If you are experiencing infertility problems but are hoping to become pregnant, you may want to consider a variety of treatment options. Sometimes, surgical procedures are the best way to increase your chances for pregnancy. A number of different conditions sometimes require surgery in order to reduce symptoms and increase fertility. If you are suffering from uterine fibroids, endometriosis, polyps, or other uterine complications, surgery may be a good option for you.
Uterine Fibroid Surgery
Uterine fibroids are tumors that grow inside and on the surface of the uterus. They can become large, causing painful symptoms and infertility. If your uterine fibroids are causing you particular difficulties, including severe bleeding or recurrent miscarriage, surgery to remove your fibroids may be a good option. Surgery can also help to restore your fertility. Generally, there are two different types of surgery that can be used to treat fibroids:
- Myomectomy is a procedure in which your fibroids are removed from your uterus. There are a number of different ways to perform a myomectomy. Your fibroids can be removed through your vagina, using a special microscope called a hysteroscope. Or, your fibroids can be removed through your abdomen, using a laparascope. Recovery time depends upon the type of procedure performed, but generally takes between two and six weeks. There is a chance that your fibroids will return after this procedure. About 30% of women experience regrowth within 10 years.
- Hysterectomy can also be used to remove uterine fibroids. This is a procedure that involves the removal of your uterus. If you are considering surrogacy, hysterectomy may be a good choice for you. Most of the time, your ovaries can be left behind, allowing you to conceive a child biologically related to you. Through an incision in your abdomen, your surgeon will remove your uterus and possibly your cervix, along with your fibroids. This procedure is 100% effective against re-growth.
Uterine Polyp Surgery
Uterine polyps are small growths that develop inside your uterus. They tend to be small, but can sometimes interfere with the lining of your uterus, preventing pregnancy. Uterine polyps can be removed through a simple procedure, if they are causing you fertility difficulties.
- Dilation and Curettage (D&C)
- Uterine polyps are removed in a simple procedure called dilation and curettage. Under local anesthesia, your vagina will be dilated using a flexible metal instrument. Your cervix is then dilated using special metal spacers. A sharp metal instrument, called a curette, is then inserted into the vagina and up through the cervix. The curette has a metal loop on one end, which is used to scrape off the uterine polyps. D&C typically takes about 30 minutes and recovery time is short.
Endometriosis is a condition in which endometrial tissue spreads throughout the body. It is often associated with pain and infertility. Surgery for endometriosis is available, which may help to increase your fertility.
- Laparoscopic Surgery
- Laparoscopic surgery is performed under general anesthetic. A small incision is made beneath the navel, through which the lighted laparascope is inserted. The laparascope allows the surgeon to view inside the uterine cavity. The surgeon then removes any endometrial tissue and lesions. Recovery typically ranges from a couple of days to two weeks.
- Hysterectomy is available to those women with severe endometriosis. Hysterectomy removes the uterus (and sometimes the cervix) through the abdomen. Sometimes the uterus can also be removed through vaginal surgery. If possible, the surgeon will try to leave your ovaries behind so that you can still pursue surrogacy. Hysterectomy is major surgery and will require extensive recovery time.
If you have a tipped uterus, it may be preventing sperm from entering into your fallopian tubes and fertilizing your egg . Surgery is available to help reposition your uterus. This should help to increase your chances of conception.
- The UPLIFT procedure is done through laparoscopic surgery. A small incision is made in your abdomen, and a laparascope (a small camera) is inserted. Your surgeon uses the laparascope to identify ligaments holding your uterus in place. These ligaments are cut, shortened, and then reattached in order to hold your uterus in the proper position. Recovery time is short.
If you have a septate uterus, then a small partition has divided your uterus into two separate sections. This can sometimes interfere with fertilization and pregnancy. Surgery is available to restore the uterus.
- Metroplasty is used to correct a septate uterus. Through laparoscopic surgery, instruments are placed inside the abdomen. The septum that divides the uterus is removed. The uterus is then reshaped to take on a normal appearance, and allow extra room for a growing baby. Metroplasty is highly successful, with 80% of women being able to carry a baby to term.