Blocked Fallopian Tubes: Symptoms, Treatment, and Fertility



Blocked Fallopian Tubes: Symptoms, Treatment, and Fertility

Do you know around 30% - 40% of women have infertility because of blocked fallopian tubes? Blocked fallopian tubes can be a leading cause of tubal infertility. 

The worst part is that blocked fallopian tubes do not even show symptoms, which is why not every woman knows about it unless they try to get pregnant. A lot of women discover that they're suffering from this condition when they fail to conceive or during infertility evaluations. 

If you're unable to conceive, too, there may be slight changes that you're suffering from blocked fallopian tubes. Treating blocked fallopian tubes can play an essential role in making pregnancy possible. 

With 10+ years of experience, Dr Pankhuri Gautam offers some of the best treatments for tubal blockages.

While you can learn more about the condition during our consultation, let me guide you through the basics of blocked fallopian tubes from the article below. 

What are Tubal Blockages/Blocked Fallopian Tubes?

The fallopian tubes on one end are attached to the womb and, on the other hand, are hanging free near the ovaries to allow the egg to travel through the tube to fertilise with the sperm in the tube. Tubal blockages refer to the condition when the fallopian tubes are blocked. 

The blockage usually occurs near the opening or inside the tube to prevent the sperm and egg from being fertilised. Thus, it leads to unsuccessful pregnancy, thereby being one of the leading causes of infertility. 

Types of Blocked Fallopian Tubes Depending on Location

The types of blocked fallopian tubes, depending on their location, are as follows:

  • Proximal: near the uterus. 
  • Interstitial: middle of the fallopian tube. 
  • Distal: near or at the end of the tube. 

What are the Causes of Blocked Fallopian Tubes?

Pelvic adhesions and scar tissues can often be one of the leading causes of blocked fallopian tubes. Some of the other major reasons are as follows:

  • Endometriosis: Endometriosis can lead to unwanted tissue buildup in the fallopian tube, thereby leading to its blockage. If it grows outside the fallopian tubes, it can still lead to adhesions and blockage. 
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease: Pelvic inflammatory disease can lead to scarring or hydrosalpinx. Hydrosalpinx is a condition in which an increase of fluid leads to tubal blockage. 
  • Past ectopic pregnancy: A history of past ectopic pregnancy can be a leading cause of blocked fallopian tubes. It leaves a scar on the tubes that can make fertilisation impossible. 
  • Fibroids: Unwanted fibroid growth can lead to blockage around the fallopian tubes. This becomes even more difficult when the fibroid growth attaches to the uterus. Thus, fibroid treatment is essential.  
  • Past abdominal surgery: If you've undergone any surgery in the past around the fallopian tubes, it can increase the risk of pelvic adhesions. This can eventually lead to the blockage of tubes. 

What are the Symptoms of Blocked Fallopian Tubes?

Blocked fallopian tubes do not show symptoms. A lot of women don't even come to know about this condition until they try to conceive. In a few cases, blocked fallopian tubes can cause mild or one-sided pain around the abdomen. The pain may arise when you're suffering from the condition referred to as hydrosalpinx, a condition where enlargement of fluid can lead to blockage in fallopian tubes. However, the cause of the blockage can also show their symptoms. For example, if the fallopian tubes are blocked due to endometriosis, it will reflect its symptoms. 

Do Blocked Fallopian Tubes Affect Pregnancy?

Yes, blocked fallopian tubes are considered to be one of the main reasons for infertility. Fertilisation occurs in the fallopian tubes. However, blockage in the tubes prevents the chances of fertilisation. If both the tubes are blocked, you may need medical help to get pregnant. If only one tube is blocked, you can still get pregnant with little help, but it will increase the risk of ectopic pregnancy. 

Doctors suggest that the blockage of one tube may not have that severe impact on fertility. This is because the egg can still travel through one tube, increasing the chance of conceiving. Furthermore, taking fertility drugs can be extra helpful as it would help in ovulation, thereby increasing the likelihood of pregnancy. 

Diagnosis of Blocked Fallopian Tubes

The following three procedures are used to detect any blockages in the fallopian tubes through imaging:

  • Chromotubation during laparoscopy: This minimally invasive procedure requires two to three minor incisions under general anaesthesia. This diagnosis method allows a better view of the pelvic region and performs laparoscopy. For chromotubation, a light blue dye will be filled into the womb. The dye is supposed to come out via fallopian tubes to eliminate the chances of blockage. However, if no dye emerges, it is a sign of blockage. 
  • Hysterosonography: A salt solution and high-ultrasound procedure are used in this method. It is a significantly less invasive procedure and provides the specialist a clearer view of the pelvic region. 
  • Hysterosalpingogram: In hysterosalpingogram, the uterus will be filled with dye to view the condition of the fallopian tube. If the dye spills, it is an indication of no blockage. The expert may also use an X-ray to view the uterus and fallopian tubes. 

Treatment for Blocked Fallopian Tubes

If you have one blocked fallopian tube and the other is open, you will be able to conceive without much help. Your gynaecologist will prescribe fertility drugs that can help you get pregnant. However, it is important to note that these medicines will not unblock the blocked tubes. 

Apart from the medicines, some of the other major treatments for blocked fallopian tubes are as follows:


IVF, or In-vitro fertilisation, is hailed to be one of the best ways to treat blocked fallopian tubes. IVF treatment will involve using fertility drugs to stimulate the ovaries for conception. Opting for IVF eliminates the purpose of fallopian tubes, as fertilisation happens in the lab. Thus, blockages wouldn't matter. 

Laparoscopic Surgery

Laparoscopic surgery can help to open blocked tubes or scar tissues. Nonetheless, the chance of success through surgery can depend on factors such as age, location and cause of blockage. Furthermore, opting for laparoscopic surgery for blocked tubes can also increase the risk of ectopic pregnancy. Nonetheless, your doctor can monitor you regularly, thereby helping you if you ever get pregnant. 

Tubal Ligation Reversal

Tubal ligation refers to the complete form of birth removal as the tubes are tied. The fallopian tubes are tied to prevent the sperm from reaching the egg. However, 20-30% of women regret having tubal ligation. The good news is tubal ligation can be reversed. Tubal ligation reversal has a higher success rate than blocked tube repair due to a disease. 

Prevention Tips for Blocked Fallopian Tubes

Blocked fallopian tubes can be a result of sexually transmitted infections, which is why it is essential to schedule regular gynaecologist visits for STI screenings. If the infection is caught early, it will become easily treatable. Some conditions may be acute and not show the symptoms, which can be harmful if they stay for long. Treating STIs, however, can help prevent the risk of blocked fallopian tubes, thereby preventing the risk of surgery, and may make fertility treatment successful. 

Final Thoughts

Blocked fallopian tubes are one of the main reasons for infertility. It is crucial to see your gynaecologist from time to time to prevent the risk of fallopian tube blockage being extremely severe. However, it is not completely untreatable. 

Your gynaecologist can run various tests and perform various treatment measures like IVF and laparoscopy to improve fertility and increase the chances of conception. Schedule a consultation with Dr Pankhuri Gautam to understand whether you're suffering from blocked fallopian tubes and then opt for a treatment accordingly.