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Prior D&C And Infertility: Woman From Barbados Needs A Thorough Infertility Evaluation

Posted Nov 12 2010 12:00am

Question:

Good Morning All.....My name is D. and I'm from Barbados in the West Indies. Just to give you a bit of background info on myself and hopefully you can make suggestions for me.

I've read the testimonials on the site and I was very touched and moved by the numbers of persons who were able to receive some type of positive assistance regardless of how small of how large.

In 2005 I had an abortion which resulted in me having to have a D&C and I've not been able to get pregnant since. I say not since 2005 because I remember at some point in 2008 having a very faint positive on a pregnancy test but to this day I cant be sure because the next day I did the test again and it was negative ....so I don't know if it was a false positive if it was a true positive or what it was.

In 2007 I saw a fertility specialist and had some tests done. I specifically had the test done where they run the dye through the tubes to see if they are opened and both tubes were opened. At the end of of various consultations the specialist told me that she couldn't find anything wrong and that only thing she could think of was that I had some scar tissue in the cervix area which was blocking the sperm from entering the cervix and travelling on to meet the egg....she said she arrive at that because it was difficult for her to pass the tube to eject the dye through the cervix. She said the only way I would be able to get pregnant is by having and IUI. Now I'm not being forward or anything and I know I'm not a doctor, but the blocked cervix theory is not sitting well with me and it doesn't seem logical at all.

I spoke to two other specialists and they too do not agree with the assessment. I have a regular 26day cycle EVERY month without fail and testing ovulation sticks shows me a surge around day 10-11 every month. The only thing is that my period has gone over the years form 5 days to perhaps 3 at times with clotting and dark blood or brown blood at time.....other that that it is like clockwork every month.. It doesn't make sense that blood and clots would be able to pass through the cervix and sperm cannot pass through the same opening.

I'm of Christian Faith and I've put the entire situation in God's hands but I think can also prepare my body for when he decides to bless me. I keep thinking that perhaps herbs or something can help I don't know what to do really. I've been married now for 1 and a 1/2 years and we've been trying since 2008 but nothing. I was thinking about the Fertility Cleanse and wonder if you think that would be a good first step, if not I welcome any thoughts you may have Thank you so much for your time and please have a blessed day.

Answer

Hello D. from the West Indies,

Thank you for your kind comments. Now, what your doctor is referring to when she talks about "scar tissue in the cervix" is probably cervical stenosis. Many women who have never had children can have a small narrow cervix. We call that stenosis. You are correct in that the blood can pass through this, so sperm should as well. Cervical stenosis is NOT a reason for infertility, but IUI will definitely help this issue.

A D&C, dilation and curettage, can lead to scar tissue formation within the uterus which is called "Asherman's Syndrome". The only way to clearly identify this is to undergo a procedure called a hysteroscopy. This is where a small scope is passed into the uterus to look inside the cavity. Scar tissue can be readily seen and if present, can be removed at the time. But this is a difficult problem because often the scar tissue will return and several hysteroscopies with removal of the scar tissue may be needed.

There are other possible causes of infertility that you may not have had checked. For instance, have you had a laparoscopy? It is a surgical procedure whereby a scope is passed into the abdomen via the umbilicus in order to examine the pelvis. The pelvis is important because this is where the egg needs to pass through after ovulation (leaving the ovary) in order to get to the tube. Abnormalities such as endometriosis or pelvic adhesions can prevent the egg from getting to the tube. In addition, has your husband had a semen analysis done? Have you had a end of cycle endometrial biopsy to check to see that the uterine lining (endometrium) is forming correctly? These are just some examples of fertility testing. Lastly, you have not mentioned your age. Advanced age (over 35 yo) can play a role in egg abnormalities.

If you have had all this testing and still nothing has been found, then you would be categorized as an "unexplained infertility". This just means that we have not found a cause, and the most likely reason is because we don't have the technology to find the cause. Many of these patients have to resort to IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) in order to achieve pregnancy because there might be a sperm-egg fertilization problem (which you cannot test for). If your doctor is a fertility specialist, then she should be able to map out a treatment plan for you. Before resorting to alternative treatments that may not work, please go over some of the suggestions I made with your doctor.

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

Comment: I was kind of skeptical in looking for a response.Like most online Q&A I expected a vague response at best and I expected the doctor to be as short as possible considering he wasnt being paid but I was pleasantly surprised with Dr Ramirez...he was great and I got more info from him than I did with my own doctor... Thank you so much Dr Ramirez and may God bless you as you seek to help others :)
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