Fallopian tubes also called uterine tubes are two fine tubes on either side of the uterus which carries a mature egg from the ovary to the uterus and the motile sperm which swim up through the cervix. The tubes are lined with ciliated epithelia which move back and forth to help the egg move from the ovary into the uterus each month. It also helps in the movement of the sperm towards the egg. The ciliary action of the epithelia also helps the fertilised egg to move down the fallopian tubes into the uterus. Any scarring or adhesions in the fallopian tubes can cause a blockage that affects the fertility of a woman.
A fallopian tube blockage is any obstruction in the tubes that prevent the egg from travelling down the uterus and also prevents the sperm from reaching the egg, thus affecting fertilisation and pregnancy. It can occur in one or both the tubes and is the cause of female infertility in 40% of cases.
The fallopian tube blockage symptoms are very rare. Most women don’t even know they have blocked tubes until they try to get pregnant and then face difficulty in conceiving. However, in some women, it may cause pain during periods, pain during sex and pain while urinating. It’s advisable to consult a doctor if any of the symptoms arise.
A type of blockage in fallopian tube called Hydrosalpinx (it is a sign of impending infection/pathology) which causes the tube to swell and fill with fluid may cause lower abdominal pain, extreme pelvic pain and unusual vaginal discharge.
The most common reasons for a blocked fallopian tube are:
Congenital tubal obstruction is a rare cause of blocked fallopian tubes that is present from birth.
Blocked tubes diagnosis is made with a specialised X-ray called a hysterosalpingogram (HSG) which involves placing a dye through the cervix and taking X-rays of the pelvic region. If there is no block in fallopian tubes, the dye will go through the uterus, fallopian tubes and spill into the pelvic cavity. If the dye doesn’t get through the tubes, then there might be a blockage. However, at times, an HSG test can give false-positive results.
Tubal blockage can also be diagnosed by laparoscopy and is considered very accurate for detecting blocked tubes.
An ultrasound called sonohysterogram is also used to diagnose blocked tubes. This test uses sound waves which build up a picture of the fallopian tubes.
Saline salpingosonography (SSG), this test is done under ultrasound (sonography). Sterile saline is passed through the uterus and checked as the fluid flows through the tubes. This test is also less accurate.
It depends, some women have mild to moderate cramping, and in some, the dye passes through the uterus and then in the fallopian tubes without causing any pain. However, if the tubes are blocked the dye can create pressure which can eventually cause discomfort and pain.
The fallopian tube blockage treatment would depend on the severity of the obstruction.
The fallopian tubes blockage can also cause infertility. The sperm and the egg unite in the fallopian tube, and if the tubes are blocked, then the sperm and egg cannot meet, and fertilisation wouldn’t happen, thus affecting fertility.
If both the tubes are blocked, then pregnancy wouldn’t be possible, a woman must undergo treatment to increase her chances of pregnancy. If one tube is blocked, the chances of pregnancy will decrease to half as one cannot predict which ovary will release an egg, the blocked one or the patent one. So, a doctor might suggest fertility drugs to increase the chances of ovulation on the other side of the ovary that has an open fallopian tube.
If the fallopian tube is partially blocked a woman can get pregnant, but the risk of ectopic pregnancy increases. So, in these cases, the clogged fallopian tubes should be bypassed with IVF technology provided other contributory factors like sperm, egg and womb (uterus) are healthy.
Medicover Fertility clinics are among the top fertility clinics in Europe, now in India. We have a team of highly dedicated, skilled and experienced doctors who have been successfully treating men and women who have infertility. We have a high success rate as we use the most advanced technology in Assisted Reproductive Techniques (ART).
Blocked fallopian tubes are a common cause of infertility in women, and we have many success stories to share of patients who had infertility due to fallopian tube blockage. Surgery of blocked tubes may pose some complications like infection, scar tissue in fallopian tubes, which may later increase the chances of ectopic pregnancy. In this case, if a woman has proper ovulation, we recommend IVF that bypasses the fallopian tube completely. With our services, we have been able to restore the smiles of many couples, who otherwise had lost all hopes after multiple failures in attempts to parenthood.
For fallopian tube blockage treatment or infertility issues, you can call us at +917862800700.