Blocked Fallopian Tube: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis and Treatment

Fallopian tubes are the connecting tubes between the ovaries and uterus. Every month the ovary releases the egg. This egg gets fertilized inside the fallopian tube which then transfers to the uterus for implantation. If a fallopian tube is blocked; the passage for the sperm to get to the egg and also the path of the fertilized egg back to the uterus gets obstructed or blocked. And this can lead to infertility.

Blocked Fallopian Tubes

Dr. Dimple Doshi at Vardaan Hospital; believes prevention is better than cure, and thus apart from the precise treatment guidelines; preventive measures are an essential part of our consultations with the patients who have either had it or want to know more about it.

  1. Infertility
  2. Lower abdominal pain when blocked fallopian tube is filled with fluid; also called hydrosalpinx.
  3. Conditions that lead to blocked tubes can cause their own symptoms like endometriosis where a woman may have severe pain during menses.  Or PID where a woman gets all the symptoms of PID.

Blocked fallopian tubes are one of the commonest causes of infertility; as due to the blockage transfer of the fertilized egg back to the uterus fails.

If both the fallopian tubes are blocked; pregnancy without treatment is impossible.

If both the fallopian tubes are partially blocked; you can get pregnant but the chances of ectopic pregnancy are high.

If one of the fallopian tubes is blocked; it would likely not cause infertility as the fertilised egg can still travel through the normal fallopian tube. And your gynaecologist will also prescribe the medicines to   increase your chance of ovulation on the open side.

Blocked fallopian tubes usually results from infections, scar tissues inside the tubes or adhesions.

And the causes are:

  1. PID or pelvic inflammatory disease; it can cause scarring of the fallopian tubes or hydrosalpinx.
  2. Endometriosis: Fallopian tubes can be blocked by the adhesions which usually develop due to endometriosis.
  3. Sexually transmitted diseases like gonorrhoea and chlamydia can cause scarring in the tubes and can block them.
  4. Some fibroids placed close to the tubal opening thus blocking it.
  5. Past ectopic pregnancy treated with medicines can cause scarring in the fallopian tubes and block them.
  6. Past surgery on the fallopian tubes likes tubal recanalization which can cause scarring in the fallopian tubes and can block it.
  1. HSG or hysterosalpingography; It is a type of x ray used to examine the shape of the uterus and to see if the fallopian tubes are blocked or not. During HSG; your doctor will inject dye inside the uterus and x ray images are taken. If the HSG is suggestive of patent and open tubes; the fallopian tubes are patent.
  2. But if the HSG is suggestive of blocked tubes; it has to be further evaluated by laparoscopy.Laparoscopy is the diagnostic of blocked fallopian tubes.  In this tubal testing; b methelene blue dye is injected from below and if the tubes are open the dye is seen inside the abdomen with laparoscopy. 

If the block of the fallopian tubes is due to infections like tuberculosis or sexually transmitted diseases; medicines to control the infections can help in opening   the block if done in initial stages when no scarring has happened.


  1. Cornual cannulation: In this procedure; the fallopian tubes are blocked where they join the uterus.  So your gynaecologist will pass a thin and soft guide wire to negotiate through the area. And once the wire is passed; the scar tissue or adhesion which is blocking the tube is immediately opened.
  2. Tubal recanalization: In this procedure; the fallopian tubes are recanalized after they are blocked by previous sterilisation surgery or infection.

It is possible to get pregnant after blocked fallopian tubes treatment.

Success depends upon the treatment method ; site of the block and the severity of the block.

Successful pregnancy is likely if the block of the fallopian tube is near the uterus.

Success rates are lower if the block is at the end of the fallopian tube or somewhere in its middle portion.

Success rates following the repair of surgically operated tubes for sterilisation are highly dependent upon the length of the tubes after recanalization. 

Success rates following the infection are not so good.

The most common complication of locked fallopian tubes is infertility

Second is ectopic pregnancy if the fallopian tubes are partially blocked.

Blocked fallopian tubes can cause infertility but still it is possible to have a child. In many cases hysteroscopy and laparoscopic surgery can remove the blockage and improve fertility chances. If surgery is not possible or if the outlook does not improve ; IVF can help you conceive if you are otherwise healthy.

Most of the times the blockage of the fallopian tubes happens due to infections and mainly STDs or sexually transmitted infections.

Prevention of sexually transmitted diseases will also reduce your chances of blocked fallopian tubes.

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