Definition - What does Hydrosalpinx mean?

Hydrosalpinx is a condition that results in a disfigured and swollen fallopian tube. As a result, the passageway of the tube is blocked by the fluid build up and swelling, and may no longer function properly. Hydrosalpinx can lead to female factor infertility.

FertilitySmarts explains Hydrosalpinx

The fallopian tubes are an essential part of conception. After a mature egg has been released from the ovaries, it travels through the fallopian tube. At the same time, sperm that has traveled through the vagina enters the fallopian tube in search of the egg. If the two meet, fertilization occurs, and the embryo descends into the uterus where it implants in the uterine walls to grow. The blockage of a fallopian tube impedes that process, and infertility may result.

The cause of a hydrosalpinx is often the result of a previous infection or a sexually transmitted infection. Previous surgeries of the fallopian tube can lead to hydrosapinx, as can pelvic adhesions, endometriosis, or other severe infections.

There are few symptoms of a hydrosalpinx, and it typically goes undiagnosed until infertility occurs. In order to screen for a blockage, an x-ray, ultrasound, or diagnostic laparoscopic surgery may be performed.

Treatment of a hydrosalpinx depends on the severity of the damage to the tube. Surgery may be performed in order to clear the blockage. However, if the tube is not salvageable, fertility treatments or assisted reproductive technologies may be advised in order to achieve a successful conception. In that case, a physician may still recommend removal of the hydrosalpinx prior to fertility treatment.

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