How Blockage of Fallopian Tubes Causes Female Infertility

How Blockage of Fallopian Tubes Causes Female Infertility

Did you know that tubal factor infertility accounts for about 25-30 percent of all cases of female infertility? Tubal factor infertility occurs when there is a blockage in the fallopian tubes.

Every month — in the middle of a menstrual cycle — an egg is released from the ovary. The egg travels from the ovary, through the tubes, and into the uterus. The sperm swims into the uterus and through the fallopian tubes to reach the egg.

If a fallopian tube is blocked, the sperm may not be able to swim up to the egg.

Why Blocked Fallopian Tubes Negatively Affect Fertility

When a woman’s fallopian tubes are blocked, it prevents sperm from reaching an egg waiting to be fertilized following ovulation. If sperm is somehow able to access the egg and fertilize it, the block fallopian tube could prevent the relocation of the fertilized egg to the uterus for proper developing. This can lead to the egg never developing — or more dangerously, an ectopic pregnancy.

Causes of Blocked Fallopian Tubes

Some of the most common causes of blocked fallopian tubes include:

  • Pelvic Inflammatory Disease – After pelvic infections or inflammatory disease, scarring and scar tissue can result in tubes being blocked.
  • Previous Abdominal Surgery – Abdominal surgeries or pelvic surgeries can lead to scar tissue that blocked the fallopian tubes.
  • Endometriosis – Endometriosis is a condition in which the tissue found within the uterus grows outside of the uterus. This can result in cysts and scar tissue that blocks the fallopian tubes, among other health issues.
  • Past Ectopic Pregnancy – If you have suffered from a previous ectopic pregnancy, there is a chance that you will have problems with the affected fallopian tube later on, including blockage.
  • Fibroids – These benign, noncancerous growths can potentially grow in the fallopian tubes, resulting in blockage.
  • Certain Sexually Transmitted Diseases – STDs such as gonorrhea and chlamydia can lead to pelvic inflammation as well as scarring.

When is Fertility Treatment Recommended?

If treating the underlying cause of tubal blockage is not an option, or if treatment will not undo the blockage, fertility treatment is often recommended, including in vitro fertilization (IVF) and other treatment techniques.

To learn more about this topic and speak to one of our medical professionals about fertility treatment, you can request a consultation here.

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