blocked fallopian tube

In today’s world, achieving pregnancy is no more accessible because of changing lifestyles and habits. There are various reasons for infertility. And one of the major contributing factors to infertility is blocked fallopian tubes.

In this article, we will know the role of the fallopian tube in pregnancy and the varying symptoms and treatment of blocked fallopian tubes.

Function of the Fallopian Tube in Pregnancy?

The fallopian tube is a female reproductive organ consisting of two thin tubes connecting the ovaries and the uterus. It carries the mature egg from an ovary to the uterus during ovulation. And if an egg gets fertilized by sperm, it moves to the uterus for implantation.

What are blocked fallopian tubes

What are Blocked Fallopian Tubes?

A blocked fallopian tube means sperm cannot pass to get the eggs and also stops the egg from traveling down the tube. It is also called tubal factor infertility. Scar tissue, infection, and pelvic adhesion are the common reason for blocked fallopian tubes.

  • It can occur on either one or both sides of the fallopian tube, preventing fertilization and pregnancy.
  • There can be a situation that the fallopian tube is not completely blocked.
  • Partially blocked fallopian tube increases the risk of tubal pregnancy or an ectopic pregnancy
  • Ectopic pregnancy can lead to severe life-threatening complications, including death

Related Post: Polycystic Ovary Syndrome PCOS: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

Symptoms for Blocked Fallopian Tubes

There are rarely any symptoms of a blocked fallopian tube. Infertility is the first symptom of a blocked fallopian tube. Women above the age of 35 years who are unable to conceive after trying for one year should consult a specialist.

In that case, the doctor will recommend a particular X-ray-based test to check the blockage in the fallopian tube, along with other fertility tests.

In Some Women, Blocked Fallopian Tubes cause mild and regular lower abdominal pain and unusual vaginal discharge. This happens because of a special kind of blockage called hydrosalpinx. It occurs when fluid fills and enlarges a blocked fallopian tube

Endometriosis and Pelvic Inflammatory disease cause painful periods and painful sexual intercourse, which can increase the risk of blocked fallopian tubes.

Symptoms of Pelvic Infarction are as follows: –

  • General Pelvic Pain
  • Foul-Smelling Vaginal Discharge
  • Pain During Intercourse
  • Fever
  • Vomiting
  • Nausea
  • Severe Lower Abdominal Pain

Causes of the Blocked Fallopian Tubes

The following are the causes of the blocked fallopian tubes: –

1. Pelvic Inflammatory Diseases

The most common cause of blocked fallopian tubes. It can affect one or more organs at a time. It occurs due to a sexually transmitted disease and causes severe pelvic pain, fever, scars, and blockages in the fallopian tubes.

2. Endometriosis

In this, similar to the tissue lining, the uterus begins to build up outside the uterus, causing excessive pain or can develop in the other reproductive organ, including the fallopian tubes, which causes a blockage.

3. Ectopic Pregnancy

This causes scarring in the fallopian tubes, and sometimes, in severe cases, the tube is also removed.

4. Fibroids

These are the non-cancerous growth that can develop in the uterus. They can block the fallopian tube, especially where they join the uterus.

5. Past Abdominal Surgery

Past surgery, especially on the fallopian tubes, can lead to pelvic adhesions and block the tubes.

Diagnosis for a Blocked Fallopian Tubes

Blocked fallopian tubes are diagnosed if a woman has the symptoms mentioned above and is primarily unable to conceive. Then your doctor will order to get one or more of the following tests to diagnose the blocked fallopian tubes:

HSG Test

Hysterosalpingography (HSG) is a type of x-ray used to examine the uterus’s internal lining and diagnose the fallopian tube’s blockage. This doctor views the uterus and the fallopian tube by threatening a thin tube through the vagina and cervix. It helps in detecting any abnormalities.

Laparoscopy

Laparoscopy is an invasive procedure in which a thin camera is placed through the cervix to examine the uterus. It is advised in some cases where the HSG test cannot clarify minor blockages.

Hysteroscopy

Unlike laparoscopy, there are no incisions in hysteroscopy. In this hysteroscope, a long thin, tube-like, and hollow viewing instrument is inserted into the uterus through the vagina.

Specialized tools are sometimes inserted through the hysteroscope to treat issues that may cause fertility problems. This does not require hospitalization as it is completed during the day.

Treatment for Blocked Fallopian Tubes

Fallopian tube blockage is the common cause of infertility in women. Treatment for infertility caused by this is based on various factors such as the severity of symptoms, location of the blockage, extent of blockage, age, overall health, and fertility goals. Following is the treatment available for blocked fallopian tube: –

Laparoscopic Surgery

Laparoscopic surgery is done to help and treat abnormalities in the fallopian tube. In this, a small incision is made on the pelvic region through which a thin camera is inserted to access the scar tissues causing a blockage. In some cases, it can open the blockage and remove the scars.

Unfortunately, it only sometimes works. Its success depends on various factors such as age, where the blockage is, cause and severity, etc.

In-Vitro fertilization (IVF)

IVF treatment is the last option for women whose blockage in the fallopian tubes can’t be treated. It is the best solution to achieve a healthy pregnancy.

In the IVF procedure, fertility drugs are given to stimulate the ovaries. Then the doctor retrieves the egg and fertilizes it with sperm in a lab. This results in egg fertilization which results in an embryo. Then this embryo is directly implanted in the lining of the uterus

In this treatment, the role of fallopian is bypassed, so blockage does not matter. But if a woman has a fluid-filled tube, the doctor may recommend surgery to remove the tube first because it can decrease the chances of IVF success.

Reversal of Tubal Ligation

It is a permanent way of birth control. In this, fallopian tubes are cut and clamped, or a unique coil is inserted, which prevents the meeting of sperm and egg. It is done to block the fallopian tube. Women who do tubal ligation later regret it as it was considered permanent birth control.

But now the ligation is surgically reversible. It is more successful than repairing a blockage due to an infection.

How can Prevent Blockage of Fallopian Tube?

  • Pelvic infections mainly cause fallopian tube blockage. So, regular screening for sexually transmitted diseases and troubling symptoms is essential.
  • It is necessary for preventing tubal blockage because if the sexually transmitted disease or any other infection is caught early, it can prevent scar tissue development.
  • Some symptoms are not acute and often result in no signs or symptoms. But still should consult the doctor because no sign does not mean it is not harmless. The risk of forming scar tissue is high as long as the infection is present.

So, should not neglect and visit the doctor, and once the infection is detected, antibiotic treatment is advised by the doctor. It is not guaranteed that the tubes will be clear. Antibiotics can only kill bacteria. It can prevent further damage and help in the success of other fertility treatments.

Conclusion

A blocked fallopian tube is the prevalent cause of infertility in women. Therefore, it is essential to be familiar with the symptoms and causes. Timely treatment and fertility care can help in a successful pregnancy.

And if it is not curable, an alternative method is always available for getting pregnant, such as IVF. Visit the fertility specialist to get the best treatment and advice.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Yes, it is possible with the help of laparoscopic surgery to treat tubal abnormalities and with an IVF treatment. 

Yes, with the help of surgery, blockage in the fallopian tube is treated

Yes, a woman with blocked fallopian tubes has periods since the fallopian tubes have nothing to do with menstruation.

No, it does not lead to miscarriage. But previous miscarriage can lead to blockage in the fallopian tube.

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