Hydrosalpinx is a condition where a woman’s fallopian tubes get blocked. This blockage is fluid in nature and might make it hard for a woman to get pregnant. Hydrosalpinx is a consequence of fluid blockage in the fallopian tubes which is more than just sometimes a direct result of an untreated infection in the area. Hydrosalpinx is usually treated by the draining of fallopian tubes or by the restorative approach of repairing them. In severe cases, the removal of one’s fallopian tubes becomes the ultimate treatment solution.
Table of Content
1.0 What is Hydrosalpinx? What is its onset?
2.0 How common is hydrosalpinx?
3.0 How does hydrosalpinx affect one’s body?
4.0 What are the causes of hydrosalpinx?
5.0 What are the diagnosis and testing options available for Hydrosalpinx?
6.0 What are the treatments available for hydrosalpinx?
7.0 Navigate Hydrosalpinx with Banker IVF
What is Hydrosalpinx? What is its onset?
Hydrosalpinx is a condition where one or both the fallopian tubes of a woman get blocked with a fluid. This blockage subsequently makes conception difficult to achieve. Extending from the uterus to the ovaries, the fallopian tubes of a woman serve as a crucial passage for eggs that are released during each menstrual cycle on a monthly basis.
Fallopian tubes that are healthy and efficient in their functioning facilitate a free passage for fertilisation where an egg and a sperm can fuse effectively. The fertilised egg subsequently navigates its way to the uterus via the same fallopian tubes. It is finally at the uterine wall, where the fertilised egg can attach itself before beginning its journey of developing into a foetus.
Now, in the case of fallopian tubes that have hydrosalpinx, the otherwise free passageway of the egg and the sperm gets blocked. If somehow, the egg and the sperm manage to unite despite the fluid blockage, hydrosalpinx causes an interruption in the path of the fertilised egg before it can reach the uterine wall for further development.
How common is hydrosalpinx?
Hydrosalpinx is a condition more common that many may realise. It affects a significant number of women on their fertility journeys. Around 20 to 30% of infertility-related conditions are in a way or other related to the fallopian tubes of the person affected. Out of these, 10 to 20% stem from Hydrosalpinx. The aforementioned stats reiterate just how significant it is to recognize and address hydrosalpinx early in the fertility assessment process.
How does hydrosalpinx affect one’s body?
An unattended case of Hydrosalpinx can lead to a variety of conception-related complications.
1) Risk of tubal pregnancies:
A tubal pregnancy is caused when an embryo that fails to reach the uterus, attaches itself to the blocked fallopian tube. Such a condition can not only result in unsuccessful conception but can turn life-threatening in severe cases.
2) Trouble getting pregnant through IVF:
While IVF as a technique helps in the direct implantation of an embryo, Hydrosalpinx can cause complications even here, subsequently impacting the overall success of the procedure. The latter happens when the blocked fallopian tubes cause the fluid to flow back into the uterus, consequently making it unsuitable for the development of an embryo.
What are the causes of hydrosalpinx?
When it comes to the underlying causes that lead to the development of hydrosalpinx, untreated infection stands out as the most common cause.
There are times when certain destructive bacteria trigger an inflammatory response in the fallopian tubes subsequently causing them to get swollen and blocked. The damage inflicted upon the fallopian tubes then leads to adverse changes in their usual structure and functioning.
The infection usually targets the fimbriae or the area near the culmination of the fallopian tubes that lie close to the ovaries. The consequent healing process then causes the fimbriae to undergo fusion thereby causing the fallopian tubes to get sealed. The aforementioned sealing results in water getting trapped within the tubes with no outlet thereby causing them to swell.
Other causes of Hydrosalpinx include:
- Sexually transmitted diseases like chlamydia and gonorrhoea, when left untreated, can often become a cause of hydrosalpinx.
- PID or Pelvic Inflammatory Disease also often leads to the occurrence of hydrosalpinx.
- Other fairly uncommon causes of hydrosalpinx include post-pelvic surgery scar tissue, tumours etc
What are the signs and symptoms of Hydrosalpinx?
