It makes sense that a blocked Fallopian tube could cause infertility in a woman, particularly when both Fallopian tubes are blocked. She will have problems trying to get pregnant normally.
The blockage of a fallopian tube can occur due to a number of reasons: scarring from pelvic inflammatory disease due to prior sexually transmitted disease, a tubal pregnancy in the past, pelvic adhesions from previous gynecological surgery or abdominal surgery including appendectomy or blockage from endometriosis, just to name a few.
A special X-ray test, called “hysterosalpingogram”, often depicts the pathology on X-ray films (contrast medium is blocked at the end of the fallopian tubes), but often is good reassurance when the test is normal (free flow of contrast medium).
Some of these women will become pregnant within a few cycles from the test. Those who have abnormalities can be treated by the gynecologist using endoscopic technology called “hysteroscopy”. With this procedure the specialist uses a fiberoptic instrument to go through the vagina and the uterine cavity into each tube to loosen up adhesions or do other minor surgical procedures. In other cases this may have to be followed by laparoscopy where the gynecologist introduces a fiberoptic instrument with small stab wounds through the abdominal wall into the abdominal cavity where further testing can get done by injecting a dye from below to see whether the tubes are functioning or not. Also, laser surgery or endometriosis treatment with cautery of lesions can be done this way.
1. The Merck Manual, 7th edition, by M. H. Beers et al., Whitehouse Station, N.J., 1999. Chapter 235.
2. B. Sears: “Zone perfect meals in minutes”. Regan Books, Harper Collins, 1997.
3. Ryan: Kistner’s Gynecology & Women’s Health, 7th ed.,1999 Mosby, Inc.
4. The Merck Manual, 7th edition, by M. H. Beers et al., Whitehouse Station, N.J., 1999. Chapter 245.
5. AB Diekman et al. Am J Reprod Immunol 2000 Mar; 43(3): 134-143.
6. V Damianova et al. Akush Ginekol (Sofia) 1999; 38(2): 31-33.
7. Townsend: Sabiston Textbook of Surgery,16th ed.,2001, W. B. Saunders Company
8. Cotran: Robbins Pathologic Basis of Disease, 6th ed., 1999 W. B. Saunders Company
9. Rakel: Conn’s Current Therapy 2001, 53rd ed., W. B. Saunders Co.
10. Ruddy: Kelley’s Textbook of Rheumatology, 6th ed.,2001 W. B. Saunders Company
11. EC Janowsky et al. N Engl J Med Mar-2000; 342(11): 781-790.
12. Wilson: Williams Textbook of Endocrinology, 9th ed.,1998 W. B. Saunders Company
13. KS Pena et al. Am Fam Physician 2001; 63(9): 1763-1770.
14. LM Apantaku Am Fam Physician Aug 2000; 62(3): 596-602.
15. Noble: Textbook of Primary Care Medicine, 3rd ed., 2001 Mosby, Inc.
16. Goroll: Primary Care Medicine, 4th ed.,2000 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
17. St. Paul’s Hosp. Contin. Educ. Conf. Nov. 2001,Vancouver/BC
18. Gabbe: Obstetrics – Normal and Problem Pregnancies, 3rd ed., 1996 Churchill Livingstone, Inc.
19. The Merck Manual, 7th edition, by M. H. Beers et al., Whitehouse Station, N.J., 1999. Chapter 251.
20. The Merck Manual, 7th edition, by M. H. Beers et al., Whitehouse Station, N.J., 1999. Chapter 250.
21. Ignaz P Semmelweiss: “Die Aetiologie, der Begriff und die Prophylaxis des Kindbettfiebers” (“Etiology, the Understanding and Prophylaxis of Childbed Fever”). Vienna (Austria), 1861.
22. Rosen: Emergency Medicine: Concepts and Clinical Practice, 4th ed., 1998 Mosby-Year Book, Inc.
23. Mandell: Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases, 5th ed., 2000 Churchill Livingstone, Inc.
24. Horner NK et al. J Am Diet Assoc Nov-2000; 100(11): 1368-1380.
25. Ferri: Ferri’s Clinical Advisor: Instant Diagnosis and Treatment, 2004 ed., Copyright © 2004 Mosby, Inc.
26. Rakel: Conn’s Current Therapy 2004, 56th ed., Copyright © 2004 Elsevier