The common diagnosis method is the HSG (hysterosalpingogram), a specialized x-ray, which involves placing a dye through the cervix, allowing x-rays to be taken of the pelvic area. If all is normal, the dye will flow through the uterus, through the tubes, and into the pelvic cavity. If the dye doesnât flow through the tubes, blocked fallopian tube are suspected.
Other diagnosis methods include ultrasounds, exploratory laparoscopic surgery, hysteroscopies (a thin camera is used to examine the uterus). Blood tests to check for the presence of chlamydia antibodies could also be an indicator.
Laparoscopic surgery can remove scar tissue that contributes to tubal blockage and, sometimes, open blocked tubes. Success is, however, dependent on age and the extent of blockage.
Some other (more invasive) treatment methods include:
- Tubal Reanastomosis, which is used to either repair a diseased part of the fallopian tube(s), or reverse a tubal ligation.
- Salpingectomy, which is a common treatment in the case of hydrosalpinx, wherein part of the fallopian tube is removed.
- Salpingostomy, also used in the case of hydrosalpinx but the difference being if only the end of the fallopian tube is blocked by the fluid. In this case, a new opening is created. The flip side is that scar tissue formation is a common risk with this procedure, so it almost defeats the purpose.
These procedures have about a 20% - 30% pregnancy success rate. However, there is an increased risk of scar tissue formation and adhesions. There is also the risk of blockage reoccurrence, pelvic infection, etc.
Tubal blockage closest to the uterus is easier to clear. These blockages are less likely caused by harder to clear scar tissue and obstruction. Up to 60% of such blockages are easily treated.
Some alternative treatments include abdominal massages (otherwise known as the “fertility massage”, which work on the premise that the massage will increase blood circulation and break adhesions), and herbs (such as goldenseal root, ginger root, dong quai root, hawthorne, wild yam root, etc.). I personally cannot say how effective these methods are, but they are far less controversial in my mind than the use of herbal tampons to clear blockage. Now THAT is another kettle of fish. Herbal tampons are known to increase the risk of infection, which is pretty much like the cure becoming the cause. Circular reference! Some women have testimonies credited to these herbal tampons, true. But personally, I wouldn’t go there.