Fallopian tube blockage
The fallopian tubes are a pair of tubes found in every female mammal. These two tubes, sometimes referred to as the oviducts or uterine tubes, are found in the pelvic cavity, running between the uterus and the ovaries. Approximately three to four inches long, the fallopian tubes are not directly attached to the ovaries. Instead, the tubes open up into the peritonial (abdominal) cavity, very close to the ovaries.
Your fallopian tubes play an integral role in ovulation and conception. Without your fallopian tubes, your egg cannot become fertiziled and an embryo cannot reach your uterus for implantation. Infertility is sometimes caused by internal damage to the reproductive organs. Many women experience problems with their ovaries or uterus and, as a result, have difficulties conceiving. Fallopian tube damage is one of the most common causes of female infertility. If your fallopian tubes become damaged, it can make it very hard for your egg to pass into your uterus. This can make conception difficult or even impossible. However, there are a number of methods used to test for fallopian tube damage and treatments to restore fertility.
Fallopian tube damage or blockage prevents the egg from traveling to the fallopian tube. Damage to the cells lining the tube may inhibit sperm reaching the egg and achieving fertilisation. Blockage of the tube can prevent the fertilised egg from reaching the uterus and increases the chance of ectopic pregnancy, where the fertilised egg settles in the fallopian tube rather than the uterus.
When fallopian tubes become damaged or blocked, they keep sperm from getting to the egg or close off the passage of the fertilized egg into the uterus.
Causes of fallopian tube damage or blockage can include
Unfortunately, fallopian tube damage is relatively common. It is typically caused by:
• Inflammation of the fallopian tubes (salpingitis) due to chlamydia or gonorrhea
• Previous ectopic pregnancy, in which a fertilized egg becomes implanted and starts to develop in a
fallopian tube instead of in the uterus
• Previous surgery in the abdomen or pelvis
Complications Associated with Fallopian Tubes
There are a number of different problems that can develop with the fallopian tubes. These complications include:
• tubal blockage
• tubal scarring
Tubal blockage is by far one of the most common fallopian tube complications. Sometimes, one or both tubes become narrow or blocked, preventing eggs from travelling through to the uterus. This can make conception impossible. Tubal scarring can also affect the route that the egg takes through the fallopian tubes.
The fallopian tubes lie alongside the ovaries. Their function is to transport the egg (released at time of ovulation) to the uterus. Conception takes place in one of the fallopian tubes when the egg meets the sperm. If one or both of the tubes is damaged, fertility problems result. Tubal factor infertility, as it is known, is the cause of infertility in 40% of women who have difficulty conceiving.