How to Get Pregnant After a Partial Hysterectomy

By Sue Teresa Tan

Around 600,000 women in the United States alone undergo a hysterectomy every year. The reasons may include cancers of the parts of reproductive system, tumors and long-term vaginal bleeding. A partial hysterectomy is the process of removing the upper part of the uterus, and in many cases, including the fallopian tubes.

Those who have undergone a partial hysterectomy, but are still in childbearing years, still have a chance of conceiving. Since the uterus is incomplete, conception might be problematic, and a tubal pregnancy with consequent bleeding might result. Hence, you may have to consider some alternatives for getting pregnant and delivering a healthy child.

Consider using in-vitro fertilization (IVF). The doctor will do basic screening tests on the ovaries first to determine whether the woman will respond well to the injections to stimulate egg production. After which, the doctor will inject the medications. After eight to 10 days when enough eggs have matured, the doctor will perform an egg retrieval procedure for about 10 minutes. He then will fertilize the eggs together with the partner’s sperm. The resulting embryo is cultured inside the laboratory for two to six days and implanted into the remaining part of the woman’s uterus.

Ask your doctor about the possibility of using an intracervical insemination (ICI) or intrauterine insemination (IUI). In this procedure, the doctor will give medications to the woman to stimulate egg development. Meanwhile a semen sample is obtained from the male partner and processed for 30 to 60 minutes by separating the sperm from the other seminal components. The doctor will place a speculum inside the vagina to dilate it and clean the cervix. Then the processed sperm is placed in the cervix (ICI) or in the upper part of the uterus (IUI) using a flexible catheter.

Ask help from your doctor about the possibility of using a surrogate mother. Surrogacy is one way to have children wherein a woman agrees to have her eggs and partner's sperm implanted into another woman's uterus.

Consult with your doctor about the possibility of opting for egg freezing. This is usually the best option when you are not yet ready for a baby, as your eggs will be frozen and used when you are ready. This is usually performed at a fertility clinic. Blood tests are done first. For the next few weeks, depending on what your doctor has advised, you may take birth control pills to stop menstruation, then fertility medication and an hCG injection to stimulate egg production. Upon the maturity of the eggs, the doctor will remove them through the vagina while you are under anesthesia. He will then freeze the eggs. You should arrange for a surrogate mother to have the eggs implanted into her uterus. Prior to that, the eggs should be thawed out and fertilized through intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI).

Tip

Always consult with your doctor about these methods so that you will be enlightened about their advantages and disadvantages. Due to the legal issues surrounding surrogacy, it is best to consult a lawyer regarding this option. Surrogacy is considered illegal in some States so consult www.surrogacy.com/legals/map.html or www.surrogacyforall.com/Surrogacy-Law.html for more information. You may have to undergo multiple egg collection if you opt for in-vitro fertilization (IVF) or egg freezing. You can find additional information about fertility clinics at www.infertilityspecialist.com/fertility_clinic_directory.html. You should get your finances ready when opting for in-vitro fertilization (IVF) and egg freezing as the cost of these methods range from $12,000 up to $20,000 and storage of eggs costs around several hundred dollars every year. If the methods mentioned above do not work, you might want to consider adoption.

Warning

The fallopian tubes and ovaries may not be removed during a partial hysterectomy. As long as these tubes and ovaries remain, there is a possibility of developing tubal pregnancy, although this is extremely rare. Tubal pregnancy happens when a sperm makes its way through the cervix and unites with an egg. The resulting egg implants in one of the fallopian tubes or within the abdomen. If this is discovered late, it can lead to severe internal bleeding that can threaten the patient’s life.

About the Author

Based in Northern California, Sue Teresa Tan has been writing essays and journal entries during her free time since 2001 when she retired from work as a business owner. Her favorite topics to write about are arts and crafts, fashion, health, and travel. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in archeology from the Universite Des Beaux-Arts in Cambodia. Her work has been featured on eHow.