Uterine factor infertility is a type of infertility caused by issues with the uterus, making it difficult or impossible to carry a pregnancy to term. Causes of uterine factor infertility can include uterine abnormalities, such as fibroids or polyps, scarring from previous surgeries, and congenital malformations of the uterus.
Treatment options for uterine factor infertility depend on the underlying cause, but can include medications to reduce fibroid size, surgical procedures to remove fibroids or correct uterine abnormalities, and assisted reproductive technologies such as in vitro fertilization (IVF). In some cases, a uterine transplant may be necessary for individuals with severe uterine abnormalities.
It is important to seek medical advice if you are experiencing infertility,
Diagnosing uterine factor infertilityusually involves the following steps:
- Medical history and physical exam: The doctor will ask about your menstrual cycle, sexual history, and previous pregnancies. A physical exam will be performed to check for signs of hormonal imbalances or pelvic abnormalities.
- Pelvic ultrasound: This test uses high-frequency sound waves to create images of the uterus and ovaries. It can detect structural abnormalities or growths in the uterus, such as fibroids or polyps.
- Hysterosalpingogram (HSG): This is an X-ray test that involves injecting a special dye into the uterus to outline the uterine cavity and fallopian tubes. It can detect any blockages or abnormalities in the uterus or tubes.
- Hysteroscopy: This is a minimally invasive procedure in which a thin, lighted scope is inserted into the uterus through the vagina. It can provide a clear view of the inside of the uterus and detect any structural abnormalities.
- Endometrial biopsy: A small sample of tissue from the lining of the uterus is taken and examined under a microscope. This test can determine if the lining of the uterus is healthy and receptive to implantation.
These tests help determine the underlying cause of uterine factor infertility and guide the appropriate treatment. Your doctor may recommend additional tests or procedures based on your individual case.
Thetreatment for uterine factor infertilitydepends on the underlying cause, but can include:
- Surgery: To correct any structural abnormalities in the uterus, such as uterine septum, fibroids, or adhesions.
- Assisted reproductive technology (ART): In vitro fertilization (IVF) is the most common ART used in cases of uterine factor infertility. During IVF, eggs are retrieved from the ovaries, fertilized with sperm in a laboratory, and then transferred to the uterus.
- Intrauterine insemination (IUI): This procedure involves placing sperm directly into the uterus around the time of ovulation, to increase the chances of fertilization.
- Donor eggs or surrogacy: If the woman has a severely damaged or absent uterus,with damaged or absent ovaries, she may opt for donor eggs or surrogacy, where a surrogate carries the pregnancy to term.
It’s important to note that the success of these treatments varies and depends on many factors such as age, underlying cause, and general health. A fertility specialist can help determine the best treatment plan for each individual case.