Fallopian tubes are crucial female reproductive organs, as they are the connectors between the ovaries and the uterus. Ovulation occurs monthly, roughly in the middle of a menstrual cycle. The main function of the fallopian tubes is to carry the egg released during ovulation from the ovary to the uterus. The fallopian tube is where the woman conceives. After fertilization by a sperm, the egg moves through the fallopian tube back to the uterus for successful implantation.
Hence, it is very clear that the transport mechanism between the sperm and the eggs is blocked in any blockage in the fallopian tubes. In this blog, we will explore the common reasons for blocked fallopian tubes and identify them.
Include scar tissue, infection, and pelvic adhesions.
Causes of blocked fallopian tubes
The main cause for blocked Fallopian tubes are scar tissue or pelvic adhesions as described below:-
- The pelvic inflammatory disease causes scarring or Hydrosalpinx (a condition explained below in the blog).
- Endometriosis:- In this condition, the endometrial tissue inflates and builds up in the fallopian tubes, thus blocking them. Endometrial tissue outside of other organs causes adhesions blocking the fallopian tubes.
- Sexually transmitted infections such as Chlamydia and Gonorrhoea cause scarring, leading to pelvic inflammatory disease.
- Any earlier ectopic pregnancy can scar the fallopian tubes.
- Fibroids are an external growth that blocks the fallopian tube, particularly when they are attached to the uterus.
- Any past abdominal surgery of the fallopian tubes causes pelvic adhesions that block the tubes.
Many of the causes mentioned above are not preventable, but safe sex practices can reduce the risk of Sexually Transmitted Infections.
How do we know if fallopian tubes are blocked?
An important thing to remember is that there are no externally noticeable symptoms for blocked fallopian tubes. Unless women have an issue with conceiving, they will not know this. Rarely there is regular on one side of the abdomen and only in cases of a type of blockage called Hydrosalpinx. The pain is noticeable in this condition because the blocked fallopian tube is filled with fluid and enlarged.
Every reason leading to blocked fallopian tubes have their symptoms. For example, endometriosis often causes very painful and heavy periods and pelvic pain. It can increase your risk for blocked fallopian tubes.
HSN is an ultrasound performed with saline solution. Though the procedure is very taxing on the patient, it gives a clear view of the uterus. The doctor is benefitted from the view and can properly assess and treat the fallopian blockages.
HSG is a special X-ray that shows the inside of fallopian tubes. A dye is introduced into the uterus and fallopian tubes. The dye gives a clear vision into the insides of the fallopian tubes. An X-ray captures the view. The x-ray is done as an outpatient in the clinic during the first half of your menstrual cycle.
Laparoscopy with Chromotubation
This is an inpatient procedure. Under anaesthesia, two incisions are made, one to insert a fine telescope into the abdomen and a second to insert a tiny probe into the pubic region. The probe gives a view into the reproductive organs. After the instruments are properly placed, the womb is filled with a light-blue liquid. The dye will spill from the ends into the pelvis area without blockages. No spillage means there is some block in the fallopian tubes. The patient takes a week to recover.
What are the chances of Pregnancy with Blocked Fallopian tubes?
Since the fallopian tubes are the meeting point of the sperm and the egg, a blocked tube can prevent them from joining. Blocks in both the tubes mean the couple has to take treatment for pregnancy. With just one tube blocked, natural pregnancy is still possible. Sometimes drugs are also given to increase chances of natural conception. In such cases, there is the risk of an ectopic pregnancy increases.
Location of blockage also determines chances of pregnancy. If the block is near the uterus, then pregnancy chances are higher than blocks near the ovaries. In vitro fertilization (IVF) is the most commonly chosen treatment procedure.
Can I have IVF if there’s a problem with my fallopian tubes?
In IVF treatment, your egg does not need to be picked up by the fallopian tube but is collected directly from the ovary and fertilised in a lab, before the embryo is transferred to your uterus. The good news is this means that any problems with your fallopian tubes are bypassed, improving your chances of a successful pregnancy.
At ZIVA Fertility Center, we offer all the diagnostic and treatment procedures for blocked fallopian tubes. We offer counselling services to help couples understand the causes of their infertility. Reach us today at 91-9100002737 or +91 78424 00104; or email: Info@zivafertility.com to consult our fertility expert.