Definition - What does Tubal Occlusion mean?
A tubal occlusion is when there is a blockage in one or both of the fallopian tubes in the female reproductive system. When the fallopian tubes are blocked, the mature egg that is released from the ovary is unable to meet with a sperm for fertilization and complete its journey to reach the uterus. Tubal occlusion typically results from infections in the pelvis and abdomen. Occlusion of the fallopian tubes is a common and often treatable cause of infertility in women.
FertilitySmarts explains Tubal Occlusion
Some of the common causes of tubal occlusion are:
- Pelvic infections (eg: pelvic inflammatory disease, sexually transmitted infections, infections following child birth)
- Abdominal infections (eg: peritonitis, appendicitis)
- Trauma to fallopian tubes (eg: during surgery, tubal pregnancy)
- Congenital abnormalities of the fallopian tubes
Evaluating the openness of the fallopian tubes is performed when a woman is tested for infertility, if other basic tests have not been able to identify a cause for infertility. Ultrasound scanning can detect if there are gross abnormalities of the tubes, and is the easiest to perform. A hysterosalpingogram is a test performed by injecting a dye into the uterus through the cervix and taking x-ray images that show the flow of the dye through the tubes. If the patient is undergoing laparoscopy, the flow of dye can be inspected through the laparoscope.