FAQs on Pelvic Scar Tissue
Pelvic factor infertility accounts for 25% of all infertility cases. This category includes cases where the woman has completely blocked fallopian tubes, one blocked tube, tubal scarring, or other tubal damage. Endometriosis can lead to pelvic scar tissue, which also contributes to infertility.
What is pelvic scar tissue?
Adhesions are areas of scar tissue that form due to pelvic infection and other conditions. Scar tissue is often the result of the healing process after pelvic surgery. For many cases, minor scar tissue can lead to infertility problems.
What causes pelvic scar tissue?
For many women that approach middle age, there are some degree of scarring in the pelvis. The fibrous bands and membranes of tissue form in response to stresses or disruption in the normal tissues. Conditions that contribute to pelvic scar tissue formation include endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease, and previous pelvic surgery. Surgeries that result in pelvic scar tissue include endometrial surgery, myomectomy, and Cesarean deliveries
Where do adhesion and scarring appear in the pelvis?
Adhesions and scarring can occur anywhere in the pelvic cavity. The symptoms of pelvic scar tissue can compromise well-being, function, and health. Unexplained pelvic pain is common in women. Patients often feel loss over its cause.
How is pelvic scar tissue diagnosed?
When pelvic pain and other symptoms occur, the specialist will conduct a medical history and physical examination. Scar tissue and adhesions are hard to detect, but diagnostic tests used include computed tomography (CT scan), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and ultrasound. Endoscopic pelvic examination is often useful for diagnosing and removing this tissue.
What are the symptoms of pelvic scar tissue?
Scar tissue is often asymptomatic and does not cause problems. However, when adhesions result in problems, pain, infertility, bloating, and constipation can occur. In addition to preventing conception, pelvic adhesions have an impact on a woman’s ability to carry a baby to term.
How common are pelvic adhesions?
Pelvic adhesions often result after surgery to the abdomen or pelvic cavity. According to statistics, pelvic adhesions develop 90% of the time after major surgery of the pelvis or abdomen. Complications can result due to pelvic adhesions. These include chronic pelvic pain and infertility.
What are the treatments for pelvic scar tissue?
Treatment of pelvic adhesions depends on the cause and severity of the condition. Options are:
- Pain medicine – Such as tramadol and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
- Surgery – This involves inserting a small scope into the pelvic cavity to visualize the pelvic cavity and remove the scar tissue.
- Hormone treatment – When scar tissue is associated with endometriosis, hormones may be prescribed to induce a menopause state and prevent painful cramping.
Are stem cells used to treat pelvic scarring?
Researchers are using mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) to treat many conditions. When donated follow delivery, amniotic fluid stem cells are used. In a study involving use of stem cells to treat small intestinal problems in rat subjects, researchers found that they were safe and effective in restoring normal function and repairing damaged tissue.
Ho MH, Heydarkhan S, Vernet D, Kovanecz I, Ferrini MG, Bhatia NN, Gonzalez-Cadavid NF. Stimulating vaginal repair in rats through skeletal muscle-derived stem cells seeded on small intestinal submucosal scaffolds. Obstetrics and gynecology. 2009,114:300-309.
Sherbahn R (2015). Pelvic scarring, pelvic tubal adhesions and pelvic factor infertility.