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Fallopian Tube Blockage - Symptoms of Blocked Fallopian Tubes, Causes, and Treatment

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  • 4.8   (6 Votes)
Medically Reviewed by Dr. Deepika Tiwari - MBBS on 29 Dec 2018 - Written by Dr. Neha Gupta - MBBS - Grammatically Approved by Dr. Kavita Jaggi Agrawal - MBBS

Fallopian Tube Blockage is one of the major concerns for women who want to conceive a baby. Symptoms of blocked fallopian tubes include painful sex, unusual discharge from vagina, burning sensation during urination, and endometriosis. Fallopian tube blockage treatment includes Tuboplasty, IVF treatment, and Alternative Medicine.

Let’s Discuss in More Details About Blocked Fallopian Tubes Causes and Treatment:

Fallopian tubes are an important part of a female reproductive system. These are two thin tubes which carry mature eggs from ovaries to uterus. They are very important during the process of fertilization which takes place when eggs are traversing through fallopian tubes on their way to the uterus. When fallopian tubes are blocked, it becomes difficult for the sperms to get through the tube to fertilize an egg that has moved out from an ovary. A blocked fallopian tube does not allow sperm to pass through the fallopian tube for fertilizing the egg. Around 40 percent cases of infertility in women are caused by blocked fallopian tubes. In cases where both the tubes are blocked, couples are advised to go for IVF treatment. Fallopian Tubes are also called oviducts, salpinges or uterine tubes. However, there are both surgical and non-surgical options available to treat damaged or blocked fallopian tubes in order to get pregnant. The chances of conceiving after tubal surgery depends on the age of a woman, the health of the partner’s sperm and the amount of damage to the tubes.

Symptoms of Blocked Fallopian Tubes

Blocked fallopian tubes do not often cause symptoms. However, some women report experiencing the following symptoms:

  • Mild or regular pain on one side of abdomen. This usually happens in a type of blockage called hydrosalpinx. Hydrosalpinx occurs when fluid fills and enlarges the blocked fallopian tube.
  • Unusual vaginal discharge
  • Pain during sexual intercourse
  • Pain and burning sensation while urinating
  • When a woman suffers from endometriosis, she may experience very painful and heavy periods. It also causes pelvic pain and increases the risk of blocked fallopian tubes.

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Causes of Blocked Fallopian Tubes

The causes of a blocked fallopian tube include the following:

1. Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)

Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID) is a type of disease that infects the female reproductive organs. PID usually occurs when sexually transmitted bacteria spread from vagina to the uterus, fallopian tubes or ovaries. Often there are no signs or symptoms of pelvic inflammatory disease, unless a woman has trouble getting pregnant or until she develops a chronic pelvic pain. 

2. Genital Tuberculosis

Genital Tuberculosis is a medical condition where a bacterium called Mycobacterium attacks the genital tract such as the ovaries, uterus, fallopian tubes, vulva, urinary bladder, cervix and vagina. A person with genital tuberculosis may experience pain in the pelvic region, bleeding, irregular periods and heavy vaginal discharge. In some women, when the condition affects the fallopian tube, it may become difficult to conceive. 

3. Any Previous Surgery

If a patient had any previous abdominal surgery, there is a risk of postoperative adhesions, which can lead to tubal blockage. Fallopian tubes can also be blocked when adhesions are formed and the body undergoes a healing event due to previous surgery, infection, endometriosis or repeated trauma. Women, who have undergone surgery or had an infection like pelvic inflammatory disease or Chlamydia, are at an increased risk of developing adhesions that can block their fallopian tubes.

4. Endometriosis

Endometriosis is a disease where a tissue builds up in the fallopian tubes and causes a blockage. The tissue builds up and breaks down with the menstrual cycle and causes irritation and inflammation. The buildup tissue can prevent the eggs from getting out of the ovaries or being fertilized by sperm. These tissues can appear in the fallopian tubes, in or on the ovaries, structures that support the uterus and the lining of the pelvic cavity. Sometimes, it is found in other places like cervix, vagina, rectum, bladder and bowel.

5. Fibroids

Fibroids too can block fallopian tubes, particularly when they attach to the uterus. Women who have large fibroids are known to be less fertile as compared to women who do not have. Growth of fibroids prevents a fertilized egg attaching itself to the lining of the womb or prevents sperms from reaching the egg. Submucosal fibroid, a type of fibroid that grows on the muscle wall into the cavity of the womb may block a fallopian tube, making it harder to conceive.

