The fallopian tubes are a part of reproductive system in the female body. Their function is to collect the egg and transport it towards the uterus. For pregnancy to occur, the tubes should be open and they should function normally. Tubal Factor is implicated in 15-25% of the cases of infertility. Tubes can be blocked or their normal function can be disturbed leading to improper functioning. Repeated pelvic infections in females, history of tuberculosis, endometriosis, any pelvis mass like fibroid, large ovarian cysts, and history of pelvic radiotherapy for cancers can cause tubal factor infertility.
The damaged tubes have fluid collection in them which is known as hydrosalpinx. The hydrosalpinx literally means water in the tubes. In a normal functioning fallopian tube – there is no water collection. When the walls of the tube are damaged, it loses its stretchability and becomes flaccid. It is in these types of tubes, the infected fluid is collected which is known as hydrosalpinx. This collected fluid has harmful chemicals which are toxic to embryo development.
If a hydrosalpinx is present then the tube should be detached from the uterus (tubal clipping) to prevent backflow of toxic fluid from the damaged tubes to the uterus. This procedure is called laparoscopic tubal clipping and it is done to improve the chances of pregnancy outcome. When laparoscopy is done, simultaneously the other tube is also evaluated. If both the tubes are found to be damaged then, IVF is the next step for the patient. In IVF, mature eggs are directly picked up from the ovaries with the help of a needle placed through the vagina and then each egg is injected with a healthy sperm (ICSI) in the laboratory. The embryos are transferred into the womb. In this way the damaged tubes are bypassed and a pregnancy can be achieved.