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What are blocked fallopian tubes?

Fallopian tubes are a pair of tiny tubes that carry eggs from the ovaries to the uterus. In human beings, fertilization of the egg takes place within the fallopian tube. Obstruction and blockage in the fallopian tube prevent the eggs can be prevented from entering the tube or from passing through the tube to the uterus. It may be caused by a uterus condition or STD and needs attention to avoid ectopic pregnancies and fertility issues.

What are its main signs and symptoms?

Blocked fallopian tubes do not often present with signs or symptoms other than infertility, delayed menses or too short or too long menstrual cycles.

What are its main causes?

The most common conditions which block the fallopian tubes by either scarring the inner lining of the tube or forming abnormal growths that block the tube include:

How is it diagnosed and treated?

Blocked fallopian tubes can be diagnosed using various radiologic or scoping techniques which include:

  • X-rays of the abdomen and pelvis
  • A specialised X-ray study called hysterosalpingogram 
  • Ultrasound of the pelvis
  • Laparoscopy

The treatment modalities include an open or laparoscopic surgery to remove blockage of tubes. The following techniques are used:

  • If the blockage is near the uterus, a non-surgical procedure is done in which a tiny tube (or cannula) is inserted into the duct to reopen it.
  • Surgery is used to remove the blocked section of the tube and reconnect its healthy ends, in case of more extensive or deeper blockages.
  • In hydrosalpinx (tube blocked due to fluid build-up), the source of fluid build-up is removed. A new opening to the uterus may be created.
  • The distal end of the tube can be recreated surgically to pick up the egg from the ovary.
  1. Medicines for Blocked Fallopian Tubes

References

  1. Virtua Health System. Blocked Fallopian Tube. Camden NJ; [Internet]
  2. Virtua Health System. Blocked Fallopian Tube Print. Camden NJ; [Internet]
  3. Madhuri Patil. Assessing tubal damage. J Hum Reprod Sci. 2009 Jan-Jun; 2(1): 2–11. PMID: 19562067
  4. HealthLink BC [Internet] British Columbia; Fallopian Tube Procedures for Infertility
  5. National Health Service [Internet]. UK; Overview - Infertility
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