What are the Risks of a Tubal Dysfunction?
The ovaries are connected to the uterus by a pair of tubes known as the fallopian tubes. When the ovaries release a mature egg, this egg must travel to the fallopian tubes to meet with the sperms. Then the fertilized embryo travels to the uterus to be implanted. In some cases, one or both of the fallopian tubes may be blocked. This is known as tubal dysfunction. Blockage of the fallopian tubes may be caused by scar tissue, adhesions or an infection.
Effect of Tubal Dysfunction
A blockage in the fallopian tubes is a common cause of infertility as it is virtually impossible for a woman to conceive naturally and properly if the embryo cannot travel to the uterus. The blockage can also prevent sperms from reaching the eggs.
If only one fallopian tube is blocked, the woman can still rely on the egg released from the other ovary to conceive. In such cases, fertility medication can prove to be beneficial. These medicines help increase ovulation from the ovary that is still connected to the uterus with an open tube.
If both tubes are blocked, it is not possible for a woman to conceive naturally. IVF is usually recommended in such cases.
A partial blockage in one or both fallopian tubes may allow the woman to conceive but one of the risks of fallopian tube blockage in such cases is an ectopic pregnancy.
What is an Ectopic Pregnancy?
An Ectopic Pregnancy is one of the most dangerous risks of tubal block. In such cases, the sperm normally fertilizes the egg in the fallopian tubes. The fertilized embryo may then attach itself to the fallopian tube itself. However, it is not possible for the embryo to receive the nutrition it requires to develop anywhere but in the uterus. A normal pregnancy test will indicate that the woman is pregnant and an ectopic pregnancy can be diagnosed only with the help of a transvaginal ultrasound.
In the case of an ectopic pregnancy, the fertilized embryo will not be able to develop properly and the pregnancy must be terminated at the earliest. This type of pregnancy is a threat to the mother's health as well. If the fallopian tube bursts, it could be fatal for the mother. However, if the pregnancy is terminated in time, the woman may go on to have other successful pregnancies in the future.