Blockage in the fallopian tubes is known to be a common cause of female fertility. This guide will help you understand what exactly fallopian tube blockage is, how it manifests itself in the female body, and what its possible treatments are.
What is fallopian tube blockage?
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Fallopian tubes are a crucial part of a woman’s reproductive system. In a female body, every month during ovulation, the ovary releases an egg, which travels into the fallopian tube. Coming through the cervix, fallopian tubes are the place where the sperm meets the eggs to fertilize them. The resulting zygote is transported to the uterus via the fallopian tubes.
Fallopian tube blockage means obstruction in the ducts, preventing the sperm from reaching the egg. Due to blocked tubes, the fertilized egg will also not be able to travel to the uterus. Fallopian tube blockage can be found in one or both tubes, resulting in infertility.
Common causes of blocked fallopian tubes
1. Scarring from surgery
4. Pelvic adhesions
5. Pelvic Inflammatory Disease
8. Abdominal or pelvic surgeries
Blocked fallopian tubes: Effect on fertility
Blocked fallopian tubes are among the commonly cited causes of infertility. In the event of a blockage in both the tubes, conception without ART intervention is not possible. This is possible through IVF because in using this assisted reproductive technique, the embryo is developed outside the body in a controlled laboratory setting. It is then transferred into the uterus through a small insemination catheter. While having a natural pregnancy is possible if one fallopian tube is in a healthy condition, the risk of ectopic pregnancy is higher in such cases.
Symptoms of blocked fallopian tubes
In most cases, there are no symptoms of blocked fallopian tubes, and the woman would find out about this condition only through the course of her fertility treatment.
However, varying causes of blockage can demonstrate themselves through varying symptoms in other cases. For instance, women with blocked fallopian tubes may experience mild pain during urination, periods, and coitus.
In the case of Hydrosalpinx, a type of blocked fallopian tube in which the tube gets filled with fluid, women may experience mild pain in their lower abdomen. In case the blockage is caused due to endometriosis, the woman may suffer extreme pain during her periods.
Methods to test fallopian tube blockages
1. Hyster sonograms (HSN)
2. Hysterosalpingograms (HSG)
3. Laparoscopy with chromotubation
Treatment of blocked fallopian tubes
Note that Fallopian Tubes cannot be reopened permanently through any procedure, and may again be obstructed in future despite the short-term opening. Blockages within the Fallopian tubes can be temporarily fixed with tubal cannulation, by applying laparoscopy. In case the blockage is caused by simple scarring, laparoscopy surgery is used to open the tubes.
Blocked fallopian tubes can also be treated through the following surgeries:
1. Salpingostomy: Draining out built-up fluid from the tube by making a small hole in the area close to the ovary
2. Salpingectomy: Removal of the blocked Fallopian tube
3. Fimbrioplasty: Removal of the blocked fallopian tube and rebuilding of fimbriae
However, if the tube blockage is complicated by the presence of a significant amount of scar tissues and adhesions, surgery may not yield positive results.
What are the signs and symptoms of blocked fallopian tubes?
In most cases, blocked fallopian tubes don’t create any symptoms. However, depending on the cause of the tubal blockage, they may reflect in the form of mild or extreme pain in the abdominal region and heavy periods.
Can blocked fallopian tubes be unblocked naturally?
There is no evidence to prove that blocked fallopian tubes can be unblocked naturally.
How do you treat blocked fallopian tubes?
Blockages within the Fallopian tubes can be temporarily fixed with tubal cannulation and surgeries.
Can a woman with blocked fallopian tubes have periods?
Yes, a woman with blocked fallopian tubes has periods since the state of the fallopian tubes has nothing to do with menstruation.
Can blocking Fallopian Tubes cause miscarriage?
No. In fact, previous miscarriages may lead to blockage in fallopian tubes.