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Causes of Blocked Fallopian Tubes & Its Treatment

About Blocked Fallopian Tube:

Fallopian Tube is an extremely vital structure with regard to a female conceiving a child. This is the structure where the eggs meet with the sperm and gets fertilized. A normal functioning fallopian tube is mandatory for successful conception. Sometimes, these fallopian tubes get blocked due to some reason. This is quite a common occurrence in many females. When this happens, the fertility of the female gets affected. In fact, this is one of the most common causes of infertility in women. It is common for females with blocked fallopian tubes to become desperate to get the blockage cleared to restore normal reproductive function and increase their chances of conceiving [1].

Inflammation is believed to be the primary cause of blocked fallopian tube. This condition has been on the rise due to increased incidences of infections in females. Studies suggest that around 40% of females with fertility problems have blocked fallopian tubes as a causative factor. The infections most commonly associated with blocked fallopian tube include bacterial infections along with certain sexually transmitted diseases like chlamydia and mycoplasma infections [1].

This calls for more accurate diagnosis and an appropriate treatment plan to treat infertility in females with blocked fallopian tubes. Fallopian tube blockage is generally asymptomatic; however, there are some risk factors that increase the likelihood of a female developing this condition. These generally include previous history of abdominal surgery or a history of pelvic inflammatory disease [1].

Gonorrhea and chlamydia were the next most common risk factors for a female developing blocked fallopian tube. Anatomically speaking, the fallopian tubes form an important part of the female reproductive system. They comprise of hair like projections which function by guiding the egg to traverse from the ovaries to the uterus. They also help the sperm travel up the uterus so that both the egg and sperm can meet [2].

The fallopian tube also has finger like structures called fimbriae that functions by catching the egg when the ovary releases it. This article details some of the potential causes of blocked fallopian tubes and different ways to treat it [2].

Causes of Blocked Fallopian Tubes & Its Treatment

Causes of Blocked Fallopian Tubes & Its Treatment

The fallopian tube can get blocked or obstructed for a variety of reasons. These include a history of a prior infection or inflammation to the pelvic region. A pelvic infection often results in the fallopian tube getting inflamed which is the primary cause for blocked fallopian tubes. Females who have a history of rupture of appendix also can develop blocked fallopian tubes. Sexually transmitted diseases like gonorrhea or chlamydia are perhaps the most common cause for a blocked fallopian tube. These infections inflame the fallopian tube causing them to get blocked [3].

Endometriosis which is a condition in which the lining of the uterus which normally grows inside the uterus starts growing outside of it is also one of the causes of blocked fallopian tubes. Females with a history of an abdominal surgery also at times can develop blocked fallopian tubes. Hydrosalpinx which is a condition in which there is swelling with fluid accumulation at the tip of the fallopian tube is also one of the causes of blocked fallopian tube [3].

In majority of the cases, it is the scar tissues that form due to inflammation that lead to a blocked fallopian tube. How a blocked fallopian tube affects the fertility of a female is something that needs to be understood. It is known that the reproductive system of a female comprises of the ovaries, uterus, and the fallopian tubes. If any of these organs do not function normally then it affects the fertility of a female [2].

It is the ovaries that release an egg during ovulation. The egg then traverses through the fallopian tubes to the ovaries. The fallopian tubes guides the sperm to go up to the uterus where the eggs and the sperm meet and conception takes place. If the fallopian tube gets blocked for some reason, then the egg and the sperm will not be able to meet thus making conception difficult [2].

However, if the egg is released from the right ovary and the left fallopian tube is blocked then there is still a chance of the egg getting fertilized. However, if both fallopian tubes are blocked then pregnancy becomes extremely difficult [2].

Coming to the treatment of blocked fallopian tubes, surgery is the most preferred method to clear the blockage. The surgery however will depend on the extent of the block and the location of it. The surgery aims at opening the blocked fallopian tubes by removal of the scar tissue. The surgery will also aim at creating a new opening away from the blocked area so that it can function normally [2].

Keyhole surgery is the most preferred surgery to open up a blocked fallopian tube. As is inherent to any surgical procedure, this surgery will also have certain complications to include infection, injury to the adjacent nerves and vessels, possibility of more scar tissue formation, and excessive bleeding. However, keyhole surgery does not require a large incision and therefore most of these complications are not expected [2].

In some cases, postsurgery for blocked fallopian tube a female can develop ectopic pregnancy in which the egg gets entrapped in the fallopian tube and pose a serious threat to the overall health of the individual. Thus it is recommended for surgery who have had surgery for blocked fallopian tube and gets pregnant after the procedure get checked for ectopic pregnancy to get treated before complications develop [2].

In conclusion, it is always recommended for females who plan to start a family get checked for any risks for a blocked fallopian tube, especially if they have a history of pelvic inflammatory diseases or other conditions which may cause inflammation around the fallopian tubes [1, 2].

In case if a female has a blocked fallopian tubes and gets prompt treatment, then there should be no impact on the fertility of the female if only a single tube is affected and the scar tissue formation is not severe. In case if the surgery to remove scar tissue and the block is not effective then the female will have to try alternative forms of conceiving like in vitro fertilization [2].


Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Pramod Kerkar, M.D., FFARCSI, DA Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:December 2, 2019

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