Pelvic Adhesive Disease & Tubal Disease
Patients are often referred to fertility specialists due to pelvic “adhesions,” which refers to scarring of tissue within the pelvis, or for damaged fallopian tubes. Adhesions can form due to underlying conditions (such as endometriosis or pelvic infections) or they can form after surgeries (such as cesarean sections or fibroid removals). In certain patients, the adhesions may be distorting the proper anatomy of the pelvis and interfering with the normal transport of the sperm and egg. Similarly, in the case of damaged fallopian tubes, sperm may have difficulty reaching the egg to fertilize it or a fertilized embryo (once egg and sperm meet) may have trouble traveling through the fallopian tube to reach the uterus and implant. A physical exam and radiographic tests, such as X-rays, can help to determine if adhesions are/or tubal disease present. In some situations, surgery may be indicated to verify if adhesions are present and to remove them. If the fallopian tubes contain fluid (referred to as “hydrosalpinx”), removal of the tubes may be warranted. If you have had multiple abdominal or pelvic surgeries or infections and are having trouble conceiving, seeing a fertility specialist may help to ascertain if adhesions are present and to discuss treatment options.
To learn more read the ASRM Fact Sheet “Adhesions: What Are They and How Can They Be Prevented?“