Tubal blockage

  Tubal blockage can affect the tube at the point at which it joins the womb (known as proximal blockage), or at the end of the tube (known as distal blockage). If the tube is blocked at its end, it can swell up with secretions, and is called a hydrosalpinx. Tubal disease is diagnosed by either a laparoscopy , or by an outpatient X-ray procedure called a hysterosalpingogram or HSG. If, on HSG proximal blockage is found, it can often be treated at the same time by passing a wire into the tube and through the blockage. This is called selective salpingography. Distal tubal disease can be seen on HSG, but can only definitively be diagnosed by laparoscopy. Sometimes it is possible to open the tube surgically. If it is not possible to repair the tube, then in vitro fertilisation (IVF), otherwise known as test-tube bay treatment can help.

    In IVF the woman's eggs are taken outside the body and mixed with her partner's sperm in a test tube in the laboratory. The resulting embryos are transferred to her womb.Another cause of tubal blockage is previous female sterilisation. Up to 1 in 10 women who have been sterilised consider having more children, and reversal of sterilisation operation is a realistic option. The procedure involves an abdominal operation with a 3 day stay in hospital. The results are good, and depend on the method used for sterilisation, and the presence of any other fertility factors. Your consultant will discuss all these issues with you and advice you appropriately.