Tubal infertility or blocked fallopian tubes is one of the common causes of female infertility in women, affecting many women in their reproductive age especially in Sub Saharan Africa and preventing them from getting pregnant.
What actually causes blocked fallopian tubes?
Usually, blocked fallopian tubes occur due to ascending micro-organisms entering the vagina through an infected partner or even dirty under wears, then passing through the cervix and then journeying unto fallopian tubes where it wreaks havoc and causes the tubal blockages.
Although, the female vagina already is protected by its innate immune system defense mechanism known as vagina micro-floras, but when these protective “good bacteria are abused or overwhelmed from use of harsh bactericidal soaps, cosmetics, and altering the ideal PH of the vagina, imbalance is created hence the “bad bacteria guys”(eg: Neissera gonorrhea and Chlamydia trachomatis) co-habit and overpopulate the “good bacteria”, changing the ecosystem of the vagina and resulting to PID (pelvic inflammatory disease) and blocked fallopian tube in the long run.
WAYS TO DIAGNOSE TUBAL OBSTRUCTION:
There are currently workable techniques blocked fallopian tubes can be evaluated to check if a woman is affected, examples::
- Hysterosalpingogram (HSG):
This is a special x-ray test conducted by injecting a radiopaque dye through a woman cervix (painful though), uterine cavity and the fallopian tubes, which is expected to spill out at the other ends of the tubes to verify tubal patency. If the fluid becomes trapped, this suggests tubal obstruction.
This is an ultrasound test specifically done to check for tubal blockages due to hydrosalpinx (or fluid collection) and other adhesion or swellings in the organs.
- Laparoscopy (pinhole technique):
An invasive technique used to visualize and inspect the conditions of the tubes and entire pelvic and abdominal organs. Using this technique a certain dye is injected known as methylene blue into the womb to determine if there’s a blockage.
TYPES OF BLOCKED FALLOPIAN TUBES BY LOCATION:
There are a many types of tubal blockage however are named according to their specific sites of occurrence in the whole length of the tube, below are the examples:
- Proximal tubal blockage:
This particular blockage is located at the utero-tubal or proximal to the entrance into the tube, hence the origin of the name. The proximal blockage is caused by PID, septic abortion, missed abortion and Caesarean section.
- Midsegmental tubal blockage:
This occurs at the ampullar part of the fallopian tube and usually due to tubal ligation some women opted for, as a method of contraception.
- Distal tubal blockage:
As the name implies, this occurs at the terminal or distal end of the fallopian tube where the fimbriae is located. The fimbriae (finger-like structure) is the part of the fallopian tube which picks up a mature egg after ovulation and sweeps it into the tube for fertilization. It’s at the fimbrial end that the commonest tubal blockages occur, known as hydrosalpinx.
8 COMMON CAUSES OF BLOCKED FALLOPIAN TUBES:
Having considered that tubal condition is attributed to 20% infertility in women, it’s imperative to look at the causative factors known to result to tubal infertility or fallopian tubes blockage.
- Uterine fibroids: Occurring at the proximal part of the tube leading to tubal obstruction.
- Ectopic pregnancy.
- Previous tubal surgery (or tuboplasty).
- Tubal ligation removal
- Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
There are two treatment modalities for treating blocked fallopian tubes but each has different philosophical approaches.
First approach is Medical intervention and the other, Natural intervention.
This is a commonest interventional method of treating tubal blockage from in the field of Western medicine, examples are:
This refers to the surgical operation of an affected blocked fallopian tube by attempting to restore the patency and function. But, previous experiences have shown that this method is neither reliable nor effective due to the development of adhesions or scar tissue formation after the surgical procedure.
– In-vitro fertilization (IVF):
IVF largely replaced tubal surgery and has helped a lot of couples with blocked tube conceive using advanced medical technology.
In case you aren’t familiar with this technique, IVF is the process by which an egg is fertilized by sperm outside the body. Yet, the downsides to IVF treatment is the high failure rate (over 65%); cost of treatment and associated birth defects according to recent findings.
- Natural Intervention:
Although not as popular as IVF or tuboplasty, Natural intervention originating from Traditional Chinese Medicine has recorded incredible successes in “re-opening” all types of blocked fallopian tubes using only natural and evidence-based approaches.
This has quite raised hopes for women struggling with tubal infertility and a small budget with an aversion to surgery.
Unlike medical intervention, natural treatment offers curative solution by restoring the blocked tubes and improving the functionality of the fallopian tubes with a high success rate compared to IVF and tuboplasty.