Understanding Blocked Fallopian Tubes
The diagnosis of blocked fallopian tubes can be anxiety-inducing. What exactly does it signify, and can you still conceive with this condition? Dr. Pooja Sahni, Consultant Gynaecologist, Obstetrician & Laparoscopic Surgeon at Altius Hospital, HBR Layout, sheds light on this topic.
The Crucial Role of Healthy Fallopian Tubes
For successful fertility, fallopian tubes must be unblocked, free from inflammation, and devoid of scar tissue. If at least one fallopian tube remains healthy, natural or IUI-assisted pregnancy remains a possibility. However, when both tubes face issues, the path to pregnancy becomes more challenging.
Identifying Blocked Fallopian Tubes
Blocked fallopian tubes are a potential cause of female infertility, often presenting with no noticeable symptoms. Dr. Sahni mentions key risk factors that can elevate the likelihood of encountering this condition.
Root Causes of Blockage
Dr. Sahni explains that blockages can develop in fallopian tubes for various reasons, and they are relatively common. Tubal obstructions are observed in 19% to 29% of women dealing with infertility. The primary cause is pelvic inflammatory disease, a bacterial infection affecting the reproductive organs, including the uterus and fallopian tubes. This infection can lead to various complications, such as pelvic pain, adhesion-related scarring, and even ectopic pregnancy if left untreated.
Other Culprits Behind Fallopian Tube Blockage
In addition to pelvic inflammatory disease, various factors can contribute to blocked fallopian tubes. These include uterine infections, sexually transmitted disease (STD) infections, history of miscarriages, abdominal or pelvic surgeries, endometriosis, and the presence of fibroids.
Surgical Solutions for Blocked Fallopian Tubes
Depending on the underlying cause of blocked fallopian tubes, surgical procedures may be recommended to correct the issue or enhance the chances of pregnancy. Dr. Sahni outlines some of these procedures, including salpingostomy, which addresses blockages caused by fluid buildup (Hydrosalpinx), and salpingectomy, a tube removal procedure that can improve IVF success rates.
Pregnancy Possibilities with Blocked Fallopian Tubes
Even with one open fallopian tube, natural conception or assisted pregnancy through IUI remains possible. However, when both tubes are blocked, in vitro fertilization (IVF) may be the preferred route to achieving pregnancy, according to Dr. Sahni.