Treatment for Blocked Fallopian Tubes

If the case of a blockage in one of the tubes, the doctor may prescribe some fertility drugs to increase the chances of ovulation on the side with the open tube. However, if both tubes are blocked, the following treatments are available:

1. Tuboplasty

Tuboplasty includes a number of surgical operations that attempt to restore patency and improve the functioning of the fallopian tubes to facilitate fertilization. Tubal infertility is a common cause of infertility. Tuboplasties are commonly performed prior to the development of effective IVF (In vitro Fertilization). There are different types of tuboplasty, which can be applied by laparoscopy that includes lysis of adhesions, salpingostomy (opening of the tube), resection and reananstomosis (removing a piece of blocked tube), fimbrioplasty (repairing the fimbriated end of the tubes) and tubal reimplantation (connecting the tube to the uterus). 
The results of tubal surgery are inversely related to damage that exists prior to surgery. Patients with operated tubes have an increased risk of having an ectopic pregnancy.

2. In Vitro Fertilization (IVF)

In Vitro Fertilization is a process of fertilizing an egg with the help of sperm outside the body. IVF is a major treatment for patients with infertility problems or when other methods of assisted reproductive technology have failed. The process of IVF involves monitoring a woman's ovulatory process, removing the eggs from the ovaries and letting sperms fertilize them in a fluid medium in a laboratory. The process of monitoring a woman's natural cycle to collect a selected egg for fertilization is known as natural cycle IVF. The fertilized egg is then transferred to the uterus with the intention of establishing a successful pregnancy.
While IVF therapy is largely used instead of tubal surgery in the treatment of infertility, the presence of hydrosalpinx is a detriment to IVF success. Prior to IVF, it has been recommended that a laparoscopic surgery should be done to either block or remove hydrosalpinges (a distally blocked fallopian tube filled with fluid).

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Alternative medicine

Alternative methods such as manual physical therapy are also cited for the ability to open blocked fallopian tubes in some women. Alternative methods are more often chosen by couples who have not yet achieved pregnancy. Alternative medicine includes acupuncture, herbal therapies and meditation in some cases.
When just one fallopian tube is blocked, getting pregnant may be a possibility with regular treatments. However, when both tubes are blocked, a surgery or IVF treatment may be a good option.

The success of treatment for blocked fallopian tubes depends on the location of the blockage, the cause and the extent of scarring on the tube.
Women who have confirmed blocked tubes can contact Elawoman to ensure what steps they need to take to improve their fertility and fallopian tube functionality. You can call us at +917899912611.

Dr. Neha Gupta

Written by

Infertility Specialist, IVF Specialist
Gurgaon

Dr. Neha Gupta is an Obstetrician and Gynaecologist in Gurgaon. She has been practicing for many years now. Her rich experience in Normal Vaginal Delivery, Intrauterine Insemination (IUI), In-Vitro Fertilization (IVF), Hysterectomy and Tubectomy makes her the most preferred names in Gurgaon. She has acquired MBBS in 2004, DNB from National Board of Examinations in 2009 and MS - Obstetrics and Gynaecology from Maulana Azad Medical College in 2009. She is a member of the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, London. Dr. Neha Gupta has an expertise in Intrauterine Insemination and is practicing at Fortis Memorial Research Institute in Gurgaon. You can get the contact details of Dr. Neha Gupta at elawoman.com

SOURCES AND REFERENCES:


1.  Fallopian tube blockage affect on pregnancy - diagnostic tests and symptoms  blocked fallopian tube, Elawoman - 2018
2.  Abnormal vaginal discharge - causes, types, and treatment  vaginal discharge, Elawoman - 2018
3.  Know the link between genital tuberculosis and infertility - causes, symptoms, treatments  Genital Tuberculosis, Elawoman - 2018
4.  Microscopic anatomy of uterus and functions of uterus in women and pregnancy  uterus, Elawoman - 2017
5.  Laparoscopic surgery - laparoscopy cost, best laparoscopy surgeon, clinics in india  laparoscopy, Elawoman - 2018

6 Comments

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Aarti Barnawal

Please suggest some best doctors for tubal surgery. I am looking forward to having this and start my family.

Oct. 7, 2018, 3:13 p.m. 5.0

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Rachna Kumar

I had a blocked fallopian tube, but after my surgery, it was easy to conceive. Surgeries are not always harmful. Try it.

Sept. 27, 2018, 9:41 p.m. 5.0

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Sushmita Gupta

Women with blocked fallopian tube can opt IVF to start a family. Having a healthy diet and quitting bad habits like smoking can really help.

May 31, 2018, 2:57 p.m. 4.5

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Nitin Khanna

It's sad that we have only one way to treat blocked fallopian tubes.

May 14, 2018, 4:36 p.m. 4.5

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Sakshi Panwar

C-section as such can't block the fallopian tubes but the scars created during the c-section can cause adhesions in the fallopian tubes which might lead to blockage.

April 20, 2017, 1:42 a.m. 5.0

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Shrabani Saha

Can a C-section block fallopian tubes?

April 4, 2017, 12:22 p.m. 4.5

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