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Hydrosalpinx: Diagnosis and Treatment of Blocked Fallopian Tubes

Hydrosalpinx is a condition in which the fallopian tube becomes swollen and blocked by fluids.

What are fallopian tubes?

The fallopian tubes, also known as oviducts, are the connecting passageways that connect the uterus and the ovaries. Each month during a woman's menstrual cycle, an egg is released and travels into the fallopian tube. If sexual intercourse occurs during this time, sperm travels from the cervix through the uterine cavity, across the fallopian tube, and potentially meets the egg, resulting in natural fertilization and embryo formation. The embryo is then transferred into the uterine cavity via the fallopian tube for implantation.
Structure of the fallopian tube: isthmus, ampulla and fimbriae
▲Structure of the fallopian tube

The cilia on the inner lining of the fallopian tubes help reproductive cells move. Inflammation of the fallopian tubes can affect the ciliary motion, thus impacting pregnancy rates.

How is hydrosalpinx diagnosed?

The hysterosalpingogram (HSG) is the simplest way to assess tubal health. A thin tube is inserted into the uterine cavity through the vagina, a contrast agent is injected, and X-ray images are taken. If issues are detected during HSG, the following steps should be taken based on the specific circumstances:
  • Unilateral Tubal Occlusion: See a doctor for an evaluation.
  • Bilateral Tubal Occlusion: Consider IVF as a direct option.
  • Hydrosalpinx: Surgical intervention may be required.

What causes hydrosalpinx?

The main reasons for fallopian tube blockage include:

Pelvic Infections

Hydrosalpinx can occur as a result of infections in the pelvic region. Pelvic infections, which are frequently caused by organisms such as Chlamydia and Gonorrhea, are transmitted through contact with infected sperm, vaginal secretions, or blood.

Common causes of tubal blockages due to pelvic infections include:
  • Chlamydia
  • Gonorrhea
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease

Presence of Adhesions

Scar tissue and adhesions in the pelvic area can result from left pelvic surgery, such as surgeries involving the pelvic cavity, appendix, ovaries, endometriosis, or fibroids.

FAQ about fallopian tubes

Can I get pregnant with hydrosalpinx?

Even in the case of IVF treatment, hydrosalpinx can have a direct impact on the chances of pregnancy. When an embryo implants in the uterine cavity with hydrosalpinx, the secretions from the swollen tube may affect the embryo's implantation and development. Therefore, we recommend that tubal swelling be addressed surgically before undergoing treatment or attempting to conceive.

Can I conceive naturally if I only have one fallopian tube?

Tubal factors account for approximately 25% to 30% of all causes of infertility. Natural pregnancy is still possible if one fallopian tube is blocked while the other remains functional, though the chances are significantly reduced. Furthermore, if you have previously had an ectopic pregnancy, there is a chance that another pregnancy will occur in the remaining fallopian tube.

After fallopian tube removal, can ovulation still occur?

Many people are curious about what happens to the eggs after the fallopian tubes are removed. The ovaries will continue to ovulate normally. A single cell is the size of an egg, and after ovulation, the egg is released into the posterior pelvic cavity, where it is gradually absorbed by the body.

Read more

Blocked Fallopian Tubes: Symptoms, HSG, and Getting Pregnant

What is an HSG test? A tests for Blocked Fallopian Tubes

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