Minimally invasive surgery to correct an abnormality in the uterus called a uterine septum improves pregnancy rates in women with unexplained infertility, doctors report in the journal Fertility and Sterility.
A uterine septum is a band of tissue in the middle of the uterus that results from a congenital problem in the formation of the woman’s uterus. Having a uterine septum is a risk factor for recurrent miscarriages.
“Even a small uterine septum may negatively affect the multifaceted mechanisms of implantation and reduce the chances of pregnancy,” Dr. Antonio Mollo from University of Naples, told Reuters Health.
Mollo and colleagues investigated whether 44 women with a uterine septum and no other causes of infertility were more likely to become pregnant in the year after the problem was corrected than a similar group of 132 infertile women without uterine defects (the control group).
They found that pregnancy rates after 12 months were higher in women treated for uterine septum than in women with unexplained infertility who had no uterine malformations (38.6% versus 20.4%).
The live birth rate was also significantly higher in the treated group (34.1%) than in the group without uterine malformations (18.9%).
“The findings of the present study, together with availability of mini-surgical techniques, strongly encourage the treatment of uterine septa diagnosed during the sterility work-up of women whose primary infertility remains otherwise unexplained,” the investigators conclude.
SOURCE: Fertility and Sterility, June 2009.