The fallopian tubes, which are part of the female reproductive system, connect a woman's uterus and her ovaries. Each month, at the time of ovulation, an egg travels through the fallopian tubes from the ovary to the uterus. This takes place in the middle of a period cycle. Conception also occurs in the fallopian tube. After being fertilized by sperm, a fertilized egg travels down the tube to the uterus for implantation. Sperm cannot reach the eggs through a blocked fallopian tube, and the fertilized egg cannot return to the uterus. Infections, scar tissue, and also pelvic adhesions are usually responsible for fallopian tube obstructions.
What are the symptoms of fallopian tube obstruction?
Fallopian tube blockages rarely result in symptoms. Many women are unaware that their tubes are clogged until they experience difficulties getting pregnant. Fallopian tube obstruction however may occasionally cause a mild, ongoing abdominal ache on one side. This frequently occurs in a blockage known as hydrosalpinx.
Conditions that might cause a blocked fallopian tube can also create some symptoms. For instance, endometriosis frequently results in painful, heavy-flow menstrual cycles and pelvic pain. Endometriosis may raise the chance of having obstructed fallopian tubes.
Does a fallopian tube obstruction affect fertility?
One common reason for infertility is fallopian tube obstruction. For fertilization, sperm and an egg come together in the fallopian tube. They might not connect if the tube is clogged. Without medical intervention, pregnancy will not be feasible if both tubes are completely closed. A woman may be able to conceive even with partially obstructed fallopian tubes, however, the chance of an ectopic pregnancy rises in that case.
What are the causes of fallopian tube obstruction?
Usually, pelvic adhesions or scar tissue restrict the fallopian tubes. These can be brought on by a variety of causes, such as:
- The pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) that causes scarring is also known as hydrosalpinx.
- Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) like gonorrhoea and chlamydia may also cause scarring that may lead to PID or pelvic inflammatory disease.
- Past ectopic pregnancy may cause scarring in a woman's fallopian tubes.
- The growth of fibroids may also block the fallopian tube, especially when they are attached to the woman's uterus.
- Any past abdominal surgery, like fallopian tube surgery, may cause pelvic adhesions, blocking the tubes.
- Endometrial tissues may build up in a woman's fallopian tubes causing a blockage.
What is the diagnosis of a blocked fallopian tube?
An X-ray technique also known as hysterosalpingography (HSG) is used to look inside the fallopian tubes to identify blockages. A doctor injects a dye into the fallopian tubes and uterus during the HSG. This dye allows the doctor to view more of the inside of the fallopian tubes on the X-ray. Typically, an HSG should be performed in a doctor's clinic. The initial half of the menstrual cycle is the preferable time for the HSG test.
What are the treatment options for fallopian tube obstruction?
A doctor may perform laparoscopic surgery to clear any scar tissues or adhesions that are obstructing a woman's fallopian tubes to open them. However, treatment to clear obstructions from the fallopian tubes may not help if there is a significant amount of scar tissue or adhesions present.
Surgery may be an option to restore tubes that have been harmed by an infection or ectopic pregnancy. In that case, a surgeon can connect the two healthy segments of the two fallopian tubes, if a blockage results from a damaged portion of the tube.
Infertility due to fallopian tube obstructions is a possibility, although pregnancy is still feasible. Depending on the type of treatment used and how severe the block is, a woman may still have a possibility of getting pregnant. Laparoscopic surgery can frequently clear the obstruction, and increase fertility. If surgery is not an option IVF may be able to help a woman, get pregnant if they are otherwise healthy.
For a woman with fallopian tube obstruction, the likelihood of a successful pregnancy increases if the obstruction is close to the woman's uterus. If the obstruction is at a woman's fallopian tube's end, close to the ovary, the success percentages are lowered.
In general, a woman cannot prevent a blocked fallopian tube's causes. However, they can decrease their risk of STIs with the use of condoms while having sex.
If only one fallopian tube is compromised, that blockage most likely won't hinder fertility because an egg can still pass via the unaffected fallopian tube.
A blocked path makes it more difficult for a fertilized egg to enter the uterus. Depending on whether therapy is possible under such circumstances, a doctor may advise a woman in vitro fertilization (IVF).
When endometrium, the uterus lining, proliferates outside the uterus, the condition is known as endometriosis.