The fallopian tubes are two tubes between 10 and 18 centimeters as thick as a pencil; they have the critical function of transporting the eggs from the ovaries to the uterine area. When the fallopian tubes function correctly, the oocyte can, during the fertile days, be fertilized by sperm in this area and then transferred to the uterus, where the gestation process will begin.
These ducts are required to function correctly, have good mobility, and are clear to allow the displacement of the oocyte during ovulation. Therefore their obstruction can significantly hinder pregnancy and become a cause of sterility. At FastlyHealwe, explain the causes, symptoms, and treatment of obstruction in the fallopian tubes and its specific effects on fertility.
Causes of blocked fallopian tubes
The obstruction of the fallopian tubes occurs when one or both tubes are blocked, preventing the ovum, once matured, from leaving the ovary to be fertilized. This problem triggers female infertility, so it is critical to understand what causes this blockage to find alternatives to treat this condition.
There are two primary forms of obstruction in this area:
- Total obstruction: the tube is completely blocked, preventing the passage of the oocyte or sperm and, therefore, all types of fertilization in the area.
- Partial blocking occurs when the zone is not entirely blocked. This condition is considered very dangerous because it increases the possibility of suffering an ectopic pregnancy, that is, a pregnancy that develops outside the uterus.
The causes of blocked fallopian tubes possible are:
This type of obstruction occurs when the blockage occurs at the ends of the fallopian tubes, known as fimbriae, which causes fluid to accumulate in the area, increasing the size of the boxes and making it impossible for the egg or sperm to pass. This picture can be caused by:
- Sexually transmitted diseases such as chlamydia or gonorrhea.
- Having endometriosis.
- Having suffered an ectopic pregnancy in the past.
- As a side effect of using the IUD.
- Having previously undergone tubal surgery.
This condition occurs when the tubes become blocked due to infection. Usually, the cause of this condition is sexually transmitted diseases such as gonorrhea or chlamydia. However, it can also occur due to an infection in other organs that have spread to this area, such as peritonitis. Endometriosis and surgery in the area can also lead to this problem.
It occurs when there is an acute infection in the fallopian tubes. Therefore they fill with pus which can cause a severe condition in which the tube twists and ends up breaking, causing an abscess in the pelvic area.
It occurs when the tubes are blocked from birth and is not caused by a specific pathology.
The presence of scar tissue in the area due to a previous injury (abortion, endometrial biopsy, etc.) can also cause the blockage. Having had surgery in the endometrial area or in the pelvic area that may have left inadequate healing and any history of infection in the pelvic area can trigger this problem.
The obstruction of the fallopian tubes is also known as a tubal factor, being one of the leading causes of female infertility. Its diagnosis and treatment necessarily require the attention of a gynecologist, who will find the best ways to determine the cause of the problem and its possible solutions.
How does a blocked fallopian tube affect fertility?
The fertile days are the time of the menstrual cycle when we ovulate, that is when our ovary releases an oocyte that is mature and ready to be fertilized. The ovum will travel through the fallopian tubes to the uterus when detached. The sperm make precisely the same trip but in the opposite direction, all to meet the oocyte and fertilize it, an encounter that generally occurs in the tubes.
Once the egg is fertilized, it will travel to the uterus to be implanted and thus start the pregnancy. If both tubes are obstructed, this process cannot be carried out and, therefore, pregnancy is not possible; however, if only one line is blocked, gestation is still possible when the ovary of the healthy tube is in charge of ovulating. . Remember that only one ovary works per menstrual cycle, alternating from month to month.
When a woman undergoes a tubal ligation or sterilization procedure, this obstruction is done on purpose to prevent pregnancy.
Symptoms of obstruction of the fallopian tubes
The tubal factor, or the obstruction of the fallopian tubes, does not have clear and specific symptoms, so women often realize that they have a problem when they try to conceive and fail.
Those with endometriosis or pelvic inflammatory disease can also suffer from this blockage. There will be symptoms of this condition in those cases, such as very painful menstruation and irregularity in the menstrual cycle. It is important to remember that none of these conditions necessarily produce an obstruction. Therefore, it is not advisable to be alarmed until you obtain a doctor’s opinion.
Only women who have a blocked fallopian tube due to hydrosalpinx will have particular symptoms, such as:
- Frequent and severe pelvic pain.
- Heavy vaginal discharge.
- Difficulty getting pregnant.
Suppose you have been trying to conceive for a year or more without results. In that case, it is appropriate to visit a gynecologist for a check-up to rule out any infertility problems affecting you.
Treatment of this condition
Suppose your doctor suspects that one or both fallopian tubes may be blocked. In that case, he will want to review your medical history in detail, verify the previous existence of sexually transmitted diseases such as chlamydia or gonorrhea, the presence of endometriosis, and know if you have suffered in the past some ectopic pregnancy, an abortion, a pelvic surgery, etc.
With this history, you can carry out various tests to diagnose this condition, such as hysterosalpingography, a special x-ray in the uterine area, and laparoscopic surgery to explore the site properly. Once the situation has been diagnosed, there are various treatments or alternatives to get pregnant, depending on the condition.
Treatment for a single blocked tube
Pregnancy is possible if you have only one blocked tube, although it may cost you more than a woman who has both boxes in the whole operation. The specialist may prescribe a treatment to increase fertility and increase your chances of getting pregnant faster. With patience and following the instructions of the gynecologist, you will achieve it.
Surgery to remove the blockage
This procedure is complex and offers few positive results unless it involves removing poorly healing tissue blocking the area. If the cause of the tubal obstruction is this, the prognosis after laparoscopic surgery is very favorable; however, it will not be effective in the case of hydrosalpinx. There is also not a good answer when the presence of scars is extensive or very attached to the tubes. Only your doctor will be able to tell you if this method is suitable for you.
Assisted reproductive treatment
Because the response to surgery to remove the obstruction is usually not favorable in all cases, assisted reproductive methods have become the best option for women with tubal factors.
In vitro fertilization is so far the best alternative. In this procedure, the woman is stimulated to generate a large number of mature eggs, which will later be extracted and fertilized with her partner’s sperm, to be later placed in the uterus woman for them to be implanted and give rise to pregnancy.
This method is expensive and does not have success in all cases, depending on factors such as the woman’s ovarian production and age, so it is essential to have the advice of a specialist throughout the process.
This article is merely informative. At FastlyHeal .com, we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any condition or discomfort.
If you want to read more articles similar to Obstruction in the fallopian tubes, we recommend that you enter our category of the Female reproductive system.
I am a Surgeon with a diploma in comprehensive ultrasound and surgical care residency, an area I am specializing in. During the exercise of my profession, I have realized the need for patients to know the diseases they suffer, and I can tell you that a large part of their complications is due to a lack of information. Being a health web writer allows me to transmit my experience, without borders, to all those readers eager for knowledge, educate them in the prevention of diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.