Blocked fallopian tubes are one of the reasons for infertility in women. The eggs or ova released by the ovary have no passage into the uterus and cannot be implanted in the uterine lining.
The fallopian tube is the passage for the eggs or ova into the uterus. Most times, fertilization – fusion of male and female gametes, that is, sperm and egg, happen in the fallopian tube. When it is blocked, the fertilized egg cannot move into the uterus where the endometrium has been prepared for its arrival.
After reading this article, you will understand why blocked fallopian tubes are important causes of infertility in women. You will also know the causes of blocked fallopian tubes, the treatment options that are available for women to consider, and complications that can arise from having blocked fallopian tubes.
In this article
What are Fallopian Tubes?
Fallopian tubes are the links between the ovaries and the uterus in a woman’s reproductive system. There are two fallopian tubes as there are two ovaries. Each one receives an egg from the ovary that releases an egg at ovulation in the menstrual cycle.
The fallopian tube is usually the site of fertilization. It is the part of the reproductive system in the female body where the sperm meets the egg. In the fallopian tube, the fusion of the male and female sex gametes meets and fuse to give rise to a fetus in the uterus.
Due to its function and vitality in the reproductive system, a fault in the fallopian tube can spell infertility for a woman who is otherwise healthy. One of the issues that may arise with the fallopian tube is its blockage.
Blocked fallopian tubes are one of the common reasons for infertility in women.
What Causes Blocked Fallopian Tubes?
Blocked fallopian tubes occur due to many reasons. However, chief reasons for this situation could be due to pelvic adhesions or scar tissues. There are so many conditions that could lead to these two reasons and we will discuss them.
Endometriosis is a condition where the endometrial tissue or uterine lining when broken down does not exit the body during menstruation. The tissue might pass through the fallopian tube and cause blockage.
It is also possible that uterine lining that has developed outside the uterus may cause adhesion in the fallopian tube, causing blockage.
Fibroids are abnormal growths in or on the uterus of a woman. They can cause blockage of the fallopian tubes when they are attached to the uterus.
Pelvic inflammatory Disease
Pelvic Inflammatory disease, PID, is one of the causes of infertility in women. It is a bacterial infection that spreads to the uterus, ovary or fallopian tube from the vagina. It causes scar tissues to develop in the fallopian tube and this in turn can lead to tubal pregnancy due to blocked fallopian tubes.
Sexually Transmitted Infection
Common STIs such as gonorrhea and chlamydia can cause scar tissues to develop in the fallopian tube. They can also lead to pelvic inflammatory disease which consequently causes blocked fallopian tubes.
History of Ectopic Pregnancy
If you have had an ectopic or tubal pregnancy before, your fallopian tube may be scarred from that experience and it might reoccur.
Ectopic pregnancies are pregnancies that occur in the fallopian tube. The sperm fertilizes the egg and the fetus begins to develop right there, in the fallopian tube.
Past Abdominal Surgery
If your fallopian tube has been worked on through surgery in times past, there is a probability that it might cause adhesion in the tube.
Symptoms of Blocked Fallopian Tubes
It is hard to tell when a fallopian tube is blocked. Most women have no idea they have blocked fallopian tubes until they try to conceive and it becomes difficult. Blocked fallopian tubes do not present symptoms and when they do, it might include mild pain one a side of the abdomen.
This symptom does not occur because the fallopian tube is blocked, it mostly occurs when the blockage is caused by fluid.
However, other causes of blocked fallopian tubes such as endometriosis can cause vivid symptoms that include:
- Heavy period flow
- Pelvic pain
Treatment of Blocked Fallopian Tubes
Depending on the cause of blockage, there are possible treatments to remove blockages from fallopian tubes.
Blocked fallopian tube scar tissues that are not particularly large or adhesion of a small proportion can be treated through laparoscopic surgery. The tissues causing the blockage will be removed. However, if the scar tissues are large, treatment by this surgery may not happen.
In an event that the fallopian tube blockage is caused by damage done to the tube by an ectopic pregnancy. A major surgery to repair the damaged part and connect the healthy parts is the right course. This treatment option is also possible if the damage is caused by an infection.
Complications Associated with Blocked Fallopian Tubes
The most important complication of blocked fallopian tubes is ectopic pregnancy. It is so complicated that it can arise from blockage of the fallopian tube and the treatment of the blockage.
An ectopic pregnancy may occur if the fallopian tube is partially blocked, making it possible for the sperm to pass through and fertilize the egg. However, the passage may be too narrow for the egg to continue its journey into the uterus. An ectopic pregnancy occurs from this scenario and it is a medical emergency.
It is also possible that a part of the fallopian tube is removed, through surgery, in a bid to treat blockage in the fallopian tube. This may also lead to an ectopic pregnancy.
Blocked fallopian tubes are a major infertility concern in the world. It often goes unnoticed till conception becomes difficult. When conception happens, it might lead to complication such as ectopic pregnancy.
Blockages in the fallopian tube can be removed through surgery, depending on the size of scar tissue in the tube. However, it is advisable that individuals who have large scar tissues in their fallopian tube should conceive through IVF s it is safer and helps to boycott the medical emergency ectopic pregnancy brings.
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