What Types of Surgeries Are Considered Reproductive Surgeries?

surgeons wearing masks prior to reproductive surgeries

While not all women with infertility require surgery, some women struggling to conceive may require procedure(s) to improve their chances of conception. We worked with Dr. Marcy Maguire, Reproductive Endocrinologist at RMA of NJ, to explore some common types of reproductive surgeries performed on female and male infertility patients.

Reproductive Surgery

Both women and men struggling with infertility may require reproductive surgery to improve their chances of conception. Some of the common problems women face which may require surgery include endometrial polyps, fibroids, scar tissue, endometriosis, fallopian tube disturbances, and other issues. For men, surgeries may be required to access sperm in the testicles or to correct varicoceles (varicose veins in the testes) or obstructions in the male reproductive tract. Surgeries performed to reverse sterilization, such as vasectomy and tubal ligation also fall into this category.

Common Reproductive Surgeries for Women

  • Hysteroscopy
    Hysteroscopy is typically recommended to treat conditions like fibroids, polyps, or intrauterine scar tissue. Patients are typically asleep under anesthesia for this procedure. The surgeon inserts a camera (also called a hysteroscope) through the birth canal into the uterus to examine the inside of the uterine cavity. Instruments can be placed through the camera to remove unwanted tissue (like fibroids or polyps). Hysteroscopy is a minimally invasive surgery; patients typically recover quickly with minimal pain post-surgery.
  • Laparoscopy
    Typical conditions that laparoscopy treats include conditions like endometriosis, fallopian tube damage, and ovarian cysts. This reproductive surgery is also minimally invasive and consists of making a tiny incision near the navel to treat the reproductive organs in the abdomen and pelvis. Patients typically recover quickly from the procedure and have minimal scarring.
  • Myomectomy
    The main goal of a myomectomy procedure is to remove uterine fibroids, but unlike a hysterectomy, it preserves the uterus and a woman’s fertility. The procedure can be performed by laparoscopy, hysteroscopy, or an abdominal incision.

Common Reproductive Surgeries for Men

  • Varicocelectomy
    A Varicocele is when veins in the scrotum become enlarged and cause pain and possibly infertility. Varicocelectomy is the surgical procedure to correct the condition. The surgical procedure involves tying off the enlarged veins to reroute the blood flow. It is a very common procedure with a high success rate.
  • Vasectomy Reversal
    During a vasectomy, the tubes that control the supply of sperm to semen are cut, providing an effective form of birth control. A vasectomy reversal does exactly what it says: reverses the vasectomy by reconnecting the previously cut tubes. It is a standard procedure with a higher chance of success if performed soon after the vasectomy.

Reproductive surgeries are essential medical procedures that can address various conditions affecting both men and women. Always consult a healthcare provider for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment options. Progyny members should call their dedicated Patient Care Advocate to learn more or get started on their fertility journey.