Natural Solution To Blocked Fallopian Tubes: One of the major causes of infertility is fallopian tube obstruction. The fallopian tubes are the uterine tubes where fertilization occurs. When they are blocked, the sperm and the egg cannot meet, thus, the egg cannot be fertilized. In fact, blocking the fallopian tubes is sometimes used as a contraceptive method.
Causes of Blocked Fallopian Tubes
Location and Types of Blockages
There are different types of Fallopian tube blockages. Because the Fallopian tubes have different parts and are a tube, there may be different parts of the tube blocked. Each section has its own name. Doctors have also come to find out that there are patterns of disease or trauma that may affect certain parts of the fallopian tubes more than others.
Proximal tubal occlusion involves the isthmus. This can occur after infection such as complications from abortion, missed miscarriage, cesarean section or PID. Permanent birth control procedures like Essure block the isthmus.
Midsegment tubal obstruction of the ampullary is most often due to tubal ligation damage. Tubal ligation is a surgical procedure to permanently prevent pregnancy. Some women who have had tubal ligation change their mind later in life and choose to have this procedure reversed. This can be done surgically and has a 75% pregnancy success rate. Tubal ligation removal comes with its own risk for development of more scar tissue on top of scar tissue already present from the initial tubal ligation procedure.
Distal tubal occlusion is the type of blockage that affects the part of the fallopian tube end towards the ovary. This type of blockage is typically associated with hydrosalpinx. Hydrosalpinx is often caused by Chlamydia trachomatis infection, which is a sexually transmitted disease. Untreated Chlamydia is known to cause both pelvic and fallopian tube adhesions.
In less severe cases only the fimbriae may be damaged. They may become stuck together in masses or may be damaged enough to no longer function as they should. As we learned above, the fimbriae have the important role of sweeping the oocyte (ova) into the fallopian tube for fertilization. If they no longer function then the oocyte never makes it to its destination for fertilization.
Common conditions that may cause blocked Fallopian tubes are:
- Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)
- Uterine Fibroids
- Ectopic pregnancy
- Tubal Ligation Removal
- Complications from lower abdominal surgery such as Cesarean section
- Genital Tuberculosis (still common in developing countries, especially India)
Endometriosis and Fibroid tumors are both conditions which are becoming present in more women every year. In fact, an astounding 13.6 million women in the United States alone suffer from mild to severe endometriosis.
Pelvic inflammatory disease is another common condition which women suffer from. Pelvic inflammatory disease or PID, is an umbrella term for a number of different problems that create an inflammatory infection in the female reproductive system. PID is almost always the direct result of a sexually transmitted disease, such as gonorrhea or chlamydia, and is responsible for about 100,000 cases of female infertility per year.
All of these conditions can cause blockage to the fallopian tubes by having adhesions, scar tissue, tumors or polyps form inside the path of the tube. The fallopian tubes may also become stuck to other parts of the internal body; the bladder, ovaries, uterus, bowels, etc. Damaged fallopian tubes can become twisted or the walls of the tubes themselves may adhere together causing a total blockage.
Partially damaged fallopian tubes may remain open enough for pregnancy to occur, but a partial blockage increases the risk for ectopic pregnancy. The fallopian tubes are very thin to begin with, it does not take much for them to become blocked, preventing the ova from traveling through. Studies have shown that low progesterone levels, smoking and use of fertility medications may alter how the fallopian tubes function, which increases risk for ectopic pregnancy. Any of the conditions above may cause a partial tubal blockage as well, which also increases risk for ectopic pregnancy.
How to diagnose
Women with infertility problems who have suffered from pelvic inflammatory disease could suspect fallopian tube obstruction. There are different tests they could have to diagnose a fallopian tube problem. Because Chlamydia is often the cause of blocked fallopian tubes, testing for this disease is one of the simplest and most affordable methods that could suggest tube obstruction. Sonography might also hint to a fallopian tube problem, and through surgery (laparoscopy), the obstruction of the tubes can be diagnosed. Another evaluative method is hysterosalpingogram.
Medical Procedures to Open Blocked Fallopian Tubes
Thousands of women are diagnosed with blocked fallopian tubes each year and the number one question on their minds…how can I reopen them? There are many options for healing the fallopian tubes and in many cases they can become open once again. It is important to recognize that the fallopian tubes are about the size of a spaghetti noodle in width. Once they are damaged it may be difficult to reverse that damage. They are very delicate. Any sort of trauma can alter their function and damage the tubal tissues. Below are a variety of medical options for reopening the fallopian tubes.
Tubal surgical procedures can either be done by open abdominal surgery or laparoscopy (small incision).
This procedure is the removal of part of the fallopian tube. This is commonly performed for hydrosalpinx prior to IVF. According to Fertility and Sterility, untreated hydrosalpinx makes IVF half as likely to be successful.
This procedure is performed when the end of the fallopian tube is blocked by hydrosalpinx. The surgeon creates a new opening in the fallopian tube entrance nearest the ovary. The success of this procedure is often temporary and often scar tissue reforms causing another blockage within 3-6 months of the procedure.
This option may be performed on women with damage to the fimbriae. If the fimbriae and its cilia are stuck together by scar tissue, which is preventing the ova from being picked up, a fimbrioplasty may be recommended. This procedure rebuilds the fimbriae. Very few doctors are experts in this type of procedure and medical insurance often does not cover the cost of this procedure. Fimbrioplasty is now recommended in select cases over salpingostomy, which has been shown to be less successful.
The above procedures have about a 20-25% pregnancy success rate.
Risks for Fallopian Tube Surgery and Procedures
- Regrowth of scar tissue and adhesion. Any kind of surgery runs the risk of these types of formations. The tubes may become blocked again or adhered to the abdominal wall, other parts of the reproductive organs, or other organs in the surrounding location, for example the bladder. Scar tissue may also form on other parts of the abdominal cavity, including the reproductive organs due to the surgical procedure.
- Opening the abdomen runs the risk of pelvic infection.
- Ectopic pregnancy.
While surgery is a common treatment for blocked Fallopian tubes, there are natural options which can have great results without causing additional scar tissue to form.
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How to prevent
A good method of prevention is protection against sexually transmitted diseases. Also, immediate treatment of a pelvic inflammatory disease could prevent blocked fallopian tubes. Women who want to have a baby should watch out for the signs that indicate a fallopian tube obstruction and start getting treated as soon as the problem is diagnosed.