Many times women face complications in conceiving. Cervical Stenosis might be the reason behind it. This condition is known to be an uncommon and potential cause of female infertility. With this medical condition, the cervical opening gets narrower than it should be, and in severe cases, it might even be closed. The cervix is the small organ located at the bottom of the uterus that opens into the vaginal canal. You can sometimes be born with a narrow cervix but mostly it is the case when your cervix comes under the knife.
To understand how cervical stenosis can cause fertility, first, you need to understand the whole working of the cervix.
As you have already understood that your cervix is the passage from your vagina up to your uterus. At the end of the vaginal canal, there lies a cervical opening. When you have a pap smear, the cells are sampled from here. You can feel that part with your fingers. This is only the outer section of the cervix. The cervical canal, however, creates a tunnel from the vagina to the uterus. This tunnel is called endocervical canal. At the end is the internal opening of the cervix where the uterus begins.
- During menstruation, endometrial tissue exits the uterus through the cervix.
- It is also the passageway for the sperm from the vagina to swim up into the reproductive system.
- It contains mucus-producing tissue.
Cervical Stenosis can impact fertility directly or indirectly. It may affect natural fertility by impeding the passage of semen into the uterus.
Other ways in which it can affect fertility are:
- Limited or Blocked Sperm Passage: It the cervical opening is blocked or narrower, sperm won’t be able to travel up to fallopian tubes where they fertilize the female eggs.
- Less fertile cervical mucus: It is mostly caused by scar tissue. It can interfere with the production of cervical mucus. Sometimes, the surgery that resulted in scar tissue which involves the removal of cervical tissue that also limits the production of mucus.
- Complications during fertility treatment: There are various treatments available for fertility. IUF and IVF are some of them. They both require a catheter to be placed inside the cervix. In either case, if the opening of the cervix is blocked or too narrow for the catheter to pass through, treatment can become complicated.
Possible Causes of Cervical Stenosis:
Some common causes for this condition to persist include:
- Cervical Dysplasia
- Radiation therapy
- Cervical Cancer
The symptoms include:
- Painful Periods
- Irregular Period
- Abnormal Bleeding
- Chronic Pelvic Pain
- Intense Menstrual Cramps
- Light Spotting or no periods
Can you become fertile again after the treatment?
Your OB-GYN can treat cervical stenosis by widening the cervix with instruments which are called dilators. They are thin, lubricated rods that come in multiple sizes, which can be inserted until the appropriate dilation has been reached. Sometimes, a stent is also placed to keep the cervix open so as to prevent any type of scar tissue from reforming.
When you decide to undergo the treatment, there are various possible risk factors involved:
- Uterine Puncture
- Incompetent cervix
Can I get pregnant naturally after getting the treatment?
If Cervical Stenosis is the only reason behind infertility, you may be able to conceive on your own once you get the complete treatment. Your healthcare expert will suggest you the timeframe for trying to conceive on your own. If you still do not get pregnant, you might be suggested other treatments.
How can I reduce the risk of pregnancy?
You can also go for cerclage which is one possible treatment for reducing the risk of pregnancy. A cerclage is a process in which your doctor sews the cervix that is closed early in pregnancy. As you reach 36 weeks, the sutures are removed so they don’t interfere with regular cervical dilation as well as childbirth.
That’s all about how cervical stenosis. Share this with your friends and family to make them aware that this condition can also persist if they don’t pay attention. So, spread awareness. Stay Safe Stay Healthy.