Pregnancy is absolutely possible with one fallopian tube, assuming you and the solo tube are healthy. In fact, as many as 85% of women who are at optimal pregnancy age (22 – 28) and who only have one tube conceive a baby within two years of trying consistently – even after an ectopic pregnancy.
While women are usually born with two fallopian tubes, and both are used to transfer the mature egg from the ovary to the uterus (hoping to meet a healthy sperm along the way…), a single fallopian tube is able to do double duty (more on that below).
So whether you know a tube is blocked due to scarring, trauma, or a former ectopic pregnancy, your chances of getting pregnant are still normal as long as other factors are in play.
Pregnancy Is Possible with One Tube If…
While two tubes are better than one, as is the case with all shared jobs or backup plans, you can still get pregnant with a single tube if…
You are celebrating optimal fertility age birthdays
As you know, age matters when it comes to egg quality, so even if you are ovulating regularly and your single tube is picking up the majority of the eggs, you’ll struggle to conceive and/or carry a full-term baby if you are 40-years-old or older.
If you are 35 years or more and you know you only have one healthy or functioning fallopian tube, we recommend meeting with a fertility center to discuss your options.
You ovulate regularly
In almost all cases regular menstrual cycles (you get your period roughly every 21 to 35 days) mean you ovulate regularly. If you have irregular periods it is a sign that something is wrong and you should schedule an appointment with your OB/GYN about it pronto.
You can also use an over-the-counter ovulation prediction kit (OPK). Once you’ve tracked your period for a few months and have identified your “fertile window,” the OPK can let you know if you’ve ovulated or not. Read up on How Ovulation Works… to learn more.
Your remaining tube is healthy
If you already know you are missing a tube or that an existing tube is damaged beyond repair, it’s important that your remaining tube is looked at and potentially tested to ensure it is healthy and free of blockages. The egg and sperm need a completely clear pathway to do their job well, and even a partially blocked tube can reduce your chances for conception, while increasing your chances of an ectopic pregnancy.
Amazing and little-known fact: Fallopian tubes are mobile and active parts of your reproductive tract. When one tube isn’t there or is “broken” the other tube can actually move over to the opposite ovary and “pick up” an available egg. Pretty amazing.
You are healthy and have no known infertility factors
Any existing health conditions or known infertility factors, combined with a malfunctioning or absent tube, can complicate conception for you. This is why your physician and your fertility specialist want to know absolutely every detail of your medical and reproductive history. Sometimes there are red flags that lead the way to more accurate testing and diagnoses, and we cannot see those red flags waving if you don’t share all the details with us.
For example, if you have even mild endometriosis and it has led to scarring or tubal failure for one tube, your other tube is at risk as well and we’ll want to treat that ASAP to stop potential/future scarring in its tracks.
Blocked Fallopian Tubes Do not Always Mean Fertility Treatments
Finally, it is important to know that many issues affecting fallopian tubes can be treated via laparoscopy. So, just because you have a blocked or malfunctioning tube does not mean you are on a one-way track to fertility treatment. In fact, fertility specialists always prefer to fix something like this so they are clients have a better chance of conceiving at home – always more fun than the alternative.
If you are interested in conceiving a baby and you only have one tube, you’re looking into a tubal ligation reversal, or you require tubal surgery to clear a current tube block, we highly recommend connecting with a fertility specialist to create a personalized fertility plan. While OB/GYNs prioritize their patients’ wellbeing, fertility specialists prioritize their patients’ wellbeing and their fertility future.
We take great care when operating on a woman’s fallopian tube(s) to absolutely minimize any complications or post-surgical scarring that could compromise fertility down the road. Contact us here at Fertility Solutions to learn more.