Some women, although rare, are born with only one fallopian tube while most other women with only one tube lost their tube due to an ectopic pregnancy that ruptured or caused too much damage, some cancers, infections that caused damages to the tube or extreme cystitis to the fallopian tube. Regardless of the reason, each reason has the ability to cause a woman to be either completely infertile or only intermittently infertile. We will explain how she can be intermittently infertile later in the article. First let us discuss how each of these reasons for one fallopian tube can cause issues with fertility.
Born Without a Fallopian Tube and How this Affects Fertility
Although it is rare to be born with only one fallopian tube, the body complex and can manage with only half of what is normally a pair. The pituitary gland sends a signal to a random ovary to produce an egg. The fallopian tube adjacent to that ovary then delivers the egg to the uterus to be fertilized; if not fertilized the egg will break down and this is how you have your period.
So long as the ovary signaled by the pituitary gland; the ovary is chosen at random, it does not take turns or alternate; is adjacent to your single fallopian tube it is likely you will have no issues with infertility at that point. Keep a record of your periods. You may notice that some months you do not have a period-it is during these months that the ovary signaled to produce an egg was the one on the side of the missing fallopian tube.
This is just one example of intermittent infertility. Some women’s pituitary gland is somehow aware that the egg adjacent to the singe fallopian tube is the only way to get the egg possibly fertilized and it will always send a signal to that ovary. This is not always the case, but for some women it is the fortunate case for them.
Loss of Fallopian Tube Due to Ectopic Pregnancy
If the egg attached itself inside the fallopian tube and was then fertilized it is then that an ectopic pregnancy occurs. Most times the signs and symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy are found out too late and are found at the time of rupture or at just moments before rupture. Either way, when found late it is often decided by the surgeon that the fallopian tube be removed due to the extensive damage caused by the ectopic pregnancy. The surgeon may have also found blockages in the fallopian tube that caused the egg to not be able to travel to the uterus and thus caused the ectopic pregnancy.
One thing about an ectopic pregnancy, especially one found late is that the other fallopian tube sometimes suffers as well; usually by great inflammation. This can cause stretching of the tube and possible adhesions that later turn to scar tissue and thus cause difficulties for the egg to pass all the way down to the uterus. If you had an ectopic pregnancy you still have the chances of having a normal pregnancy later on in life if your fallopian tube that is left is healthy and your ovaries are healthy.
The safe route is to have procedures done to test the structure of the remaining fallopian tube and ensure that it is most likely safe to attempt pregnancy. Even if your tests come back showing that the fallopian tube is structurally sound, the chance of a subsequent ectopic pregnancy is lower, and the risk of infertility is lessened, it is still important that you see your gynecologist as soon as a pregnancy is believed to have happened. This is standard practice for any woman with only one fallopian tube and especially for a woman who has a history of ectopic pregnancy. Tests will be done to ensure that the pregnancy is not ectopic.
Continue to Part II: Does Having Only One Fallopian Tube Cause Infertility.
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