How Do Intrauterine Adhesions Affect Fertility?

Intrauterine adhesions, also known as Asherman's syndrome, is a rare disorder that affects the lining of the uterus. For some patients, this condition can also interfere with the ability to achieve a successful pregnancy.

At Fertility Center of San Antonio, our team understands how stressful infertility can be. Our medical director, Dr. Joseph E. Martin, has been providing compassionate fertility treatment to hopeful parents in San Antonio, TX, for more than 30 years. If one of our doctors determines that intrauterine adhesions are undermining your ability to conceive, they can recommend an appropriate treatment to restore your gynecological health. 

What Is an Intrauterine Adhesion?

When healthy, the uterus is like a balloon, with the front and back walls separate. However, if scar tissue forms, the walls of the uterus can stick together. In severe cases, the uterine cavity can become partially or completely obstructed. Typically the result of an injury or infection, this scar tissue can interfere with your menstrual cycle and the ability to conceive.

Potential causes include:

  • Uterine surgery, such as dilation and curettage (D&C)
  • Endometriosis
  • Scar tissue from sutures to stop hemorrhages
  • Infection of the reproductive organs
  • Cesarean section
  • Radiation treatment
  • Endometrial ablation
  • Surgical removal of fibroids

Intrauterine adhesions

Symptoms of Asherman's Syndrome

Not everyone with an intrauterine adhesion will show symptoms. You may not notice any effects of this condition until you attempt to become pregnant. However, in many cases, the first sign of intrauterine adhesions is an issue with menstruation. 

An intrauterine adhesion may cause:

For some women, Asherman's syndrome can lead to infertility. If you are concerned you may have intrauterine adhesions, our doctors at Fertility Center of San Antonio can assess your symptoms and perform a hysteroscopy or other diagnostic test to determine whether treatment is necessary. 

How Are Intrauterine Adhesions Treated?

Undergoing a procedure to remove scar tissue from the uterine cavity can often eliminate the effects of Asherman's syndrome. During the procedure, your doctor will likely use a hysteroscope, a small, telescope-like instrument with a camera, to visualize the uterus and remove the scar tissue.

If you are struggling with infertility,
you do not have to go through it alone.

After extracting this tissue, your surgeon may place a small balloon or catheter inside the uterus to prevent its walls from touching and minimize the risk of additional adhesions forming. Your doctor may also prescribe estrogen medication while the uterine lining heals. 

Your Options after Treatment

Intrauterine adhesions do not necessarily mean you won't be able to conceive. However, a successful pregnancy will depend on the severity of your condition and the complexity of treatment. Patients with mild to moderate adhesions typically return to a normal menstrual cycle and have successful full-tern pregnancy rates of 70 to 80 percent.

Unfortunately, severe adhesions can complicate conception, especially if the endometrial lining was seriously impacted. In these cases, we may recommend other options for building your family, such as in vitro fertilization (IVF) using a gestational carrier. 

Get the Support You Need

If you are struggling with infertility, you do not have to go through it alone. Our team at Fertility Center of San Antonio has been helping hopeful parents conceive for over 30 years. We can assess your symptoms and determine the best course of action for your unique needs. We work with most insurance providers and can also help organize a financing option through Prosper Healthcare Lending or Lending Club Patient Solutions. Book a consultation with our team by contacting our practice online or calling (210) 692-0577 today.

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