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Most women are born with a pair of healthy fallopian tubes, also knowns as oviducts or uterine tubes. These female structures have an important role in conception as eggs travel through them to get from the ovaries to the uterus. They also act as a means of transport to transfer the fertilized egg to the uterus for implantation. For this reason, there seems to be a common misconception that a single functioning fallopian tube could affect conception. However, this does not seem to be the case as a single functioning uterine tube is equally efficient to get pregnant and deliver healthy babies.
While occasionally, some women may have only one tube by birth, others might lose one due to reasons including pelvic surgery for an infection, past ectopic surgery, or a tumour. Nevertheless, you may be able to get pregnant with only one tube if your monthly cycles are regular (ovulation), one functioning ovary and the remaining fallopian tube is healthy.
While it may seem simple for some, there are many variables at play to get pregnant. And when you have only a single functioning fallopian tube to do the work, you need to consider other factors such as menstrual cycle, age, and overall health.
Age has an important role to play when it comes to the quality of a woman's eggs. During the process of ovulation, eggs in a woman's ovaries go through a phase of cell division known as meiosis. older eggs are more likely to develop DNA errors during this division process, which can lead to genetically abnormal eggs. Having one fallopian tube coupled with poor egg quality can pose challenges in your journey to become pregnant.
A regular menstrual cycle is another important part of pregnancy. A woman roughly experiences a period every 21 to 35 days in a regular cycle. In case of irregular periods, there is a need to evaluate the cause as it could be a sign of something amiss in the reproductive tract. Tracking your periods can help you better identify your -fertile window -- the time when you are most likely to conceive.
Even if you have a single fallopian tube that is healthy and free of any obstructions you do have chances of getting pregnant.
Some women with only one fallopian tube may need fertility treatment to conceive. in vitro fertilization (IVF) is often recommended in cases where women have been trying to get pregnant for approximately a year with no success. IVF completely bypasses the role of fallopian tubes and makes a good option for women with a single fallopian tube.
Eggs are directly harvested from the ovaries and fertilized outside the woman's body. Once fertilized, the egg is implanted into the woman's uterus. Age being an important factor in conception, the procedure has a success rate of about 40 per cent for women under age 35, and for those above 40, the success rate drops.
To sum it up, pregnancy with one fallopian tube is possible, however, it is necessary to consider the other factors that have a role to play in the journey to motherhood. Once you have these aspects under control, there is little that can stop you from getting pregnant and enjoying the joys of having a baby.
(The article is contributed by Dr Archana Dhawan Bajaj, Gynaecologists and Obstetrician and IVF Expert- Nurture IVF Centre)
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