Random header image... Refresh for more!

Diagnosis: Infertility Caused By Scar Tissue

Diagnosis: Infertility Caused by PID Scar Tissue
By: Carolyn

What PID Scarring Means and Its Impact on Fertility

Many women who have suffered an attack of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) also suffer from infertility caused by the infection. PID can be caused either by a sexually transmitted disease or bacterial vaginosis. An infection can cause scarring in the fallopian tubes or in the abdomen. Blocked fallopian tubes hinder an egg’s ability to travel into the uterus to be fertilized, and scarring in the abdomen can effectively cement the fallopian tubes in place (making it nearly impossible for them to “catch” an egg) and completely separate them from the ovaries.

PID is frequently misdiagnosed, especially if the patient does not test positive for a sexually transmitted disease. A bad attack causes severe stomach/abdominal pain and an infection that must be treated with antibiotics. If you suspect you have had PID, inform your OB/GYN or RE so they can complete further testing.

It’s important to note that any kind of abdominal infection or abdominal surgery can cause scarring that may lead to infertility. You should inform your physician if you have any cause to suspect that you may have scar tissue.

Diagnostic Process

Unfortunately, the only way to definitively diagnose infertility caused by PID scarring is through a laparoscopy. Your doctor may decide a lap is indicated if an HSG shows that your tubes are blocked, if you have a known history of PID or abdominal infection/surgery, or if an HSG shows that your uterus and/or tubes seem to be pulled into an awkward position. If scarring is found during a lap, your doctor will remove all that (s)he can.

Treatment Options

Since many women who suffer from infertility caused by PID scarring (or scar tissue in general) have blocked tubes, unblocking them is frequently the first step. This is typically done during a laparoscopy. The best treatment for scar tissue is to remove it, however, because the nature of scar tissue is to grow back, removal may only result in a short window (usually 6 months to 1 year) of fertility. Aggressive scar tissue can grow back even more quickly.

IUI may not be recommended for a woman who suffers from PID scarring if she has blocked fallopian tubes or tubes that cannot retrieve an egg once ovulation has occurred. In those cases, or in the case of a woman whose scar tissue has grown back aggressively after removal, IVF is the only option.

Personal Experience

I suffered from a bad attack of PID three years before my diagnosis. The initial infection was misdiagnosed by no fewer than three doctors, all of whom assumed that I had a burst ovarian cyst. My HSG was perfectly normal, though a later review of the films showed that one of my tubes was pulled in a suspicious direction. After 15 months of infertility, a new OB/GYN recommended an exploratory laparoscopy just to rule out any problems that could have been caused by the infection. Lo and behold, I had scar tissue everywhere. My fallopian tubes were thankfully clear, but my tubes and ovaries were completely cut off from one another, and my tubes were tied down by scar tissue.

Not every doctor thinks to perform a lap before labeling an infertile patient “unexplained.” I will forever be grateful that mine decided to take that step before we wasted time and money on IUIs that would not have worked. As grateful as I am to my doctor, however, I never would have found him if I hadn’t been determined to find a diagnosis for my infertility. In my case, getting aggressive was likely the only way for me to find a cause and to determine which treatment options were best for us.

31 comments

1 Anonymous { 04.20.07 at 3:25 pm }

Thankyou for providing this article. I have been diagnosed with chlamydia, and have been made aware it may have scarred my tubes. I am terrified and there seems to be little information around on what I can do. My GP isn’t too concerned as we have only been trying for 3months, but as I am sure you are aware being told even you are possibly infertile is stressful enough. Thanks again!

2 Anonymous { 09.15.07 at 12:13 pm }

How much does the lap test cost? My situation, after trying 3 years:

1) Clomid challenge–ok
2) H’s sperm–ok
3) 1st HSG–blocked
4) IVF –> failed
5) 2nd HSG–one side open (WTF?)
6) 1st IUI –> low beta, then failed
7) 2nd IUI –> failed

I asked before the 2nd IUI if we needed more testing and was told no. But at over 2K per medicated IUI and around 15K per IVF, I feel like I need more answers. I don’t think a lap has been brought up. Or, the doc may have said it wasn’t worth it due to cost or something. I don’t remember. But if one HSG showed blockage on both sides and the 2nd showed one side blocked….

