ZocdocAnswersAre eggs affected when fallopian tubes are removed?

Question

Are eggs affected when fallopian tubes are removed?

I'm a 30 year old woman and I'm going to have to get my fallopian tubes removed as part of cancer treatment. Will this affect my eggs? I have never had a child and still planned to, so I would pursue in vitro - if that's possible.

Answer

The fallopian tubes extend outward from the uterus, allowing for the passage of the eggs produced in the ovaries to travel into the uterus. If the fallopian tubes are removed (in the case of surgery due to infection or cancer) or ligated to prevent pregnancy, the ovaries themselves are not affected, and they will continue to produce eggs and regulate the hormones in the body as they normally do. However, often times when there is a cancer involving the pelvic organs (i.e., the uterus, fallopian tubes or ovaries), the other surrounding structures may be removed as well if there is evidence of the cancer involving those structures. If both of your fallopian tubes alone are removed and your ovaries and uterus are left intact, then you should be able to use in vitro fertilization (IVF) to become pregnant. IVF involves harvesting eggs produced by your ovaries and combining these eggs with sperm outside of the body. Once an embryo is formed during the incubation process, it can then be inserted by a catheter through the vagina and into the uterus. You should have a candid discussion with your physician about the exact details of your upcoming surgery, and discuss your options for in vitro fertilization in the future.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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