Definition - What does Hematosalpinx mean?
Hematosalpinx is bleeding into the fallopian tubes. It can occur due to a number of causes, the most common being an ectopic pregnancy (implantation outside the uterine cavity), usually within the fallopian tubes (tubal pregnancy). Advanced maternal age increases the risk for developing a hematosalpinx. The condition may affect one or both the tubes.
FertilitySmarts explains Hematosalpinx
In addition to a tubal pregnancy, hematosalpinx can be caused by:
- Inflammation of the fallopian tubes (salpingitis)
- Endometriosis or cancer of the uterine tubes.
- Sometimes, a birth defect like a vaginal septum can obstruct the outflow of the menstrual blood, leading to a hematosalpinx.
What are the symptoms of a hematosalpinx?
A woman with a hematosalpinx from a tubal pregnancy experiences severe pelvic pain and bleeding through the vagina. A hematosalpinx related to other causes is generally painless. The patient may complain of symptoms pertaining to salpingitis such as fever, severe abdominal pain, and frequent urination.
What are the consequences of a hematosalpinx?
A hemososalpinx can cause:
- Rupture of the tubal pregnancy can cause the blood to escape from the uterine tubes into the peritoneal cavity (the space between the two layers of the abdominal wall) leading to accumulation of blood in this cavity (called a hemoperitoneum).
- Blocked fallopian tubes, which intervenes with the ability of a woman to conceive. This is when in vitro fertilization (IVF) can be useful.
- Cause the fallopian tube to twist on itself, a life-threatening condition referred to as tubal torsion that requires emergency intervention.
How is a hematosalpinx diagnosed and treated?
A transvaginal ultrasound aids in detecting a hematosalpinx. Treatment is targeted towards the underlying condition and in ectopic pregnancy, usually necessitates surgical removal of the tube (i.e. salpingectomy) by laparoscopy or laparotomy.