women over 40.
Contact the Viera Fertility Clinic Today
When getting pregnant is a struggle, it’s normal to feel frustrated, depressed, or even hopeless. The good news is that pregnancy is absolutely possible with just one fallopian tube. To learn more about fertility treatment solutions or to schedule an appointment with one of our skilled and experienced embryologists, contact the Viera Fertility Center.