13 Jan I Have Only 1 Fallopian Tube. Can I Get Pregnant?
Having one functioning fallopian tube should not affect your ability to get pregnant as long as there aren’t other infertility factors at work. If, however, there is an anatomical abnormality or blockage in your functioning tube or you are diagnosed with additional infertility issues such as PCOS, endometriosis, poor sperm quality, etc., it may require expert fertility assistance to help you get pregnant.
Because healthy fallopian tube function – whether you have one or two – is essential to conception, a full fertility workup should always include a complete look at the fallopian tubes to assess for any issues that are compromising their function.
What Causes the Loss of a Functioning Fallopian Tube?
The fallopian tubes function to move matured and released eggs into prime position for fertilization, eventually dropping them into the uterus. Because our bodies are wise, women usually have two functioning tubes for extra protection. If one is misshapen, damaged, blocked or removed, the remaining fallopian tube is there to keep the ovulation cycle going.
The most common causes of malfunctioning or non-functioning fallopian tubes include:
- Prior infection(s) or medical conditions that rendered the tube scarred, damaged, or removed
- Ectopic pregnancy that resulted in permanent tube damage or removal
- A congenital birth defect or anatomical abnormality that renders a tube nonfunctioning
- Scarring as the result of endometriosis
- Fibroid tumors that block the fallopian tube or the entrance to the uterus
- Prior abdominal or pelvic surgery that caused scarring or damage to the tube
You Can Still Get Pregnant with One Fallopian Tube
In almost all cases, a woman can still get pregnant with only one functioning fallopian tube as long as other factors are in place:
The functioning tube is healthy
We referenced the wise body above. Did you know that a functioning ovary has even been shown to migrate and “pick up” a mature egg from a non-functioning ovary? While this doesn’t happen 100% of the time, it’s a powerful indication of how hard your body works to help you get pregnant. As long as you’re ovulating regularly, there is no reason that the loss of one tube would impact your ability to conceive as long as all of the other fertility factors are healthy as well.
You ovulate regularly
If you aren’t having regular periods, odds are you’re not ovulating regularly. Even the most healthy and clear fallopian tube in the world can’t do much unless there is a healthy, mature egg to move through its channels. Tracking your menstrual cycle and learning about your personal fertility window (the days leading up to ovulation and ovulation) is essential to timing sex for pregnancy at home and for scheduling fertility treatments if necessary.
Your male partner gets the fertility green light
If you are in a heterosexual relationship, your male partner’s reproductive health is as important as your own. If he has any latent male infertility factors such as poor sperm quality, anatomical abnormalities that block sperm’s journey from the testicles and up through the penis, or sexual dysfunction, it can seriously compromise your family building plans.
If you are struggling to get pregnant and you know you only have one fallopian tube, testing for male infertility factors is every bit as important as testing for female factors.
Fertility Treatments for Women with One Tube
Assuming everything else seems healthy, women who are struggling to get pregnant with one fallopian tube are most likely include:
- Unblocking a blocked or scarred tube. Your gynecologist/physician may advice surgery to remove a block or scarring if s/he’s confident it will improve your fertility chances. We highly recommend using a fertility specialist for this type of surgery. As you can imagine, surgical intervention puts you at risk for scarring. Fertility specialists are experts at delicately removing tubal blockages with a conscientious effort to minimize any further scarring potential.
- Using fertility medications. If you are only ovulating from one tube, we can work with you to use precise fertility medication dosage to increase the number of eggs you release, which increases your chances of getting pregnant each time you ovulate. Read, Common Side Effects of Ovarian Stimulating Medication to learn more about that.
- If we see that you are ovulating regularly, we may recommend intrauterine insemination to ensure the sperm and eggs are directly exposed to one another, at exactly the right time, optimizing fertilization.
- If those treatments don’t work OR you/your partner are diagnosed with more than one infertility factor, in vitro fertilization may be the best route to get pregnant.
Are you concerned about the length of time it’s taking you to get pregnant? Or, do you already know you have a non-op fallopian tube and want to get a head start at family building? Contact us at the Fertility Center of Dallas to set up a consultation.