Infertility - Blockage of the fallopian tubes

Blockage of the Fallopian Tubes

Thirty percent of the women who are infertile suffer from blockage of both of the fallopian tubes. Blockage can stem from scar tissue that develops from surgery, injury, diseases such as pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), or birth defects. Abnormal tissue growth from ailments such as endometriosis can block the passage with excess tissue growth. Some of these blockages can be treated surgically; others are irreparable and the women will not be able to conceive naturally.


This is a long name for the X-ray technique that is used to check for defects and blockage in the fallopian tubes and uterus. (Hystero refers to the uterus, salpingo for the fallopian tube, and graphy for the X-ray technique.) A radiopaque dye is injected into the uterus and fallopian tubes. Then an X ray is made to check for unusual formations and blockages that may be obstructing the path of the egg to the uterus. Two X rays will be taken; one on the day of the dye insertion, and one 24 hours later.

Transcervical Balloon Tuboplasty (TBT)

One of the surgical techniques used to unblock damaged fallopian tubes is called transcervical balloon tuboplasty (TBT). A deflated balloon at the end of a flexible guiding tube is inserted into the fallopian tube and inflated. As angioplasty works on blocked arteries, the tuboplasty works by inflating in the area that is restricted, forcing the tube open. The inflation is done several times to force the scar tissue open and clear the passageway. The surgery is done through outpatient care, which means that it can be performed without a costly overnight stay at a hospital. It is shown to be effective for more than half of the women deemed treatable for fallopian tube blockage.

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