Causes of Blocked Fallopian Tubes

Okay… so this is where we separate fact from fiction. What exactly causes blocked fallopian tubes? Do the more promiscuous ones have a greater likelihood of suffering the condition? Even though not quite the case, Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID), which is one of the most likely causes of blocked tubes, is almost always the direct result of a sexually transmitted disease, including gonorrhoea or chlamydia, and is responsible for about 100,000 cases of female infertility per year.

Another common cause is from complications of lower abdominal surgery such as myomectomies, cesarean sections, etc. Sometimes scarring and adhesions occur from these surgeries, and could lead to blockage of the fallopian tubes. Uterine fibroids and endometriosis have also been pinpointed as causes of blocked tubes. Also, the incidence of ectopic pregnancies (a pregnancy in which the foetus develops outside the uterus, typically in the fallopian tube) has been known to gravely damage the tubes. All of these can block the fallopian tubes by causing scar tissue, or making the fallopian tubes stick to other internal organs like the bladder, ovaries, uterus, bowels, etc.

It is impossible to talk about blocked fallopian tubes without discussing the condition known as hydrosalpinx, which is a blockage that causes the tube to dilate and fill with fluid. This fluid creates a barrier between the egg and sperm, preventing fertilization. Sometimes, it affects only one one fallopian tube, and sometimes both tubes. Conception is lowered in both cases.

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It is important to note that the fallopian tubes are very delicate and thin to begin with, and it does not take a lot for them to become blocked. Research has shown that low progesterone levels, smoking and use of fertility medications may affect the functionality of the fallopian tubes function.

Sometimes, there might only be a partial blockage. Whilst this could increase the probability of pregnancy, it also increases risk for ectopic pregnancy, which, ironically, almost always leads to the loss of the fallopian tube in question.