3 Anonymous { 10.04.07 at 4:56 pm }

My ex partner gave me chlamidya when i was just 22 years old. This resulted in an eptopic pregnancy as the left tube was full of puss. Doctors could not suggest why I was so poorly and in extreme pain and I eventually ended up having a laparoscopy to investigate, this is when they found the infection. They treated me and also told me I had PID, my womb was retrovert and the tubes had fallen behind my womb, also I know that my womb is substantially lower that it used to be with perhaps only 2 and a half inches of the vaginal entry befor I can feel my cervix. Ever since I have been in terrible pain, whilst running, during intercourse and it was getting worse. That is when I went back for a 2nd laparoscopy and they discovered severe adhesions that caused my womb to stick to my liver, they cut it off and removed adhesions and then did a tubular inslaflation ‘dye test’ when i opened my eyes from the op the doctor coldly told me I would never have children again and that a small trickle passed through the right tube and that if this did result in pregnancy it would cause another eptopic. I’m 26 now and still in pain when I have intercourse, some positions are worse than others but that feels like the position of my womb being tilted, i have various sharp pains and before periods can feel agonising pain in my tubes and ovaries. Does any one know what I can do, I so want children again, it has made me feel so depressed and the pain has ruined my sex life, my new partner and i are planning on getting married and i’m sick of pretending I’m too tired for intercourse that lasts over twenty mins its really affecting me and i don’t know how long i can keep up he pretence

4 Anonymous { 05.06.08 at 3:41 pm }

I found your article very interesting and informative. Thank you. I am 41 and have failed over the years to conceive. I did 2 mysmectomy and told that my womb is now malfigured. I was treated over a hundred times for STD that I contracted from my husband who claimed he has always been faithful. I would like for someone to tell me if I can still conceive after experiencing all this. I am now out of a relationship for the pasr 2 yrs and is dtill interested in having even 1 child. Please help.

5 Melinda { 06.22.09 at 10:35 am }

I was diagnoised with PID at 17, with three different STD tests coming back negative for everything. I am now 19 and still have reoccuring attacks, which make my periods super painful and sex with my husband, if I've recently had a bad attack, is almost non-existant because of the pain. I'm not interested in children, yet, but I know in the future, I'm going to want them. This article was very helpful to me, because I can suggest trying a lap test to see how bad the scarring is. Thank you for posting this article.

6 Anonymous { 07.31.09 at 1:04 pm }

I would also like to thank you for this article. My husband and I had been on the TTC train for about two years before I found this blog site. After reading this, a red flag went up and I brought it up to my doctor. When I was young I had my appendix removed and six months later scar tissue had grown around my intestines blocking them. This resulted in another major surgery to remove several inches of my intesine.

I had my lap done two months ago and I'm so thankful for it. She found my abdomen full of scar tissue blocking my tubes, pulling them in different directions, and my uterus attached to my bowel wall. Luckily she was able to remove the adhesions and fix things and we are currently back in TTC-mode.

I wanted to add that if you have any suspicion at all you need to get checked. In my case, I had no pain from the scar tissue and pretty normal periods. No signs that there was a problem. You just never know what is going on inside your body.

GL to all..

7 Holly Jensen { 03.11.10 at 6:25 pm }

My Husband and I were married 8 months ago. We started trying to have kids right away since he was older than me. Neither one of us has had kids. I have a great OBGYN and he said that I need to have an HSG done. I did, the right tube was completely blocked. From there he suggested a laporoscopy to remove the right tube. He said that he could trying clearing the tube but that it would probably lead to an ectopic pregnancy if I was able to concieve. When I had the LAP done it turned out that I have horrible scarring everywhere. He removed my right tube and told me that the left one was completely wrapped around my left ovary. He said that we could try IUI’s but that our best option is to do IVF. How can anyone afford this option? Did my appendectomy cause this? Was birth control the culprit? Did I really have an STD? Was it caused by my IUD? There are so many questions and no answers. I am having such a hard time dealing with this.

8 mash { 03.24.10 at 4:54 am }

I had a ruptured liver after a horse riding accident, and I spent a few weeks in an induced coma in ICU. This happened 11 years ago. After a few months of TTC I asked the gynae if that’s what caused it, and she said no, definitely not. A year later, I went to a fertility specialist who saw the scars on my belly and instantly diagnosed scar tissue problems. An HSG confirmed one blocked tube, and he told me the other is very likely to be damaged. A lap is out of the question for me as the adhesions might have affected my bowel, causing it to adhere to my abdominal wall, and if the scope sinks into my bowel, it could be life threatening.

IVF it is then!

