Causes - Tubal - Symptoms
With tubal factor infertility, your fallopian tubes could be damaged or completely or partially blocked. This can make it harder for you to get pregnant.
One in four cases of female infertility in the United States includes a tubal factor. The primary causes of tubal factor infertility are damage and disease stemming from endometriosis, untreated sexually transmitted infections (STIs), surgeries and other causes.
Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
Pelvic inflammatory disease can lead to tubal scarring that results in infertility. Causes of PID include the following:
- Exposure to sexually transmitted infections (STI's) like gonorrhea and chlamydia
- Bacteria that are not transmitted sexually
- Intestinal infections including appendicitis
Most cases of gonorrhea and chlamydia carry no symptoms. This makes it extra important to be screened for STIs if you are trying to get pregnant. This screening may prevent PID and subsequent problems with tubal factor infertility.
Scar tissue in the fallopian tubes can stem from problems with endometriosis or from surgeries including the following:
- Abdominal surgery
- Cesarean section
- Ruptured appendix
- Bowel surgery
- Fibroid surgery
If you have tubal symptoms like scar tissue or another blockage in your fallopian tubes, sperm won't be able to travel through the tubes to fertilize your egg. Even if the sperm can get to the egg, the fertilized egg may not be able to travel back down to the uterus for implantation.
Thankfully, some surgery trends are leaning towards minimally invasive surgical procedures, like laparoscopy. Laparoscopy uses a small incision, reducing the chances of scar tissue developing in the tubes.
Tubal ligation, or tying your tubes, involves severing, sealing, or pinching your tubes shut, leaving a woman infertile. Though women are aware that tubal ligation prevents pregnancy, there are instances when a woman wants to reverse a tubal ligation. At times, tubal ligation cannot be reversed and sterility is permanent.