Causes of fallopian tube obstruction and treatment options

Emobileclinic Trending Topic: Fallopian Obstruction

While there are many causes of infertility, a blockage of the fallopian tubes is often the reason why many women are unable to conceive. The fallopian tubes are the pathways in which the ova travel from the ovaries down into the uterus, and if there is a blockage in these tubes it can prevent this from occurring.

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The fallopian tubes can sometimes become blocked or even damaged due to certain conditions that a woman may suffer from. In rare cases, the blockage to the fallopian tubes may have been present since birth as a birth defect, but has gone undetected until the woman reached adulthood and tried to conceive.

Causes of Fallopian Obstruction

Common conditions that may cause blocked fallopian tubes are:

Endometriosis

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)

Uterine Fibroids

Ectopic pregnancy

Tubal Ligation Removal

Complications from lower abdominal surgery such as Cesarean section

Genital Tuberculosis (still common in developing countries, especially India)

Diagnosing Fallopian Obstruction

The main indicator that there is a blockage is an inability to conceive as there are no specific and physical symptoms. Fortunately, there are medical tests that detect any abnormalities or blockages. Here are details on how blocked fallopian tubes are diagnosed

Hysterosalpingogram (HSG)

Hysterosalpingogram is an X-ray test, using a contrast dye to view any obstruction in the fallopian tubes. The dye is inserted through a thin tube that is placed up through the vagina, into the uterus. This test is the number one test performed to determine if there is a blockage in the fallopian tubes.

Chromotubation

This test is similar to hysterosalpingogram because chromotubation includes dye being passed into the uterus and fallopian tubes as well. This test is performed during laparoscopy, so that doctors can see the dye spilling from the fallopian tube. This test is considered the most reliable way to determine fallopian tube blockage, but does require surgery.

Sonohysterography

This is a non-invasive procedure where ultrasound imaging is used to determine if there are any abnormalities of the reproductive organs. This type of test is not always a reliable way to determine fallopian tube blockage since the tubes are so small. This test may help to determine hydrosalpinx or other issues such as uterine fibroids.

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Treatments of Fallopian Obstruction

Surgical Options

Tubal surgical procedures can either be done by open abdominal surgery or laparoscopy (small incision).

Salpingectomy

This procedure is the removal of part of the fallopian tube. This is commonly performed for hydrosalpinx prior to IVF. 

Salpingostomy

This procedure is performed when the end of the fallopian tube is blocked by hydrosalpinx. The surgeon creates a new opening in the fallopian tube entrance nearest the ovary. The success of this procedure is often temporary and often scar tissue reforms causing another blockage within 3-6 months of the procedure.

Fimbrioplasty

This option may be performed on women with damage to the fimbriae. If the fimbriae and its cilia are stuck together by scar tissue, which is preventing the ova from being picked up, a fimbrioplasty may be recommended. This procedure rebuilds the fimbriae.

 



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