9 Little Miss Sunshine { 05.05.10 at 6:44 pm }

I saw infertility doc who pushed IVF right away because HSG showed both tubes blocked. For personal reasons, IVF is out of the question. I had dye pushed through my tubes via HSG in 2008 to “unblock” tubes. No pregnancy. Then I quit my super stressful job, lost 50 lbs, and had another dye HSG to see if tubes were still open. The tubes were partially closed and the HSG unblocked them again. A month later I conceived. Baby is due at the end of 2010. Every dang doc I saw was so darn negative about the possibility of my becoming pregnant and they were downright condescending when I told them IVF was not something I would do. Anyway, had an ultrasound to make sure the wee one is in the uterus and not in the tubes. Wee one is in the right place. Sometimes these docs do not know every dang thing and we have to ignore their negativity and keep on keeping on. I did not let them take my tubes either despite their claim that they are useless to me. Removing them would have made IVF my only option for bearing children. Some of these doctors make me sick.

10 WF { 06.03.10 at 8:12 am }

There are so many diagnosisis and causes of infertility that it is best to try and find a supportive Fertility / IVF clinic.

11 renee { 11.03.11 at 3:03 pm }

can bacterial vaginosis stop you from conceving?

12 steffy { 07.25.12 at 2:08 am }

I have been bleeding for 2 months. I was admitted to the er they thought for sure I had appendices. This was the second time in 16 yrs. Today I had a lap and they found my right tube had a bacteria infection. However my white blood cell have been high since feb of 07′. I found out I had genital herpes after I was rapped @ 19. I am currently 33 and single. My question is if I want kids in the future can I have them?? I have never tested for another std except herpes. My dr in the er today which he has been on gyno for 17 yrs didn’t get into details. When I was 16 I was admitted into the hospital after 3 days being there and them almost removing my appendix the said ruptured cyst. I was a virgin till one month b4 I turned 19. about 3 months after I was raped and had a mental break down I shared my story with a dr. By doing this the dr said I suffered from ptsd. I had buried that my father had molested me, so I know I’m going on and on…. But my question is can I still have children and what the time frame?

13 Candice { 08.24.12 at 6:56 am }

When I was about 15 yrs old, I had an abortion with my first pregnancy. Two to three months later, I became pregnant again this time leading to a miscarriage. About a year or 2 later, I found out I had an STD which I had for 8 months unknowingly. It was treated & I have been STD free for 3 1/2 yrs. But unfortunately. It left behind scar tissue. I don’t have a blockage but instead I have a lockage outside my right ovary which is very painful. This was confirmed through an HSG. I’m scheduled for lap this upcoming week. I’m nerves on whether this will allow me to conceive after the scar tissue is removed. My Dr told me I will conceive quickly and guided me to taking prenatal care for about 3 months now. I’m excited but scared at the same time.

14 anna { 10.17.12 at 9:50 am }

Hi

I stumbled across this blog and there are some comments on here that ring true with my symptoms. I had an std and got PID, was treated for the std and pid. Then the PID came back and I was treated again. Then something amazing and scary happened…..I fell pregnant, had an early miscarriage. I was ok with this as it was unplanned, but now my stomach and back pains are worse. I have spent the last month in complete pain. When I saw the dr, she said I was young (27) and shouldn’t have the lap as scarring causes scarring and I will want babies in the near future. Should I go back and demand a lap to remove the scarring. The pain is taking over my life, but I don’t to make myself infertile!

15 Lady { 10.21.12 at 3:55 am }

Hi, iam 27 yo and has been suffering from PID 6 months now. Even i take series of antibiotics, the pain would stop and reccur again. Seems like the bacteria inside my fallopian tubes are hard to terminate, i have no std. I had a gram stain and found out that i have gram positive cocci bacteria. Its really my fault because my partner and i dont use condom and he doesnt want to take antibiotics to get rid of his bacteria surrounding his penis skin. I already took a lot of antibiotics and am afraid of the side effects. I will go and see my obgyne tomorrow to request for another antibiotic and promise not to do unsafe sex again. Ive learned my lesson. I hope i woulndt have scar tissues coz i still want to bear a child. . Ive heard of a chinese herb long dan cao but i cant find in google where to order it. I wanna bring back my active happy life before. I really hope this pid would get lost.

16 Biel { 11.05.12 at 12:39 pm }

i’m an 34 y/o woman when i was 24 y/o i had an ovary infection.i don’t have any kids yet. Can aovary infection cause infertility?

