September 2, 2021 9:40:32 pm
There could be many reasons for infertility in women, and among them is a blocked fallopian tube. Dr Prachi Benara, of Birla Fertility and IVF, says it is one of the most common causes of female infertility. “It has been seen that in about 20-30 per cent cases, the cause of female infertility is caused due to tubal blockage.”
What is it?
According to the doctor, it is a condition where either one or both fallopian tubes are blocked or scarred which causes them to become narrow.
“The fallopian tubes connect the ovaries to the uterus. These muscular tubes are lined with delicate hair-like structures which helps the eggs to travel from the ovaries to the womb (uterus) and also helps sperm to travel up from the womb. Fertilization usually takes place in the fallopian tube and after that the fertilized egg moves towards the uterus for implantation. A blockage prevents the sperm to swim towards the eggs and the fertilized eggs to move towards the uterus,” she explains.
What causes this condition?
Tubal blockage occurs due to the following reasons:
1. Pelvic inflammatory disease: It is an infection caused in the pelvic area which causes scarring or hydrosalpinx.
2. Endometriosis: In this condition, endometrial tissues which are generally found on the outside of other organs, start to build up inside the fallopian tubes.
3. STI: Sexually transmitted infections like chlamydia and gonorrhea can scar the fallopian tube leading to pelvic inflammatory disease.
4. Abdominal surgery: Any past history of surgery, especially on the fallopian tubes can cause pelvic adhesions. Apart from that, a previous burst appendix can also cause blockage.
5. Hydrosalpinx: It is a condition which causes swelling and fluid build up at the end of a fallopian tube.
6. Ectopic pregnancy: Any past history of ectopic pregnancy (fetus develops in a fallopian tube) can cause scarring.
7. Fibroids: These growths can cause blockage in the fallopian tube where they attach to the uterus.
The warning signs
Dr Benara explains that what makes this condition even more severe is the fact that women who suffer generally do not experience any symptoms.
“In fact, most women are unaware until diagnosis. In certain cases, they may experience pain in the abdomen or pelvic area. The most common symptom is inability to conceive despite six months of regular sexual intercourse. Apart from that, conditions that can cause blockage in the fallopian tube show their own symptoms. For example, endometriosis often causes painful and heavy periods along with pain in the pelvic area.”
The risk factors include:
– Infection of the reproductive system.
– Scarring tissues due to previous surgery or inflammation.
– Damage to other organs.
– History of tuberculosis.
It is possible to manage and prevent it through lifestyle choices and food habits. In the majority of cases, blocked fallopian tubes are caused by pelvic infections which are mostly the result of STI and tuberculosis. It is recommended to undergo regular check-ups of STDs, says the doctor.
There are ways to medically treat this condition:
– Surgeries: Depending on the case, there are many surgeries available to open the fallopian tube, repair tubes damaged by ectopic pregnancy or infection. Laparoscopic surgery is one such option.
– In-vitro fertilization: It is one of the most eﬀective forms of assisted reproductive technology and can be a savior for hopeful parents. Also, if repair surgery is not successful, women with blocked tubes can conceive through IVF.
📣 The above article is for information purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always seek the guidance of your doctor or other qualified health professional for any questions you may have regarding your health or a medical condition.
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