PERHAPS as many as 500,000 American women are infertile as a result of Fallopian tube dysfunction. Because this represents an important national health problem, work in our laboratory has focused on novel approaches to alleviate such infertility, using nonhuman primate experimental models. The rationale for pursuing new experimental methods, as well as a summary of recent findings, may be of interest to medical practitioners treating and counseling such patients, as well as to infertility specialists in reproductive medicine.
At the outset, it may be enlightening to compare the current situation in the treatment of women with irreparably blocked or missing Fallopian tubes with the major advances that have occurred during the past 20 years in the treatment of infertility resulting from anovulation. Principally, achievements in ovulation induction are the result of having developed four remarkably effective medicinal agents, acting either through the CNS (especially hypothalamic-pituitary centers) or within the ovaries