Laparoscopy for infertility? It probably sounds complex and scary but don’t worry, let’s help you understand everything you need to know about it.
When we think about any medical treatment, especially an operative procedure or surgery, often we imagine huge incisions, lots of blood and pain. However, Laparoscopy is a simple, least invasive procedure that allows your doctor to access an internal organ without having to cut you open.
Infertility in itself is an emotionally overwhelming condition to deal with, particularly in countries like India where bearing children for couples continues to remain the prerequisite for happy marriages. The thought of invasive treatments adds to the anxiety and makes it worse for people already struggling with fertility-related issues. However, the advances in science and technology have made this struggle a little easier with innovative medical treatments and apparatus. Laparoscopy is one such procedure!
What is laparoscopy for infertility?
Laparoscopy for infertility is an operative procedure that gets its name from the instrument ‘Laparoscope’. It is also known as keyhole surgery which is performed for both, diagnostic as well as treatment purposes.
A tiny incision is made at the site of concern through which a small tube with a light source and a camera relays images of the internal body. Based on these images, the surgeon navigates your surgery with the help of small surgical tools which ensure that your treatment is least invasive. This is done under anesthesia so that your experience is pain free!
When it comes to infertility, diagnostic laparoscopy is performed to diagnose any abnormalities of the reproductive organs, like uterus, ovaries and Fallopian tubes to thoroughly identify the root cause of your problem. Whereas, operative laparoscopy involves treatment of the diagnosis found during diagnostic laparoscopy.
Your surgeon will look for causes of infertility, like:
- Blocked Fallopian tubes
- Scar Tissue
- Fibroid TumorsEndometriosis (this can only be confirmed through Laparoscopy)
- Abnormal uterine and ovarian conditions
Often, these abnormalities are easily corrected by your surgeon through the laparoscope itself by manipulating small surgical instruments through the point of incision. Any scar tissue, fibroid or endometrial tissue that has implanted itself outside of the uterus is removed with a laser beam or electric current or electrocautery.
Why is Laparoscopy done for infertility?
Laparoscopy for infertility is mostly suggested when all other fertility tests do not result in a confirmative diagnosis. Not being able to conceive is difficult enough, it’s worse when there are no answers to ‘why’.
Unexplained infertility is the most common type of infertility, one in four couples with infertility have unexplained infertility. Laparoscopy can be helpful to identify root causes that other blood work and scans failed to reveal. The doctor is able to look at the reproductive system more comprehensively to find out any cognition that could be preventing conception.
If you are experiencing pain and uneasiness in the pelvic area and experience discomfort during or after sexual intercourse, laparoscopy will be a useful line of diagnosis for you.
How is Laparoscopy for infertility performed?
Laparoscopy for infertility is a simple outpatient procedure, which means there’s no need to stay in the hospital overnight. Also, you can get it done in:
An ambulatory surgical centers
A fertility specialist’s center
Doctors often suggest a few pre-operative tests like hemoglobin tests, urine tests, blood tests, TSH, MRI scans, ECG, etc. These tests help the doctors to understand your condition better and take preventive measures if need be.
You will be given anesthesia before the procedure so that you don’t feel any pain. The surgeon will then:
– Insert a needle into the abdomen
– Inject gas through this needle to make all the organs and structures more visible. The needle will then be removed and a small camera on an instrument (laparoscope) will be inserted through a tiny incision approximately 0.5cm to 1.0cm small.
The camera helps your doctor assess your reproductive system thoroughly and based on what they see, your doctor can:
– Inject dye through the fallopian tubes to check for any blockages
– Unblock or open any blockages in your fallopian tubes
– Remove any scar tissue or adhesions – Correct abnormalities, if any.
You are put under observation for a few hours to ensure there are no complications post which, you’re allowed to go home.
How is Laparoscopy for infertility beneficial?
Undoubtedly, laparoscopy is a very effective procedure. Unlike conventional methods, laparoscopy is least invasive and convenient for both doctor and patients. It is not just limited to diagnosis, you receive treatment during the diagnostic process itself and this can increase your chances of getting pregnant right away.
