Fallopian tubes are one of the most important parts of the female reproductive system. These are tubes that connect the ovaries to the uterus. Each month, the female body undergoes ovulation, a process in which fallopian tubes play an important role. When the sperm successfully fertilizes an egg, the fused embryo moves through the tube into the uterus for implantation.
If the fallopian tube is blocked, the passage of sperm is blocked so it cannot travel to fertilize the egg. Also, in case the egg is fertilized, the path of the fertilized egg is blocked, hence, it cannot implant in the uterus, and there is no pregnancy. In some cases, an ectopic pregnancy (or pregnancy outside the womb) may result, which can be dangerous.
Why does it occur?
There are a number of reasons why fallopian tubes in a woman can be blocked, but they may be caused by the presence of scar tissue, uterine infections and pelvic adhesions.
The most common cause of fallopian tube blockage is pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). This condition results from a sexually transmitted disease, such as gonorrhea or chlamydia, or another pelvic infection. Other causes include infections in the uterus that are caused by abortion or miscarriage, a history of ruptured appendix, a history of abdominal surgery, past ectopic pregnancy, previous fallopian tube surgery and endometriosis.
Fallopian tube blockage usually does not present itself with any symptoms. However, there may be signs, such as:
The condition is often diagnosed in women who are trying to conceive but have failed to do so. In a few cases, the blockage may be accompanied by pain in the lower abdominal area, on the side where the blockage occurs.
At times, the blockage may result in the entrapment of the fertilized egg. This typically further advances into an ectopic pregnancy which is a type of pregnancy complication in which the embryo attaches outside the uterus.
This condition can also arise as a result of fluid accumulation in the blocked fallopian tube. The blocked fallopian tube swells with fluid, which may be a result of previous pelvic infections, post-surgery adhesions or endometriosis. This can be toxic to pregnancy or cause the environment to be unfavourable for pregnancy.
Blocked fallopian tubes can be diagnosed using the following tests:
If damage to the fallopian tube is minimal or partial, laparoscopy may be done to try reopening the tube by performing a salpingostomy. If a large portion of the fallopian tube is damaged, the fallopian tube may have to be removed, a procedure known as salpingectomy.
At Thomson Fertility Centre, we take pride in innovative treatments that are not only effective but also affordable. Our specialists combine clinical expertise with human touch to solve your fertility issues. Contact us now to know more about our available treatments for blocked fallopian tubes.
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