By Dr. Asha Gavade, Gynaecology
One of the most common causes of female infertility is a blocked fallopian tube. Fallopian tubes are two tubes located one on each side of the uterus. It helps to transport the matured eggs from the ovaries to the uterus. When there is a hindrance that prevents the eggs from reaching the uterus, you may have a blocked fallopian tube and is also known as tubal factor infertility. It can happen in one or both the fallopian tubes. According to research, blocked fallopian tube is the cause of infertility in about 40% of infertile women.
What causes blocked fallopian tube?
- The main cause of blocked fallopian tube is pelvic inflammatory disease or (PID). PID is caused mostly by sexually transmitted diseases such as gonorrhoea or chlamydia. However, all pelvic infections are not the result of STDs. History of having PID or pelvic infection increases the risk of blocked tubes.
- Currently having or a pre-exisiting history of uterus infection caused due to miscarriages or abortion.
- If the patient has undergone surgery involving fallopian tubes.
- Currently suffering from endometriosis.
- History of a ruptured appendix.
- Prior ectopic pregnancy.
What are the symptoms of blocked fallopian tube?
- The most common symptom of blocked fallopian tube is pain in the lower abdomen. You may feel mild pain to severe cramps. The pain generally increases during the periods.
- Pain during intercourse is another common symptom. If you have pain during intercourse, you should not feel embarrassed to tell your doctor since it can be the result of underlying health conditions.
- Pain in the lower back during menstruation is normal. But if the pain is persistent then you should contact your doctor. Mild or severe pain in and around the kidneys and liver can be a sign of blocked fallopian tubes.
- Heavy bleeding during period or spotting between the cycles can be possible signs of blocked fallopian tube.
- Heavy vaginal discharge with a fishy smell can be a symptom of the pelvic inflammatory disease. If the infection is not treated on time, it can lead to blockage in the fallopian tube.
How is the blocked fallopian tube treated?
- First, the doctor will look for any sexually transmitted infection (STI). If there is STI, it will be treated with antibiotics. Once the STD is cured, the blockage of the fallopian tubes should also get cleared.
- Next, the doctor may opt for laparoscopy surgery to remove any scar tissue outside the fallopian tube. If the blockage is caused by hydrosalpinx (the blockage of fallopian tube due to a build up of fluid), then the surgery will help in draining out the fluid and clear the affected area of the tube.
- However, it is said that the most effective treatment is to begin In vitro fertilization (IVF) if all of these methods fail to cure infertility.