Things That May Interfere With Your Chances of Getting Pregnant
- Having a lower number of egg cells left
- Possibly unhealthy eggs
- Other health conditions, such as blocked fallopian tubes (may cause infertility)
- Higher risk of miscarriage (especially when you're older)
Blocked Tubes and InfertilityWhen your fallopian tubes become blocked, your eggs can no longer travel down the tube. Obstructions can occur in one or both fallopian tubes. Since the sperm and the egg can no longer meet because of the obstruction, this condition is called tubal factor infertility. About 30% of all American women have tubal factor infertility. Worldwide, tubal infertility accounts for 33% of infertility cases. However, in sub-Saharan Africa, it's the reason for 85% of infertility cases.
Why Do Blocked Tubes Cause Infertility?When you ovulate every month, your ovary releases an egg cell. The egg then travels to the uterus via the fallopian tube. The sperm has to swim up from the cervix to the uterus as far as the fallopian tube to meet the egg. When one or both of your tubes are totally blocked, fertilization cannot take place.
Remember, there are cases of partial obstruction in one or both tubes, in which case there is a higher risk of an ectopic pregnancy but also the possibility of the tubes being unblocked, depending on the scale of the blockage.
Causes of Blocked TubesThe majority of blockages in the fallopian tubes are caused by pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). This is often (but not in every case) the consequence of a sexually transmitted disease (STD).
Other causes of tubal blockages include STD infections (particularly Chlamydia and Gonorrhea), a ruptured appendix, abdominal surgery, ectopic pregnancies, endometriosis and other complications. However, the blockage can simply be due to dehydration.
Common Treatment For Blocked TubesLaparoscopic surgery is a medical procedure that opens blocked fallopian tubes or removes any scar tissue obstructing the tube. However, this medical procedure is not 100% effective. The success of the procedure depends on your age, the severity of the blockage and the cause of the blockage. If you have a blocked tube but are otherwise healthy, you have a 20 to 40% chance of getting pregnant following Laparoscopic surgery.
However, if the blockages in your tubes are thick, and there are multiple adhesions and some scarring between the tubes and ovaries, surgery is not an option. Your best plan here for getting pregnant would be to have in-vitro fertilization (IVF).
Remember, you are at a higher risk of an ectopic pregnancy if you have undergone any form of surgery on your fallopian tubes. Your medical provider should closely monitor you in the event of your getting pregnant.
Can You Get Pregnant With Blocked Tubes?If only one of your tubes is blocked and your ovaries are functioning normally, you still have a chance of getting pregnant naturally. There are natural ways to unblock obstructed fallopian tubes but the success depends on the cause and nature of the blockage.
4 Natural Ways To Get Pregnant With Blocked Tubes
- More water. Dehydration can lead to your tubes becoming blocked there are insufficient fluids to maintain a continuous tubal mucus flow. You may have to drink more than 10 glasses of water a day for a certain period of time. This is to rehydrate your body and unblock your tubes of the mucus which is causing the obstruction.
- Avoid mucus-producing foods such as dairy products. Ask your medical provider if any medication you are taking might be affecting how your body produces mucus.
- Stop unhealthy habits such as smoking and drinking alcohol. Reduce your coffee intake to a minimum if you cannot give it up completely.
- Include garlic and yogurt in your meals as this helps your body fight bacterial infections.
Surgery Should Be a Last ResortThe chances of getting pregnant even with blocked fallopian tubes can be increased by finding out the type and the degree of the blockage. Surgery should always be a last resort. If you have an infection, have it treated and have your tubes rinsed with saline solution before turning to surgery.
If your blockage is caused by mucus, avoid mucus-producing foods and eat spicy foods that help disperse mucus in the body. Stay hydrated and avoid smoking, which paralyzes the small cilia in the fallopian tubes responsible for moving the egg down the tube.
Tsevat, D. G., Wiesenfeld, H. C., Parks, C., & Peipert, J. F. (2017). Sexually transmitted diseases and infertility. American journal of obstetrics and gynecology, 216(1), 1-9. Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5193130/
Chua, S. J., Akande, V. A., & Mol, B. W. J. (2017). Surgery for tubal infertility. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, (1). Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6464768/