Infertility can be caused by many things. If you are trying to get pregnant and have had a year or more of unprotected sexual intercourse, you and your partner should be checked for fertility issues. Problems with a woman’s uterus and/or cervix are among the problems that can cause infertility.
When there are abnormalities with the uterus, egg fertilization and embryo development can be affected. These abnormalities include:
- Fibroids – These benign tumors located in the uterine wall can change the shape or size of the uterine cavity and affect the ability of an embryo to implant. In rare instances, they may block the fallopian tubes.
- Endometriosis – When endometrial tissue implants and grows outside of the uterus, the function of the ovaries, uterus and fallopian tubes may be affected.
- Polyps – Fertility can be affected by either uterine polyps or cervical polyps. Uterine polyps are lesions of the uterine wall, and cervical polyps are smooth growths in the cervix. Polyps can impair fertilization or growth of an embryo.
- Adhesions – These are bands of scar tissue that form between or inside abdominal organs. When uterine adhesions are severe, they can block or distort the inside of the uterus. This can cause difficulty in carrying a pregnancy to full term.
Infection of the endometrium can also cause adhesions. Asherman syndrome is another name for adhesions that occur within the uterus.
Some abnormalities of the uterus happen before birth. In some cases, the uterus or fallopian tubes do not form normally. These types of malformations are called Mullerian anomalies and there are many types.
Diagnosing Uterine and Cervical Abnormalities
The uterus can be evaluated in different ways to check for problems. Transvaginal ultrasound can be used to evaluate the space and shape of the endometrial cavity. This process can reveal any abnormalities. Another imaging test is a hysterosalpingogram. This is a specialized x-ray that evaluates the uterus and fallopian tubes.
Another diagnostic tool is the hysteroscopy. The inside of the uterus is viewed via a thin camera which is passed through the cervix. The doctor can see exactly what the uterine cavity looks like. The hysteroscopy provides the most accurate information regarding the condition of the inside of the uterus.
If you have questions about infertility or are experiencing symptoms, contact Neway Fertility. Schedule an appointment for an examination and consultation with one of our fertility specialists, and let us help you build the family you so desire.