17 Leela { 11.10.12 at 7:19 pm }

I am 27yrs old. I was diagnosed with endodemetriosis a year ago in February. I immediately went in for surgery and the doctor discovered that I had scar tissue blocking my fallopian tubes as a result of an STD that I had several years prior. He removed what he could of the cysts and the scar tissue and told me that if I planned on getting pregnant I had roughly a year before the cysts could return. I chose not to take anymore birth control after my surgery and I lost my insurance so I havent been to see a doctor since my surgery. I found out a few weeks ago that I was pregnant and I have been experiencing mild cramping and achiness on my left side. The nurse at planned parenthood was incredibly unhelpful when I tried to talk to her about the risks I may experience due to my previous surgery she simply handed me pamphlets and said I should talk to a doctor. I signed up for state health insurance and have an appointment next week with a proper physician but I am very worried that the scar tissue returned and that the fetus has settled in my tubes causing and ectopic pregnancy. Does anyone know if aborting an ectopic pregnancy can cause further complications or infertility in people that have a history of scarring and endodemetriosis? I will post the info I receive from my doctor next week but until then I would appreciate any info you can give me…

18 muhammed kuburat { 05.10.13 at 8:37 am }

pls i need someone to talk to ,january 2013 i had ectopic pregnancy that result to removal of left tube and my doc told me that my right tube is bad,what shoul i do

19 Jo { 07.07.13 at 9:08 am }

Hi there…I had to have both of my Fallopian tubes removed after an HSG scan revealed that one was completely blocked and the other had developed a hydrosalpinx ( fluid build up). The fluid in the hydrosalpinx can be toxic to a developing embryo and the other tube held the potential for an ectopic pregnancy. After meeting with a fertility specialist (RE) she said IVF was our best option to conceive, but only after laproscopic surgery to remove both tubes. I had the surgery done last November ((2012) and after months of recovery and mentally preparing myself, we started the IVF journey in May of this year (2013). Yesterday my RE retrived 16 eggs and now we wait to find out how many will fertilize. I am so excited to go back next week and have one or two (whichever they advise) embryos but back in. It has been a long journey which has been emotionally, mentally, physically, and financially draining at times, but I try to take it a day at a time and keep faith I will get a positive test result in about 3 weeks…..Hope this helps information helps…( :

20 g { 07.31.13 at 9:00 am }

Hi, im 26 and me and my husband have beed trying to conceive for just more then 3 years,I went for a lap and got my results back yesterday we found out that both my fallopian tubes are blocked and badly damaged. Only options are a miracle or IVF. IVF is so expensive anyone with any luck on their first IVF and is their any treatment for damaged fallopion tubes? Pray to God for a miracle baby ☺

21 Laura { 08.06.13 at 8:49 am }

Hello, I have been trying to conceive for a year. 4 years ago I had my son and a week later I ended up back in the hospital with a severe infection of my uterus. Luckily I have a great ob. When I told him we were going to try he for kid number 2 he said because of my past history of an infection only try for 6 months before coming to see him. I was so suprised that he wanted to act that fast. I had heard so many horror story of people being forced to try forever before the doctor would do anything. Anyway, we trying for 6 months and nothing so I went back to my ob who right away scheduled me for an HSG test. The test came back normal both tubes were open. But my ob was not satsifed with that he said that he wanted to take a closer look because of my past infection so I had a lap (yesterday!) and the doc found scarring on the top of my uterus around my fallopian tubes and adhesions that had my uterus stuck to my abdomen pulling it into an unatural postion. He cleared everything out. He told us to not even listen to the discharge instructions of waiting two weeks to try again start right away. He is an aggressive doctor and I am gratful to him for that. If anyone feels like their doctor is not doing anything for them find another doctor there are doctors who will move quicker and be more aggressive then others. I am hoping that the removal of the scarred tissue and adhesions will work fingers crossed.

22 Larna { 08.16.13 at 8:31 am }

Hi. I have been reading up on PID all night! I am undiagnosed BUT am positive that I have it. I have ALL the symptoms. I have been trying to conceive since I got married to my ex husband when I was 21. I am now 33. Infertility has caused so much hurt and heartache for me and my ex that we in the end after 14yrs separated. I have since moved on and am engaged again. I’m very scared. It’s Friday night. My dr will not be available until Monday. I’m positive I have PID and am scared of the damage it will have done to me. I know it will be the result of my unfortunate childhood which means I will have had it for MANY years. Does this mean that I should just give up on TTC??? IVF was never an option as I did not meet the criteria :-( I’m so mad and hurt and scared of what I will be told…

23 Jo { 10.24.13 at 10:48 am }

Re: LARNA–“Hi. I have been reading up on PID all night! I am undiagnosed BUT am positive that I have it. I have ALL the symptoms…”

LARNA, what were/ are your symptoms? And have you had any help or successes since August? I’ve suspected some sharp pains I had in my tubes areas on both sides since a year of reoccurring BV was some form of PID because my hubby and I are now at 1 year TTC. Best of luck to you!

