Fallopian tubes are known as female reproductive organs that form the connection between the ovaries and the uterus. These are muscular tubes lined with delicate hair-like structures which help an egg to travel from the ovaries to the uterus (womb) and help sperm to travel up from the uterus. Each tube ends in finger like structures called fimbriae. The fimbriae take and guide an egg when the ovary releases it. These are important in conception because most of the eggs are fertilised here. One of the possible causes of female infertility is blocked fallopian tubes. Medically it is called as tubal occlusion.
If a fallopian tube is blocked, the passage for sperm to get to the eggs and the path back to the uterus for the fertilized egg, is blocked. Reasons for blockage include scar tissues, infection and pelvic adhesions.
All You Need to Know about Blocked Fallopian Tubes
Symptoms of Blocked Fallopian Tubes
There are usually no symptoms present other than difficulty conceiving, but some risk factors can increase the chance of developing the condition. Many women don’t know they are having blocked tubes until they try to get pregnant and have trouble.
A blocked fallopian tube may cause symptoms like pain in the pelvis or belly. Also, it can cause a fertilised egg to get stuck. This is known as an ectopic pregnancy.
Causes of Blocked Fallopian Tubes
It include following causes-
- History of pelvic infection
- Pelvic inflammatory disease
- History of ruptured appendix
- History of abdominal surgery
- Previous burst appendix
- Having a sexually transmitted disease
- Endometriosis in which the lining of the womb grow outside of the uterus
- Hydrosalpinx in which swelling and fluid at the end of a tube
In most cases, these conditions create scar tissue that can block the tubes.
Effects on Fertility
The female reproductive system consists of ovaries, uterus and fallopian tubes. Each of the two ovaries is connected to the uterus by a fallopian tube. The ovaries store eggs and release them, with one ovary releasing an egg each month. If any of the part is affected, it may make getting pregnant more difficult.
Blocked fallopian tubes are a common cause of infertility. Sperm and egg meet in the fallopian tube and fertilization takes place. A blocked tube can prevent them from joining. If both tubes are fully blocked, pregnancy without any treatment is impossible.
Diagnosis for Blocked Fallopian Tubes
It is difficult to identify blocked fallopian tubes. Major tests for diagnosis include –
- X –ray test known as a hysterosalpingogram (HSG). A harmless dye is inserted into the womb, which should flow into the fallopian tubes. The stain is visible on an X-ray. If the fluid does not flow into the fallopian tubes, blockage may be present.
- An ultrasound test known as a sonohysterogram. This is kind of similar to the HSG test but it uses sound waves to build up a picture of the fallopian
- Keyhole surgery known as a laparoscopy. A small cut is made in the body by a surgeon and a tiny camera is inserted to take pictures of the fallopian tubes from inside. It is the most accurate test for blocked tubes. It is recommended by the doctors as an early diagnosis because it is invasive and cannot treat the issue.
A possible diagnosis is suggested on the basis of medical history.
Treatment and Surgery
It may be possible to open blocked fallopian tubes surgically which depends on the extent of the scarring and where the blockage is. Surgeries are done to open the fallopian tube using one of the following methods –
- By removing scar tissue
- By making a new opening on the outside of the fallopian tube
- By opening the fallopian tube from the outside
Keyhole surgery can be used by the surgeons.
Blocked Fallopian Tubes and Pregnancy
Opening the fallopian tubes improves a woman’s chance of conceiving. Whether or not a woman will be able to conceive after surgery is affected by her age, the health of her partner’s sperm and the level of fallopian tube damage.
If surgery is not successful, in vitro fertilization (IVF) is recommended. This technique places fertilized eggs directly into the womb, so the fallopian tubes are not involved in the pregnancy.
These include –
- Creation of more scar tissue
- Damage to organs
One major risk of pregnancy after surgery is an ectopic pregnancy, meaning that a fertilized egg gets stuck outside of the womb, often in a fallopian tube. The egg will not develop and there can be a risk to women’s health and her pregnancy.
7 Steps to Getting Pregnant with Blocked Fallopian Tubes
- Take the tests and analysis
- Find out the diagnosis
- Consult the doctor for infertility medications
- Try selective uterine fertilization
- Think about the special laparoscopic surgery
- Discuss the possibility of salpingectomy with the doctor
- Consider the possibility of in vitro fertilization
How to Get Pregnant with Blocked Fallopian Tubes
To get pregnant with blocked fallopian tubes, these are the procedures available-
- Laparoscopic surgery for blocked fallopian tubes
- IVF for blocked fallopian tubes
- Tubal ligation reversal
Blocked fallopian tube is a major risk factor for infertility in which the fallopian tubes are blocked which are the site for fertilization. If only one tube is affected or scarring is minimal the outlook for fertility is considered to be reasonably good. It can be diagnosed with an x-ray, ultrasound and keyhole surgery. To avoid further complications, consult the doctor. If surgery to treat blocked tubes is not successful, IVF can be done.