Tubal disease, one of the many causes of female infertility, is a disorder in which the fallopian tubes are blocked or damaged. Your physician will review your medical history and do a complete pelvic exam to diagnose a tubal disorder. It is often necessary to undergo additional tests, including hysterosalpingogram and laparoscopy, to confirm the diagnosis.

Scar tissue, infections and tubal ligation are often causes of tubal disease. Scar tissue resulting from endometriosis or abdominal or gynecological surgery, such as bowel surgery, cesarean section or a ruptured appendix, can block an egg from entering or traveling down the fallopian tube to meet the sperm, preventing fertilization. Infections, including chlamydia, can damage the cilia, the tiny hairs lining the fallopian tubes that help transport the egg, often preventing the sperm and egg from meeting. One result of damaged cilia is an ectopic pregnancy, which occurs when an egg is fertilized but, due to the damaged cilia, it is unable to travel to the uterus, growing instead in the wall of the fallopian tube. This condition can result in rupture, internal bleeding and further tubal damage. Many women who have undergone tubal ligation, had their “tubes tied”, decide they want to have a baby at some point after the procedure. These patients most often undergo in vitro fertilization to bypass the blockage. In some rare cases, surgery can be done to reattach tubes after ligation.

There are a number of treatment options available to overcome infertility caused by tubal disease. Your Georgia Reproductive Specialists physician will go over the options with you and together you will determine the treatment that will be most effective for you and lead to the desired outcome of having a baby. Successful treatment options used by the GRS physicians include surgical removal of scar tissue, surgical repair of damaged tubes, tubal ligation reversal or in vitro fertilization. IVF typically provides the best results; however, surgical approaches may be advisable due to insurance issues, or other pelvic findings such as hydrosalpinx or leiomyoma (fibroid).