Fallopian tube obstruction risk


You have an increased risk of Fallopian tube obstruction. Here is what you need to know.

The Fallopian tubes are trumpet-like tubes originating from the upper sides of the uterine cavity. Their job is to capture the egg produced by ovulation and transport it into the uterine cavity. A normal Fallopian tube can hug the ovary just before ovulation and capture the egg that will be ovulated. This process protects the egg from falling into the abdominal cavity where it might be lost, or cause ectopic pregnancy, a life-threatening condition if not diagnosed timely. A healthy Fallopian tube has hair-like projections that create a motion wave directed from the ovary toward the uterine cavity. This helps the egg roll down the tube and meet with the sperm to be fertilized. The tube also helps the new embryo move toward its destination, the uterine cavity where it will find a healthy spot to implant.

Inflammation of the Fallopian tube might affect its ability to promote the egg and the embryo to its destination but also, it might block the lumen of the tube and thus obstruct the passage of the embryo. This causes ectopic tubal pregnancy which must be terminated because it can become a serious life-threatening emergency.

Inflammatory conditions such as appendicitis, salpingitis, pelvic inflammatory disease, hydrosalpinx, and endometriosis can cause tubal dysfunction or physical obstruction. When such pathologies are suspected, should be treated with laparoscopy to free up the scar tissue affecting the Fallopian tubes and improve the odds of a normal egg and embryo transfer to the uterine cavity. Sometimes surgical correction is not possible. In such cases, in vitro fertilization (IVF) is the only way a woman can conceive.

What should you do:

Talk to your doctor about the risks you have for tubal obstruction. He/she might want to do a hysterosalpingogram (HSG) first to see if the tubes are open. If they are open and the test is normal, your odds for a successful natural pregnancy are improved significantly. However, a normal HSG does not guarantee a healthy Fallopian tube, which could have been damaged by preexisting inflammation from the previously mentioned causes. So, if you fail to conceive after a normal HSG in several months, you might want to talk to your doctor about proceeding to an IVF procedure.