Diagnosing and Correcting Fertility Issues Caused by Hydrosalpinx

For pregnancy to occur, a man’s sperm must meet and fertilize an egg in one of a woman’s two fallopian tubes. When a fallopian tube becomes damaged, or distended when it fills with fluid, conditions do not support successful conception. Dr. James Douglas diagnoses and treats this condition, called a hydrosalpinx, with minimally invasive techniques.

In Greek, hydrosalpinx translates to water tube. 

If you do become pregnant despite having a hydrosalpinx, risks for an ectopic pregnancy increase. With ectopic pregnancy, fertilization occurs in the fallopian tube and the growing embryo does not travel to implant in the uterus. Dr. Douglas will recommend preventive action to avoid this life-threatening condition for the mother, and increase the likelihood of having a healthy pregnancy.

The Hidden Implications of Blocked Tubes

Damage to fallopian tubes can result in infertility without any obvious signs or symptoms. Your risk for having a hydrosalpinx or blocked tubes increases with each of the following:

  • Appendicitis
  • Endometriosis
  • Previous pelvic surgery
  • Sexually transmitted disease
  • Pelvic adhesions

The diagnosis changes to hydrosalpinges when both tubes are damaged. If you have experienced trouble getting pregnant, or have pelvic pain and unusual vaginal discharge, Dr. Douglas will want to rule out the possibility of hydrosalpinx or hydrosalpinges.

Laparoscopic Examination Can Identify Hydrosalpinx

In some cases, transvaginal ultrasound will provide answers. More likely, an X-ray examination called a hysterosalpingogram, or HSG, confirms whether a woman’s fallopian tubes are open or closed. Using extreme care and comfort measures, Dr. Douglas will inject dense dye through a catheter into the womb to track its path. We hope to see the liquid pass cleanly through the fallopian tubes into the peritoneal cavity.

If Dr. Douglas detects a blockage, or requires closer examination, he will recommend action:

  • Minimally invasive laparoscopic fertility surgery to repair the tube or tubes
  • Bypassing the fallopian tubes with in vitro fertilization, IVF
  • Proceeding with IVF only after removing severely damaged fallopian tubes. Studies have shown that IVF success rates suffer when hydrosalpinx is present.

IVF eliminates the need for functional fallopian tubes. Dr. Douglas surgically removes eggs directly from the ovaries, combines good quality eggs and sperm in the IVF lab, and then transfers developing embryos back to the uterus.

An inflamed and fluid-filled fallopian tube essentially closes the passageway from the ovaries to the uterus and/or floods the uterus with toxic fluids.

Dr. Douglas will discuss appropriate treatment options for hydrosalpinx to restore fertility. Contact us at IVF Plano to schedule a consultation, and read more here about the causes, symptoms and fertility implications of hydrosalpinx>> HERE.