24 LexiiParadiSE { 11.23.13 at 3:01 am }

Im 18 and iM pregnant i also was diagnosed with p.i.d the doctor said that my fetus is in my uterus but im afraid that can change someone please help me ease my mind im taking my medication to cure my p.i.d

25 olulama { 11.25.13 at 4:05 pm }

I am 34 years old, I am struggling to have chidren , I ve tried for 2 years $ nothin happen so I decided to go $ c de doctor cos I olso had a problem of irrittation $ itchiness on my vagina , so de doctor do some test $ he found dat is not STI ,its a FIBROID he treated it $ he advised me to do some test ,$ he olso found dat both my tubes are blocked $ he did laparascopy . After dat he told me to do surgery to unblock my tubes $ i went thruogh ol de proccedure to unblock de tubes. So I had the surgery 4 years back but did not conceive $ I ended up breaking up with my husband . But still I haven’t loose hope am asking god to give me child or even 1 child I will be very very happy to c ny own child .

26 conni3 { 12.22.13 at 11:15 pm }

Well I had my TR in August 2013 and 3 months later had a lot of abdominal pain and then was scheduled a Hsg and found out my tubes were blocked.Then dr order a lap to be done here on friday and found out that left tube was damage and and rt tube was to hard to reopen so he referred me to another dr…I’m loosing hope..can anyone give me advise…wat I should do cause ivf is very expensive…

27 devan { 01.31.14 at 7:22 am }

I just had a laparoscopy done on the 28th because of painful periods. When I was 20 I was hospitalized for PID and treated for it I have not had any attacks since. But have not been able to convince so that’s when my dr said the surgery would be best. She found scar tissue on both fallopian tubes removed all on left side but there is still some on the right side. She also did the dye test and it went through just fine. I’m just hoping I can get pregnant we’ve been trying for 5 years since we had a miscarriage in 2008. But just barely had the surgery done if anyone has any advice for me I’d greatly appreciate it. I’m desperate.

28 Robin { 06.05.14 at 6:30 am }

I too I’m scared I have PID..Git pains in my abdomen..seeing the gyn tmw and hoping for the best! I do want kids in the future :(
Has Acupuncture worked for anyone?

29 JAY { 06.05.14 at 10:50 pm }

I JUST HAD A HSG DONE IN MY LEFT TUBE WAS OPEN. I HAD A TUBAL PREGNACY 4YRS AGO IN THEY TOOK MY RIGHT TUBE. 2 WEEKS AGO I HAD LAPASCOPIC PROCEDURE DONE IN THEY REMOVED SCARE TISSUE IN BLOCKAGE. HE SAID I HAVE A GOOD CHANCE OF HAVING A BABY. HAVE ANYBODY BEEN IN MY SHOES IN HAVE YOU HAD A CHILD?

30 Cherie { 07.17.14 at 12:31 am }

I am 44 years old and I was diagnosed with both of my tubes blocked from chlamydia which I contracted from my husband of 7 years. I have sinced divorced but am depressed and feel cheated out of having children that I have always wanted. I have had a hsg and the doctor suggested that I have ivf which they think is my only option. I want to try and have at least one naturally. Has any one been in my shoes. I was pregnant 8 years prior to this and miscarried. I am so scarred and sad help. Has anyone had any success in this case?

31 arianne { 09.08.14 at 7:16 am }

…i am 27 and i suspected that i got PID since i was 19,i just dont got the courage to see a doctor that time.
now i really wanted to have a child but failed to concieve for almost 4years,i went to see an obgyne and she found out that i have polysystic ovary and there was this un identified mass on my abdomen it is in between my right and left ovaries.she just prescribed antibiotics.
i dont know what kind of diagnosis shall i ask from my doctor,can anyone help me please…

Leave a Comment

(c) 2006 Melissa S. Ford
The contents of this website are protected by applicable copyright laws. All rights are reserved by the author