Fallopian Tube Blockage – What is it and What can you Do?
If your fallopian tubes are blocked, the egg and sperm can’t meet. That’s where fertilization takes place. Once fertilized the egg travels down the fallopian tubes into the uterus where it implants.
If the egg and sperm can’t meet in the fallopian tube, though, fertilization and pregnancy never take place.
What is Fallopian Tube Blockage?
Fallopian tube blockages occur for a variety of reasons. If you had previous pelvic surgeries, scar tissue may have formed in the tubes, blocking the pathway to your uterus. Other reasons include infections or previous tubal (ectopic pregnancies).
No matter the cause, a blockage means the egg or fertilized egg cannot get through to the uterus. This is an important part of the reproductive process.
What are the Symptoms of Fallopian Tube Blockage?
Blocked fallopian tubes are one reproductive issue that doesn’t have a lot of symptoms. You may have symptoms of other issues that cause a fallopian tube blockage though. Getting to the underlying condition is important so doctors can fix all side effects of the issues.
If any symptoms exist, it’s usually mild pain on one side of the pelvis. This occurs if you have fluid buildup in the tubes that cause the blockage. You may also have more painful periods than other women.
If you have fertility treatments, including ultrasounds, your doctor may notice that the eggs aren’t making their way through the tube. They may also run a few tests to check including:
- Hysterosalpingogram – The doctor injects a die into your tubes, which he then watches on an ultrasound to see if it flows through
- Sonohystogram – This ultrasound uses sound waves to see if they make their way through the tube
- Laparoscopic surgery – This is an exploratory surgery to see if the tubes are blocked using a microscope
What Causes Fallopian Tube Blockage?
Many underlying conditions may cause fallopian tube blockage including:
- Pelvic infections – Infections often leave behind scar tissue, which can block the fallopian tube path
- Endometriosis – This causes tissue growth outside the uterus, which may land in the fallopian tubes causing a blockage
- Previous tubal pregnancies – A pregnancy occurring the tube isn’t viable and can cause scar tissue in the tubes
- Fibroids – If fibroids grow in the tubes, they block the embryo’s path
Can you Treat the Condition?
Doctors may use laparoscopic surgery to find the blockage and remove it. This is most common with fibroids or scar tissue. Removing scar tissue is a Catch 22, though, because surgery causes scar tissue too.
If the tube is damaged, a surgeon can remove the damaged part of the tube and reconnect the health portions.
If your tubes are unrepairable, a viable alternative is in-vitro fertilization because it bypasses the tubes and implants the embryo directly into the uterus where pregnancy occurs.