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It's Not Just Hormones - Identifying the Structural Causes of Infertility

  • Category: Fertility
  • Posted On:
  • Written By: Mark Denker, M.D.

Infertility is often associated with hormonal problems that can be treated with medication. For many patients, however, structural issues cause difficulty in getting pregnant. These barriers to pregnancy are best solved with surgical procedures. Dr. Mark Denker at Palm Beach Fertility Center cautions women experiencing secondary infertility of the risk factors of structural cause of infertility.

Structure Is Essential for Optimal Fertility

The magical process of conception is incredibly delicate. For a pregnancy to occur, each part of the reproductive system has to work just right. The ovaries must function and regularly release eggs, and they must attach correctly to the fallopian tubes so that eggs can take their fateful journey to the uterus. When all of these structures connect, pregnancy can occur.

When Reproductive Structure Breaks Down, So Does Fertility

There are many reasons why a woman’s reproductive tract can have physical obstacles, or structural causes of infertility, that prevent easy pregnancy, even after already having one or more children.

Some of the questions your fertility specialist might ask to determine the risk for structural causes of infertility:

  1. Have you had abdominal surgery? - Pelvic surgery can leave scar tissue or pelvic adhesions. Depending on the severity, scars and adhesions can disconnect the pieces of the reproductive tract.
  2. Have you had an ectopic pregnancy? - Because ectopic pregnancies put pressure and strain on the fallopian tubes, they often cause ruptures that end with scar tissue. The scarring can then block the tubes for future pregnancies.
  3. Have you been diagnosed with a sexually transmitted infection after your last pregnancy? - Reproductive tract infections can cause scar tissue to form, creating blockages that make passage of the egg through the fallopian tubes difficult.

Other medical conditions that cause abdominal inflammation, like appendicitis, might also create fertility concerns and structural causes of infertility.

Surgical Treatment Needs a Specialized Eye for Future Fertility

When women seek surgical repair, their surgeons don’t often consider the long-term consequences for their fertility. For this reason, it’s always a good idea to consult with a specialized fertility surgeon like Dr. Denker who has expert training in minimally invasive fertility surgery.

Please contact us to schedule a consultation to discuss your treatment needs and structural causes of infertility.