Tubal infertility is exactly what it sounds like, a problem within the fallopian tubes which is causing infertility in the woman. If the fallopian tubes become blocked, the sperm cannot join with the egg within the tube and fertilization cannot occur.
Fallopian tubes can become blocked many ways. A prior history of pelvic inflammatory disease or prior STD exposure can cause scarring on the fallopian tubes and they can become blocked. Sometimes the tubes can become blocked for unknown reasons or a prior abdominal surgery may have resulted in scarring to the surrounding reproductive organs. Tubes can also become blocked from prior ectopic pregnancies or ovarian cysts which have ruptured and destroyed some of the surrounding tissue.
Fortunately, a simple test called an Hysterosalpingogram or HSG can determine if the tubes are blocked. If the tubes are blocked there are several procedures which may be used to unblock the tubes. Sometimes in the case of a minor tubal blockage, the HSG test itself will result in the re-opening of the tubes as the dye is pushed through the uterus and into the tubes.
If the fallopian tubes have become blocked, this can result in inflammatory fluid forming on the tube (hydrosalpinx). Typically surgery is required to remove the fluid filled tube because the inflammatory fluid can leak back into the uterus and destroy any embryos which may be trying to implant within the uterus.
In some cases, women may have only one blocked tube however in other cases, both tubes may be blocked. Having an HSG performed can identify if tubal infertility if the factor causing the couples infertility. Dr. Shaykh performs HSG’s as an outpatient procedure at his offices in both Florida and Virginia.