Blocked fallopian tubes symptoms, causes and treatment
Blocked fallopian tubes can be one of the main causes of infertility and yet the majority of the time it shows no symptoms until you are having difficulty conceiving.
28 October 2021
Blocked fallopian tubes; symptoms, causes and treatment
Blocked fallopian tubes can be one of the main causes of infertility and yet the majority of the time it shows no symptoms until you are having difficulty conceiving. Also, the mechanical patency of the tubes still may not mean that the functionality of the tubes is optimum and can explain ciliary dysfunction of patent tubes.
Read on to understand more about what causes blocked fallopian tubes, blocked fallopian tube symptoms and IVF and blocked fallopian tubes.
What are fallopian tubes?
The fallopian tubes are two thin tubes on either side of the uterus, which helps the egg travel from the ovaries to the uterus and allow the sperm to meet the egg. Fallopian tubes play an important role in conception as they are the pathway for the egg and sperm to meet and for fertilisation to take place.
Blocked fallopian tubes can be a major reason why some women may be infertile, as the egg and sperm cannot meet and the fertilised egg cannot get back to the uterus, unfortunately resulting in infertility.
What causes blocked fallopian tubes?
The most common cause of blocked fallopian tubes is Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID). This is a bacterial infection that can be caused by untreated STIs. It can spread into the fallopian tubes and cause tissue to turn into scar tissue, eventually resulting in a blockage. Some other causes are:
Endometriosis – This is a condition where small amounts of the womb lining start to grow outside of the womb, such as the fallopian tubes, causing them to become blocked.
Certain STIs – Chlamydia and gonorrhoea if left untreated can spread to the fallopian tubes and cause scarring, leading to Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID).
Fibroids – These are small growths within the uterus. They can compress the fallopian tubes, causing them to become blocked.
Past ectopic pregnancy – Ectopic pregnancies can, unfortunately, damage fallopian tubes, making it more difficult to become pregnant in the future.
If you think you are suffering from any of these issues, please don’t hesitate to contact us at The Evewell to see how we can help.
Blocked fallopian tubes symptoms
Blocked fallopian tubes often do not present any symptoms and unfortunately, many women don’t realise they have this condition until they try to conceive. The first symptom is usually infertility, however, sometimes tubal occlusion may cause pain in the abdomen or belly. This is usually a regular occurrence around the time of their period and happens because of a build-up of fluid in the fallopian tube, leading to a condition called hydrosalpinx. Some other symptoms can include pain during sex and unpleasant smelling vaginal discharge. Read more on symptoms of infertility here.
Sometimes the fallopian tubes can become partially blocked, if this happens it can still be possible to become pregnant. However, this can possibly cause an increased chance of an ectopic pregnancy. An ectopic pregnancy is when a fertilised egg implants outside of the uterus, usually in the fallopian tubes. This can occur because the egg may get stuck in the fallopian tube if it is partially blocked. The symptoms of an ectopic pregnancy include vaginal bleeding, abdominal pain and extreme lightheadedness or fainting.
IVF and blocked fallopian tubes
Women who suffer from blocked fallopian tubes may be worried they won’t be able to get pregnant, however, there are a few ways in which pregnancy is possible. If a woman suffers from just one tubal occlusion, the blockage most likely won’t affect her fertility as natural conception can still happen through the unblocked fallopian tube.
If both of your fallopian tubes are blocked by only small amounts of scar tissue, you may be able to receive laparoscopic surgery which can hopefully remove the blockages. If both of your fallopian tubes are blocked by a large amount of scar tissue, surgery to remove it may not be possible. This is when IVF may be advised.
The process of IVF means that the fallopian tubes will be bypassed altogether as the egg is collected directly from the ovary and fertilised outside of the body, meaning the fallopian tubes are not used. If you are considering IVF treatment, please get in touch with us to see how we can help.Read more here on the other treatments of infertility.
Although IVF is very successful, here at The Evewell we pride ourselves on finding the easiest and least invasive way to pregnancy, depending on each patient’s personal situation. Please see the full list of Fertility services we offer here.
How can we help?
If you are suffering with infertility or are considering IVF treatment, please get in touch by either emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org or giving us a call on 020 3974 0950 to see how we can help. Whatever your needs, we are here.