Is it possible to conceive naturally if both of your tubes are blocked?

This woman I know had been trying to conceive for 10 yrs with no success. It was determined that both her tubes were totally and completely blocked. Due to this she was able to get the government to pay for 3 IVF cycles. In order for the government to fund it she had to provide proof of the blockage. If even one of her tubes was open she would not have been able to receive the funding. All 3 IVF cycles failed.
She and her husband went on a trip to Italy. Shortly after coming back she announced that she was pregnant at the age of 39.
She made it a point when telling everyone that they had conceived the old fashioned way.
I thought I had a good understanding of human reporduction. Correct me if I’m wrong but I thought that the egg and sperm had to meet in order to create an embryo. If the tubes that allow them to meet are totally blocked how in the world is one able to conceive without medical assistance?
Also Italy is well known for being a leader in assisted reproduction is it not? I still think she had treatments in Italy and for some reason decided to not tell anyone about it.

IIRC it’s not really possible to test the *function *of a woman’s Fallopian tubes. You can determine the type of issue and amount of physical blockage, and women with physical tube issues often have lots of trouble conceiving, but there are many ways to be ‘blocked’ and in plenty of cases of physical blockage there is still a chance that sperm will be able to travel up, egg or zygote down, and result in a successful pregnancy.

It’s not always a case of straight ‘bloackage’, although I think many tubal problems are referred to that way - there are also conditions that cause Fallopian tubes to be misaligned with the ovary. So chances that ovulation results in the egg getting to the right place to be fertilized are much lowered, but it can still happen.

Even women who get tubal ligation (tying off the tubes), or the Essure procedure in which implants are inserted into both Fallopian tubes to induce scarring and blockage, still have some chance of conceiving naturally.

Very interesting thanks.

If she conceived naturally, then her tubes were not “totally and completely blocked”. They may have been 99.9% blocked. They may have been blocked enough to not let saline through them to be seen on the hysterosalpingogram (a test where they inject saline into the tube while using ultrasound to see where the saline goes). Or they may have been 99% blocked by scar tissue and 1% blocked with inflammation during her tests - inflammation that later resolved spontaneously and allowed an ovum through. But yes, you’re right. If they were totally and completely blocked, then she couldn’t have conceived naturally.

But it’s also true that women who were once “totally and completely blocked” by a surgical technique to seal off their fallopian tubes have indeed conceived. Same answer, really - we thought we totally and completely blocked her tubes, but they recovered, and once not totally and completely blocked, an ovum made it through to be fertilized.

I don’t believe there’s been a conception with Essure yet when the implants were properly placed and interim contraception used for a full three months*. It was fast tracked through the testing process because it was so surprisingly effective in early trials - more effective than traditional tube tying techniques.
*There are 37 cases in the medical literature of conception on Essure, but in *all *cases, the implants were in the wrong place or the woman did not use interim contraception. In one of those cases, the woman did pass her hysterosalpingogram, though the implant was later found to have migrated. Again, possibly inflammation on the day of the test occluded the tube and later resolved spontaneously.

I had my tubes cauterized, but I was warned that I might STILL become pregnant, so that if I suspected that I might be pregnant, to get tested.

The trip to Italy is important here. Italy has the highest rate of women over 40 giving birth in the developed world. That’s because Italy has the highest rate of successful IVF treatment in the world. They’re pioneering assisted reproduction techniques there; if I were going to go anywhere to use science to get pregnant, it’d be Italy all the way.

Dimes to donuts that her miraculously unblocked tubes aren’t so miraculously unblocked at all and her “old fashioned” conception is a convenient cover story.

On the other hand, I don’ believe someone who’s been open about going thought 3 rounds of IVF is going to suddenly pretend that they achieved something naturally that required assistance - what would be the point? I’d be more inclined to believe that she was mostly occluded, and one lucky sperm snuck it’s way through. But in the end it’s not got very much to do with you so you may as well take her word for it.

You see I was already suspicious and like you the trip to Italy only heightened my suspicions. I mean she tried to get pregnant for 10 years and her tubes were so blocked that the government funded her IVF attempts.
I don’t get why she would try to cover up the fact that she got pregnant through IVF when everyone already knew she used IVF before.

One reason I can think of–and it’s not likely, but possible–is that she used donor eggs, and she may want to keep that a deep, dark secret–lots of people do–and so is making the whole thing secret.

But, honestly, it’s nobody’s business except her and her husband’s.

I was thinking she probably used donor eggs too. While I’m sure that somewhere out there someone who was diagnosed with fallopian blockages and failed IVF has gone on to have a miracle pregnancy, the outcome in most cases where someone has fallopian tube blockages yet somehow the sperm and egg met anyway would more likely be an ectopic pregnancy than a normal pregnancy.

She may be trying to cover up the fertility treatments so people don’t ask questions about the details and she has to admit she used donor eggs. Even many people who would be willing to admit they had to use fertility treatments wouldn’t want to admit their child wasn’t genetically related to them. I think this is especially likely since a lot of times when people go to heroic lengths to pursue fertility treatments instead of adoption it means the genetic connection is a big deal to them.

Perhaps she & her husband just want to enjoy being parents without having to supply intimate details of their private lives to people known to be judgmental.

Indeed. I read the blog of someone who concieved a child using donor eggs. The inconsiderate, rude and downright hateful comments she recieves about it are staggering. Whether the child was concieved naturally, via IVF, donor egg or an immaculate conception is really nothing to do with you. Unless it turns out to be an alien implanted as part of a plot to take over the earth, then we should all be worrying.

Considering the risk of a tubal pregnancy - which requires an abortion to save the mother’s life and always ends in the death of the embryo/fetus - I would be very, very surprised any woman with blocked tubes would even try to conceive without assistance.

Still, this is the story she is giving the world because it’s the story she needs to tell and needs to hear back from the world. So, let her have it, and keep your doubts to yourself.

I never thought of that donor egg thing but the baby is a spitting image of her husband and looks nothing like the mother. I know it’s not my business. I never questioned her. I’m just writing about it here.

Was that really necessary? Seriously. I did not ask her if her conceiving naturally or not was true. I just wrote about it here because I was curious. What the heck is your problem.
You’re being very hypocritical here. You tell me I’m judgmental means that you are just as judgmental as you accuse me of being does it not?:dubious:

Then why did she tell everyone about the three IVF attempts and the blocked tubes? Then people would not question her miracle pregnancy now would they?

Perhaps she’s telling her friends more than she is sharing with people who call her “this woman I know.” She’s just not that into you.

Your opinion of the OP, whether or not justified, is really not germane to the topic of the thread. Fishing the board for a post of hers to back up your accusation is really not appropriate here. If you need to air a grievance about the OP do so in the Pit.

No warning issued.

Well that’s good since I’m not a lesbian. I call her this woman I know because there is only so much info I feel like giving out on the internet.