Inside the Fallopian tube are small fingerlike projections called cilia. Their job is to move the egg along the tube down into the uterus. The cilia are also found elsewhere in the body – for example in the lungs where they move impurities and mucus out of the lungs.
In addition to housing cilia, the tubes are lined with mucus to help the egg slide along them. The end of the tube near the ovary contains very slippery mucus to ensure the egg can slide in quickly. The end of the tube closer to the uterus contains thicker mucus to prevent the egg from reaching the uterus too soon. This is to allow sufficient time for the endometrium to thicken to sustain implantation and pregnancy. Nature is so clever and amazing!
Any mucus producing organ can become blocked. Take your nose for example. When you get a bad cold your nose can become so blocked with mucus that you can no longer breathe through it. Or alternatively, if you get hay-fever or another allergic reaction your nose can run profusely.
The same can happen in any mucus-lined tissue/organ in your body; in your lungs, in your gut, in your vagina and in your fallopian tubes.
There are a few types of fallopian tube blockages and they are classified according to the location of the blockage in the tube. The three kinds of fallopian tube blockages are the following:
Since it's a silent condition, most women with blocked fallopian tubes usually have no symptoms. However, in some cases where the fallopian tubes are blocked with fluid (in the case of hydrosalpinx = “hydro” (water) + (salpinx) fallopian tube), women may experience recurring pelvic or abdominal pain or abnormal vaginal discharge.
The condition hydrosalpinx is usually associated with pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), endometriosis, sexually transmitted infections or surgery. This condition may impair blood flow to the uterus and to the ovaries and may affect your ability to get pregnant.
The most common factors which can affect the thickness of the mucus and contribute to blocked fallopian tubes are:
Other more serious causes of blocked fallopian tubes are:
Some of these causes can lead to scarring and adhesions which can pull on and distort the fallopian tubes, in which case they may need to be removed surgically with laparoscopy.
Women suffering from blocked fallopian tubes usually have no symptoms except being unable to conceive. If you or your doctor suspect that blocked tubes may be the cause of your infertility, there are several diagnostic procedures that would help confirm whether you have blocked tubes or not.
Women with blocked fallopian tubes may undergo surgical procedures to remove the blockage. For small adhesions, doctors may recommend to laparoscopic surgery to open the tubes. Surgery to repair damaged tubes may also be done in the case of damage due to ectopic pregnancy.
The following are examples of procedures used to treat blocked fallopian tubes:
There are various risks involved in these surgical procedures and pregnancy success after these surgeries are not guaranteed. Some of the main concerns when it comes to fallopian tube surgeries include the following:
While surgical interventions are available, there are natural treatments for blocked fallopian tubes that you can try to help unblock your fallopian tubes successfully:
Having a consultation with a Naturopath who specialises in fertility will enable you to take a herbal mixture that is specific to you. However, there are also easily accessible herbs, which may also be beneficial. These herbs increase circulation, reduce inflammation and may reduce mucous in the fallopian tubes:
These herbs are similar to the ingredients of the ‘spicy fertility tea’ and can be made the same way. Enjoy a cup of this tea twice a day and you’ll be on your way to reducing inflammation and mucous in your fallopian tubes.
You can also include these herbs and spices in your cooking on a regular basis.
You can have an HSG (Hysterosalpingogram) procedure which is used to see if your tubes are blocked and can also be used to treat the blocked fallopian tubes by rinsing them with saline solution during the procedure.
Do you have blocked fallopian tubes? Have you used a medical or a natural method to help you unblock the tubes? I would love to hear your thoughts!
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Iva Keene is co-founder and director of Natural-Fertility-Prescription.com. She has been a qualified, accredited Naturopathic Physician for over 13 years, holds a Bachelor's degree in Health Science and a Masters degree in Reproductive Medicine. Since founding NFP in 2008, Iva's articles, videos, guides and reports have reached over 1.3 million people. Iva has dedicated her professional life to supporting couples on their path to parenthood with scientifically grounded information, protocols and coaching around preconception care, natural infertility treatments and integrative reproductive health.