What is tubal disease?
Any damage to the Fallopian tubes (tubes that connect the ovaries to the uterus) is called tubal disease. This condition prevents sperm from reaching the eggs and makes conception impossible.
Causes of tubal disease
The most common cause of injury to the fallopian tubes is infection, particularly from a STDs.
Symptoms of tubal disease
A woman can have tubal disease without any symptoms. Women with hydrosalpinx (infection that causes the tubes to fill with fluid, enlarge and block) may have constant or frequent pain in their lower abdomen or a vaginal discharge.
When a tube is only partially blocked, the sperm may reach the egg for fertilization, but the embryo will likely become stuck and implant in the fallopian tube, causing an ectopic pregnancy.
Treatment for tubal disease
- Hysterosalpingogram (HSG): X-ray procedure that can identify blockages in the tubes and determine the shape of the uterine cavity.
- Laparoscopy: small incision to view and possibly repair the fallopian tubes through a small camera filament, sometimes using a dye to confirm clear tubes.
- Sonohysterogram: catheter that injects air and saline and detects tiny air bubbles traveling up the tubes.
- Ultrasound: used to visualize a hydrosalpinx in the fallopian tubes.