Having only one fallopian tube does not mean a woman is destined for infertility. Many reasons can contribute to a woman having only one fallopian tube, but not having both fallopian tubes does not equal infertility in all cases. Learning why she does not have both tubes as well as how the anatomy of the reproductive systems works can help many women understand why this is not always a cause of infertility, however, having a single operating fallopian tube may cause intermittent infertility for some.
Loss of Fallopian Tube Due to Cancer or Infection
If you had to have a fallopian tube removed due to a cancer or infection to that fallopian tube it is not unlikely that the other fallopian tube also had cancer cells or an infection as well-but the surgeon did not believe the damage was significant enough to remove both fallopian tubes. This poses a problem because if damages occurred to the remaining fallopian tube it is likely that scar tissue or tumors have formed in the remaining fallopian tube and this could cause infertility issues or increase the risk of an ectopic pregnancy. Tests can be done before you attempt to get pregnant that will show if there is any damages to the remaining fallopian tube that would cause a need for concern. Generally though if you are having your period regularly each month your chances of having infertility problems because of having only one fallopian tube are decreased and your risk of ectopic pregnancy are not high either.
Regardless of why you have only one fallopian tube there are two things that you should keep in mind before attempting to get pregnant. The first is to understand that there may have been significant damages to the other fallopian tube that were not seen during the removal of the other fallopian tube and this could cause infertility or a greater risk of ectopic pregnancy; on a lighter note, it is possible that the remaining fallopian tube had no damage at all and if you have healthy ovaries then your chances of having a healthy and normal pregnancy are very high. The issue is; however, when you will become pregnant.
As mentioned earlier the pituitary gland sends a signal to “an” ovary to produce an egg. The ovary is chosen at random so if the ovary is chosen on the side of the missing fallopian tube during this cycle then you are considered having “intermittent” infertility.
The egg may be released from the ovary on the remaining fallopian tube side the following cycle, or it may be several cycles before the right ovary is used to release the egg. Patience is important as well as knowing that you are not completely infertile.
The other thing to know and which is very important for any woman who has only one fallopian tube is to go see your OBGYN as soon as you believe you are pregnant. It is important for the gynecologist to run tests and check the pregnancy with a sonogram to see if the pregnancy is ectopic or not. If an ectopic pregnancy is caught early you can save your remaining fallopian tube and not have extensive damage to it.
So the answer to the question is yes and no. Yes having only one fallopian tube can cause infertility-either intermittently or if the remaining fallopian tube is damaged or if the ovaries are not healthy. And no, having only one fallopian tube does not always cause infertility. The body only needs one fallopian tube to deliver the egg to the uterus. In fact, studies have shown that there have been some women with no fallopian tubes at all that still had an egg be delivered to the uterus and conception occurred! So, with one or none, the infertility is not for certain until tests have been done to prove so.
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