While most women are born with two healthy and functioning fallopian tubes, it is possible to get pregnant with only one fallopian tube, assuming:
- You have at least one healthy, functioning ovary (fallopian tubes are mobile and healthy tubes sometimes migrate to pick up a mature egg from opposite ovary, (with a bit of luck).
- The remaining tube is healthy
- You menstruate regularly (every 21 to 35 days or so)
If you are healthy, between the ages of 20 and 34, and you have a regular menstrual cycle, odds are you will be able to get pregnant with only one tube. And, you probably don’t even know you have an absent or non-functioning tube since you may not have any symptoms; even blocked tubes are often asymptomatic unless they’re blocked by fluid (hydrosalpinx), in which case you may experience pelvic discomfort.
Typically, women with a single, functioning fallopian tube:
- Have experienced a pelvic infection and/or surgical procedure of some kind that damaged a tube
- Experienced an ectopic pregnancy
- Have scarring or tubal damage as the result of endometriosis
- Were born without the second, functioning tube
Be aware of your cycle
If you know or suspect you only have one functioning fallopian tube, it’s imperative that you get to know your menstrual cycle intimately. This will give you a better indication of when you ovulate, so you can time intercourse accordingly. If you believe that your tube(s) may have a problem but are not quite sure then an hysterosalpingogram (HSG) X-ray can check to make sure that one or both tubes are open.
We recommend reading, Maximizing Fertility at Home, to learn more about your fertility window, how to identify it and how to optimize your chances of conceiving. These 10 Fertility Boosting Tips will also help you prepare your body for pregnancy. If you are 34-years old or younger and have one fallopian tube, you should try to get pregnant at home for 12-months before scheduling an appointment with a fertility specialist.
If you are 35-years or older, and you know you only have one working fallopian tube, it’s best to visit a fertility specialist sooner rather than later. You or your partner could have a secondary infertility factor, in which case accurate diagnostic testing is key to forging your future fertility treatment path. In fact, being 35-years or older is often a factor by itself.
What fertility treatments work best for women with one working tube?
Blocked tubes are often treated via surgery, and you may not require fertility treatment at all. The key here is to select a surgeon who is experienced and has a good track record with these types of surgeries so fertility preservation remains the priority. If surgery isn’t a solution, or the procedure is unsuccessful, your doctor will discuss relevant fertility treatment options.
The recommended fertility treatment(s) depends on the results of fertility testing results. If you ovulate normally, and your partner’s sperm count and quality are healthy, you may require a boost from a fertility medication or intrauterine insemination (IUI) to help you along your way. Fertility medications will often stimulate your ovaries to ovulate more than one egg, possibly one egg on the ovary with the tube and one egg on the ovary without the tube. That way you can have a good chance of conception every month.
If you don’t ovulate as regularly, have multiple factor infertility and/or your partner’s sperm count/quality is low –our doctor will probably recommend IVF.
Are you looking for a compassionate team of fertility experts who have successful fertility treatment rates? Schedule a consultation at NCFMC. Our success rates are some of the best in Northern California, and we work diligently with our patients to create a personalized fertility plan.