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Infertility

Blocked Tubes

12/09/2008

Question:

Do you know of any research centers that are looking for people to perform new ways to unblock tubes or anytype of fertilization. I will be 40 years old in 3 months, have no children, very depressed from this because I just found out in July that my tubes are blocked and have been for years. To hear the doctor say that and tell me the costs and procedures to assist me in pregancy, brought me to a greater depression. I am adopted and just want a part of me that I can see (my blood). Can you help or assist me in finding a reseach center...........PLEASE....PLEASE.....PLEASE!!!!!!

Answer:

Yours is a difficult and unfortunately, common problem. Tubal blockage accounts for 10% to 20% of infertility. If the ends of the tubes are blocked, sometimes laparoscopic surgery can result in pregnancy. However, if the tubes are extremely dilated, or blocked anywhere but the very ends, surgery will rarely result in pregnancy.

The most common treatment today is in vitro fertilization (IVF), commonly called "test-tube babies." In a few states, IVF is covered by insurance (for instance, Illinois and Massachusetts). In most states, some employers offer insurance that covers all or part of the cost of IVF. However, the vast majority of insured couples are not covered for IVF.

The current cost of IVF varies from state to state, but is often > $10,000 per cycle. The cost has changed little over the last 20 years, although the chances of getting pregnant have approximately tripled. The cost can vary greatly between programs, so it is good to check around. Unfortunately, because of the great deal of work, expertise, equipment and medication that goes into the process, I am aware of no programs that offer experimental IVF at a reduced cost.

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Response by:

William W Hurd, MD William W Hurd, MD
Professor of Reproductive Biology
School of Medicine
Case Western Reserve University