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Understanding Fertility Problems: Treatments for Women

Problems that affect a woman's fertility can be treated in several ways. Some treatments help sperm or eggs pass through the reproductive tract. Others help an embryo implant in the uterus. Your healthcare provider will talk with you about your options.

Cross section front view of female reproductive system showing polycystic ovary, blockage in fallopian tube, fibroid in wall of uterus, endometriosis, adhesions, septum in uterus, polyp in uterus, and Infection in cervix.
Problems that may affect female fertility.

We understand gender is a spectrum. We may use gendered terms to talk about anatomy and health risk. Please use this sheet in a way that works best for you and your provider as you talk about your care.

Treating the cervix

Problems with the cervix may stop sperm from entering the uterus. They include:

  • A lack of cervical mucus. This can slow or block the passage of sperm. This can be treated with assisted reproductive techniques.

  • An infection. This can be treated with antibiotics.

Treating the fallopian tubes

There may be a problem in the fallopian tubes. This can stop sperm from reaching an egg. The treatment depends on the cause. Causes include:

  • A tubal blockage near the uterus. This can be treated by putting a thin tube (catheter) through the blocked tube. Or it can be treated by using assisted reproductive techniques.

  • Scar tissue (adhesions). These can be removed with surgery. Or assisted reproductive techniques may be used.

Improving implantation

A fertilized egg may not implant in the uterus for several reasons. The treatment depends on the cause. Causes include:

  • Problems with the endometrium. These can be treated with hormone therapy.

  • Scar tissue in the uterus. This is treated with surgery.

  • Small growths called fibroids. These are removed with surgery.

  • A uterine septum. This is tissue that divides the uterus into two 2 inside. This is treated with surgery.

Treating endometriosis

The endometrium is the lining of the uterus. In some cases, this tissue can grow in other parts of the reproductive tract. It can lead to fertility problems. Laparoscopic surgery is done to remove the tissue.

Reversing tubal ligation

Tubal ligation is a surgery to prevent pregnancy by blocking the fallopian tubes. In some cases, it can be reversed with surgery to reconnect the tubes. But the chances of success are not certain. Talk with your healthcare provider to learn more.

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