Monday, September 28, 2009

Blocked Fallopian tubes and Disabled sperm?

Hi Edward,

I have two quick questions for you.....
The first is, how likely is it for Fallopian tubes to block for no reason? I fell pregnant November 07 but miscarried in January 08 and have been trying to fall pregnant since but to no avail. I am currently attending a fertility Clinic in ireland and despite 3 IUI's and 4 months on Clomid with a very good response to meds each time and my husbands's samples being good I have still failed to fall pregnant and was wondering could it be possible that one or both of my tubes are blocked? I had a lap and dye done but that was back in March 07 before I fell pregnant.

My second question is this, myself and my husband are now going down the IVF route - I am starting on the meds on 29th September. My husband in the past has used Viagra on occasion to help with producing samples. At the time the fertility clinic had no problem with him using Viagra but over the past few weeks I did a bit of research re the use of Viagra when trying to conceive and there are some findings just recently saying that Viagra can actually have a negative impact when trying to conceive as it can prevent the sperm from penetrating the egg you know if this is the case? The reason I ask is because you are based in the States and normally the States are one step ahead of Europe in terms of medical findings, research, etc. and having the most up to date info. I would hate for my husband to use Viagra to produce his sample during our IVF procedure only to find that the swimmers cannot penetrate any of the eggs. It's a very expensive procedure as you know so don't want to take any chances. Any advice greatly appreciated.

Hello Katie from Ireland,
Tubes don't usually get blocked without a reason. Something has to block them. I would recommend you consider doing an HSG (hysterosalpingogram) to check them out. Sometimes a woman can develop mucous plugs in the tubes. The HSG can be used as a treatment for this and the pressure can push the plugs out, resulting in pregnancy thereafter.
I have not seen any research in our fertility journals stating that Viagra disables the sperm. However, if this is a concern, then you have the option of requesting that ICSI be performed to be sure that the sperm penetrate the egg, rather than doing natural fertilization where the risk is that fertilization does not occur. Most of my patients will elect this anyway, because they would hate to have a cycle fail because fertilization did not occur. ICSI is where individual sperm is taken and injected into each egg.

I hope this helps,


Edward J. Ramirez, M.D., FACOG
Executive Medical Director
The Fertility and Gynecology Center
Monterey Bay IVF Program
Monterey, California, U.S.A.

for additional information check out my blog at check me out on facebook and twitter with me at @montereybayivf.

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