The fallopian tubes are reproductive organs connecting the ovaries and uterus. They are critical in ovulation. Usually in the middle of the menstrual cycle, an egg travels from the ovary, down the fallopian tube to the uterus. Fertilization of the egg also occurs in the fallopian tube. When an egg is fertilized, it moves through the tube to the uterus where it implants on the uterine wall. Damage or blockage of the fallopian tube can prevent fertilization from happening and/or it can prevent the fertilized egg from reaching the uterus.
Causes of Blocked Fallopian Tubes
There are several reasons why a fallopian tube may become blocked. Infection from pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is the most common cause. Many PID infections are caused by sexually transmitted infections (STI), of which the most prevalent are chlamydia and gonorrhea. Not all PIDs are due to STI.
This condition can also be caused by bacteria being pushed further up the vagina by an intrauterine device (IUD) or by douching. Any time the normal barrier created by the cervix is disturbed, bacteria could enter the reproductive tract and cause inflammation in the fallopian tubes.
Other causes of blockages include endometriosis, which is a buildup of endometrial tissue growing outside the uterus, in this case, involving the fallopian tubes. Fibroids are also growths that can block the fallopian tubes. This often occurs where they attach to the uterus.
Past surgeries on the fallopian tubes may produce scar tissue that can create blockages. Past ectopic pregnancy (pregnancy occurring in the fallopian tube) also creates scar tissue in the tube.
In some situations where small amounts of scar tissue or adhesions are causing a blockage, laparoscopic surgery may be an option. This procedure opens the tube by removing the blockage. If there are large amounts of scar tissue, removal may not be possible. Sometimes surgery can successfully repair fallopian tubes damaged by ectopic pregnancy or infection. When a part of the fallopian tube is damaged and causing a blockage, the damaged area can be removed, and the healthy parts of the tube are then connected.
Neway Fertility provides a variety of options for those experiencing infertility. When you are having trouble starting your family, contact us. Schedule a consultation appointment with one of our fertility specialists, and let us help you start building your family.