The most common reason for having blocked fallopian tubes is because of a tubal ligation procedure.
In the previous article, Reversing Blocked Tubes After Sterilization Procedures, we reviewed the different types of procedures to cause tubal blockage and the methods used to reverse these tubal blockages.
In this article, we explain the reasons for tubal scar tissue and the two best ways to diagnose blocked fallopian tubes.
Fallopian Tubes And Scar Tissue
The fallopian tubes can be blocked by scar tissue that can form both outside and inside the fallopian tubes. The most common reason for forming scar tissue would be previous infections, inflammatory bowel disease, endometriosis, or salpingitis isthmica nodosa. These are all conditions that can cause the body to form scar tissue which can either close the fallopian tubes from the inside or from the outside.
Tubal Blockage After Infection
The number one cause of tubal blockage in a woman who has not had a tubal ligation is a previous infection. The infection could have been in the pelvis or higher up in the abdomen.
When severe infections occur the body’s immune system will respond to fight off the infection. One of the results of this immune response is scar tissue formation. Typically the above conditions can cause tubal blockage by causing scar tissue in the pelvis which can form across the outside of the tube or cause closure at the end of the tube.
The most common infection which can cause tubal blockage is pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). These infections are often sexually transmitted and they can cause severe damage to the end of the tubes, to the inside of the tubes, or to the outside of the tubes.
Tubal Blockage From Endometriosis And Surgery
Endometriosis can cause the body’s immune response to form scar tissue which can block the fallopian tubes. Any pelvic surgery to the tubes, ovaries, uterus, or pelvis can also cause scar tissue which can block the tubes.
How To Diagnose Tubal Blockage
Tubal blockage is best diagnosed with either a hysterosalpingogram (HSG) X-ray or surgery. During an HSG x-ray dye is injected into the uterus and pictures are taken as the dye travels through the uterine cavity and into the tubes. If the dye stops in the tube or causes the end of the tube to swell up but does not exit the end of the tube then this can diagnosis tubal blockage.
Tubal blockage can also be diagnosed during surgery. The surgeon can look at the tubes and see if they are severely damaged. They can also try to pass dye through the tubes during surgery (hydrotubation) to provide further evidence about tubal blockage.
Treatment Of Tubal Blockage
At Chapel Hill Tubal Reversal Center, Dr. Berger and Dr. Monteith specialize in tubal ligation reversal and tubal repair surgery for the correction of tubal blockage.
Tubal blockage from most of the above causes can be corrected with advanced surgical technique which we will describe in the next article.