The fallopian tubes carry eggs from the ovaries to the uterus for implantation. Fertilization also occurs in the fallopian tubes, so any blockages can prevent conception. Samuel Wood, MD, PhD, MA, MBA, HCLD/CC(ABB), FACOG, and his team at Gen 5 Fertility Center in San Diego, California, offer expert treatments for blocked tubes. These include minimally invasive laparoscopy or hysteroscopy procedures to remove blockages. To see if blocked tubes are causing or contributing to your infertility, call Gen 5 Fertility Center today or go online to schedule a consultation.
Blocked tubes refer to the fallopian tubes — the parts of the female reproductive system that connect your ovaries to your uterus.
Every month when you ovulate (in between menstrual periods), the fallopian tubes transport a mature egg from an ovary to your uterus. Sperm travel into the fallopian tubes to fertilize the egg. If one succeeds, the fertilized egg moves down the fallopian tube to the uterus. The embryo develops along the way, fully matures when it reaches the uterus.
Blocked fallopian tubes can affect your ability to conceive. They occur when something prevents sperm from reaching an egg or stops the embryo from leaving the fallopian tube and reaching the uterus. Often, blocked tubes cause no symptoms other than an inability to conceive.
Blocked tubes are usually due to scar tissue formation or pelvic adhesions (where tissues and organs stick together). Conditions that can cause these challenges include:
Blocked fallopian tubes are a leading cause of infertility. Pregnancy is impossible without treatment if you have complete blockages in both your tubes.
If you have a partially blocked tube, you could get pregnant naturally, but there’s an increased risk of an ectopic pregnancy. That is because it’s difficult for a fertilized egg to move through a partial blockage to the uterus.
You can still conceive naturally if the obstruction only affects one fallopian tube. However, you might benefit from ovarian stimulation (taking fertility drugs to encourage eggs to mature in greater numbers).
The Gen 5 Fertility Center team diagnoses blocked tubes during a hysterosalpingography (HSG) procedure. That combines X-ray technology with a dye that shows up on the images. HSG allows your provider to examine your fallopian tubes in detail.
If the blockage is due to small quantities of scar tissue or adhesions, the Gen 5 Fertility Center team can use minimally invasive laparoscopic surgery or a hysteroscopy to open the fallopian tubes. Significant scarring might require surgical repair.
In some cases, it’s not possible to unblock the tubes. If that happens, the Gen 5 Fertility Center team can discuss other options and infertility treatments to help you achieve your goal.
For more information about conceiving when you have blocked fallopian tubes, call Gen 5 Fertility Center today or go online to book an appointment.