Laparoscopy is better than the other methods of abdomen evaluation in every way possible, because:
- The incisions are smaller and patients do not have to worry about their physical appearance, post-recovery.
- There are comparatively fewer chances of internal scarring.
- Possibility of correcting issues during surgery itself.
- Risk of infection is much lower than traditional surgery.
- The keyhole incisions heal quickly and you can get back to your daily-life activities in a week, in some cases, earlier too.
- Given that the patient can leave the hospital on the same day, it will cost less as compared to the conventional treatment that requires the patient to remain in the hospital for a week or more.
- Laparoscopy is less painful as compared to open surgery.
The recovery period depends on whether it was a diagnostic procedure or an operative procedure. The patient is released on the same day in the case of diagnostic laparoscopy but he/she may be advised to rest for a day or two by the doctor. In the case of operative laparoscopy, the recovery time may vary from case to case as every grade of the procedure has different requirements and conditions. Laparoscopy for infertility cost varies from case to case, based on place of treatment, type of treatment, medical history, and risks associated.
How long does it take to recover after Laparoscopy for infertility?
After the surgery, the patient is observed by the doctor for a few hours before being discharged. They monitor your vitals for any reaction to the procedure and also check for bleeding in case of a side effect. Rarely, patients can react to anesthesia in case they have an unknown allergy, so that’s also closely observed.
It is completely normal if the patient feels a little weak after the procedure. However, be assured that the hospital staff will consistently check for side effects.
At the end of the observation period, if the doctor finds everything as expected, you’re free to go home. The length of recovery depends on the type of procedure performed, the duration of surgery, the number of incisions made, whether the patient had previously had surgery, the patient’s health before surgery, and whether there were complications during the surgery.
While you are at home after surgery, it is recommended to relax and not indulge in strenuous work at all. You might feel pain or discomfort at the incision site, which is normal. This pain is minimal and will subside within a few days. Your doctor will ensure you’re prescribed medication for pain management.
You might also experience pain in the shoulders or abdomen as the gas that was inserted will start dispelling. This is absolutely normal.
It can take upto 3 days to relieve the gas, movement has shown to be really helpful to expedite this process.
Pregnancy after Laparoscopy for infertility
The one question that every person who has undergone laparoscopy has on their mind is ‘After laparoscopy, how long should we wait to get pregnant?’
Well, it depends on the type of procedure. It is best to allow your body to recover and wait for a few weeks. In fact, doctors advise to wait until your site of incision completely heals. You will experience a little pain and bloating for a few days after your procedure, so do not start trying immediately. This will help you stay safe from any complications.
If you’ve gone through operative or grade 4 laparoscopy, it is advisable to wait for 3 to 6 months.
In the case of laparoscopy for infertility, the success rate of the operative procedure is significant. Improvement in fertility after laparoscopy depends on various factors including age, complexity, other medical conditions, etc. However, it is higher in women aged below 35 years.
After surgery, your doctor will explain your post surgery plan as well as your conception plan with you. If the fibroids in the uterus have been removed or your fallopian tubes have been repaired, you can try to conceive on your own. In the case of endometriosis or PID, if the scar tissue is removed, pregnancy is possible without further treatment. In case you do not conceive for several months after surgery, your doctor may recommend advanced fertility treatment for infertility.
Why can Grace Fertility help you?
If you are looking for a fertility center in Gurgaon, Grace Fertility is your one-stop solution. Grace Fertility is a highly professional IVF center that has been part of innumerable happy moments of more than ten thousand couples so far. The team at Grace Fertility entails highly skilled IVF specialists who provide personalized and customized care to the patients. With the help of advanced assisted reproductive technology at Grace Fertility, you can get rid of all the roadblocks on your way towards a happier future. Forget about all the hassle of researching and going through manuals or some web content, seek assistance from an expert, and chalk out a successful plan of starting your family. Book your appointment at Grace Fertility, the best IVF center in Gurgaon and get all the support you need.
In case you have queries that are left unanswered, worry not! Book an appointment at Grace Fertility and let the experts guide you. Feel free to get in touch with us and kiss your worries goodbye!