The fallopian Tube is a part of the female reproductive system. It links the uterus to the ovaries. The eggs leave the ovary at ovulation each month and go down the fallopian tubes to the uterus. This occurs in the middle of the monthly cycle of periods. The conception also takes place in the fallopian tubes. A fertilized egg travels down the tube to the uterus for implantation. A blocked fallopian tube prevents sperm from reaching the eggs and the return of the fertilized egg to the uterus.
What are the causes of fallopian tube obstruction?
Generally, pelvic adhesions or scar tissues are known to restrict the fallopian tubes. These can happen due to a variety of causes, such as:
- Sexually transmitted infections (STIs): Certain STIs like gonorrhoea and chlamydia may cause scarring that may lead to PID or pelvic inflammatory disease. it can further result in scarring, also known as hydrosalpinx.
- Previous ectopic pregnancy may cause scarring in a woman's fallopian tubes.
- Previous abdominal surgeries, especially on the fallopian tubes, may cause pelvic adhesions, blocking the tubes.
- Endometrial tissues may also build up in a woman's fallopian tubes causing fallopian tube blockage.
- Fibroid growth is known to block fallopian tubes, specifically where they are attached to the woman's uterus.
What are the symptoms of fallopian tube obstruction?
Symptoms from fallopian tube obstructions are generally uncommon. Many women don't even realize their tubes are blocked until they have trouble getting pregnant.
However, some women may encounter mild persistent abdominal pain on one side that might occasionally be brought on by fallopian tube obstruction. This frequently happens in the hydrosalpinx when a blocked fallopian tube swells and fills with fluid.
Some symptoms can also be caused specifically by conditions that could result in a blocked fallopian tube. For example, endometriosis frequently causes painful menstrual cycles with heavy flow and pelvic pain. The likelihood of having clogged fallopian tubes may increase with endometriosis.
Does a fallopian tube obstruction affect fertility?
Fallopian tube obstruction is a common cause of infertility. Sperm and an egg combine for fertilization in the fallopian tube. Blocked tubes will prevent fertilization. If both tubes are totally closed, pregnancy is not possible without treatment.
Pregnancy is possible with partially blocked fallopian tubes but the risk of ectopic pregnancy increases. This is due to the fact that it is more challenging for a fertilized egg to enter the uterus when the path is closed.
A doctor may suggest in vitro fertilization (IVF) in that case, depending on whether the treatment is feasible. A blockage most likely won't hinder fertility if only one fallopian tube is compromised as an egg can still pass via the unaffected fallopian tube.
What is the diagnosis of a blocked fallopian tube?
The fallopian tubes are examined for blockage using an X-ray method called hysterosalpingography (HSG). The HSG test is best performed during the first half of the menstrual cycle. While false positive test results are occasionally possible, this test often has no side effects. If the HSG cannot provide a definitive diagnosis, a doctor may also use a laparoscopy to carry out additional tests.
What are the treatment options for fallopian tube obstruction?
In order to unblock a woman's fallopian tubes, a doctor may conduct laparoscopic surgery to remove any scar tissues or adhesions that are blocking the tubes. However, if there is a considerable amount of scar tissue or adhesions present, treatment to remove obstructions from the fallopian tubes might not be helpful.
If the tubes have been damaged by an infection or an ectopic pregnancy, surgery can be a possibility. If a blockage develops as a result of a damaged section of the tube, a surgeon can remove the damaged part and join the two healthy fallopian tube parts.
Although conception is still possible, blocked fallopian tubes may sometimes result in infertility. The chance of a successful pregnancy is greater when the blockage is close to a woman's uterus. The success rates are decreased if the obstruction is near the ovary, at the end of a woman's fallopian tubes.
Often, laparoscopic surgery can remove the blockage and improve fertility. If surgery is not an option, a woman who is otherwise healthy might be able to conceive via the help of in vitro fertilization (IVF).
It is an X-ray method to examine the fallopian tubes. During the HSG, a physician injects a dye into the uterus and fallopian tubes. This dye enables the physician to see more of the fallopian tubes' inside on the X-ray.
When a fertilised egg implants and grows outside the uterus's main cavity, an ectopic pregnancy results. It may cause scarring in a woman's fallopian tubes.
When endometrium, the uterus' lining, or similar cells, proliferate outside the uterus, the condition is known as endometriosis.
A woman might still be able to become pregnant depending on the type of treatment performed and the severity of the blockage.