Blocked Fallopian Tubes

One physical factor which could be impacting your ability to get pregnant is a blockage in one or both of your fallopian tubes. A blockage will prevent sperm and egg from meeting and fertilising.

  • About 22% of female infertility is related to blocked or damaged fallopian tubes. Fallopian tubes can be blocked for a number of reasons:
  • inflammation (salpingitis)
  • blocked, damaged or absent from birth (congenital tubal disease)
  • intentional tying or clipping (to prevent pregnancy)
  • accidental damage following other surgery e.g. significant bowel surgery
  • severe endometriosis.

Inflammation is the most common reason for blocked fallopian tubes and can happen inside the fallopian tubes as a result of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) such as gonorrhea or chlamydia. Inflammation outside the tubes can also cause them to block, this can occur as a result of an infection from another organ such as the appendix.

Inflammation and therefore blockage can occur because of damage from adhesions - where two damaged surfaces join together. Adhesions can also occur after pelvic surgery, infection or as a result of endometriosis. In many cases, doctors can clear the blockage with laparoscopy, microsurgery or by inserting fine catheters into the tubes.

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