Since hydrosalpinx rarely results in any symptoms, individuals often remain oblivious to the blockage in their fallopian tubes unless the condition is diagnosed by a medical professional. The said diagnosis is usually made when the doctor is trying to locate the root cause behind the difficulty in conception that an individual might be facing.
When present, the symptoms of hydrosalpinx include:
- Unusual pain in the pelvic region preceding or during a period.
- Vaginal discharge that has an unusually sticky consistency and is discoloured.
What are the diagnosis and testing options available for Hydrosalpinx?
Below is a list of tests and ways of diagnosis that can help in the detection and monitoring of hydrosalpinx.
While ultrasound doesn’t exactly churn out a clear image of the fallopian tubes, it can reveal their unusual swelling following which the medical practitioner can prescribe suitable follow-up tests.
2. Hysterosalpingogram or HSG:
Hysterosalpingogram is one of the most common diagnosing tests for hydrosalpinx. The test is done by the admission of a dye based material into the uterus. In case the tubes are open, the dye spills – out of the fallopian tubes and into the pelvic cavity. If not, the dye doesn’t move thereby insinuating the occurrence of hydrosalpinx.
What are the treatments available for hydrosalpinx?
Since the treatment of hydrosalpinx is directly linked to an increased chance of getting pregnant, its available options of treatment become a matter of crucial significance for a lot of individuals.
The treatment for hydrosalpinx varies on an individual basis depending on the degree of blockage, the disruption caused by it and the affected person’s age.
Common treatments for hydrosalpinx include the prescription of antibiotics while severe cases of the condition can even be given surgical treatment options.
The surgical treatment options available for hydrosalpinx include:
Salpingectomy is a surgical procedure wherein one or both the fallopian tubes of a person are removed. The removal of both the fallopian tubes is also referred to as bilateral salpingectomy.
Salpingostomy is another surgical restorative treatment option for hydrosalpinx where the blockage in one’s fallopian tubes is repaired. Salpingostomy is usually performed via laparoscopy where a small incision is made into the fallopian tube which is then used to drain it.
In some cases, damaged sections of the fallopian tubes are removed and the sealed fallopian are reopened. The follow-up consequences of Salpingostomy has made it a relatively less popular choice amongst people affected by hydrosalpinx. Its consequences include an increased possibility of miscarriage and conception related complications.
A significant number of individuals and couples affected by hydrosalpinx therefore choose IVF over most other surgical solutions. The most suitable solution for the condition can vary from person to person and the judgement regarding the same can be best made by an individual’s health provider.
If you find yourself navigating the challenges of hydrosalpinx, know that at Banker IVF, we stand ready to guide you on your journey to parenthood. Led by Dr. Manish Banker, our team of fertility specialists is committed to offering the best-in-class infertility treatments. Schedule a consultation at the best IVF centre in Ahmedabad today.
While it is not common for hydrosalpinx to cause any symptoms, certain severe cases of the condition have on occasion showcased a few signs. One such consequence of hydrosalpinx affects the menstrual cycle of the person affected wherein an unusual pain can be felt in the pelvic region during periods.
Hydrosalpinx is a condition where one or both of a woman’s fallopian tubes get blocked thereby causing various difficulties in conception. If one of the two tubes is blocked, getting pregnant can be difficult but if both the tubes are blocked, there is a large probability that the person affected can face infertility.
One of the most widely-known causes of hydrosalpinx is an untreated infection. An untreated infection can cause damage to one or both the fallopian tubes of a woman. The affected tube or tubes subsequently become inflamed. To heal the same, the fimbriae, located towards one end of the fallopian tube, may fuse together and result in a blockage. The same blockage can then make conception difficult and in some cases impossible.
Hydrosalpinx, characterised by a blocked fallopian tube, significantly impacts fertility through various mechanisms. One prevalent consequence involves the obstruction of the pathway essential for the movement and successful fusion of an egg and sperm,
Yes, it is possible for a person affected by hydrosalpinx to get pregnant. However, since the condition results in a blocked fallopian tube, it can make conception hard by increasing the risk of miscarriage.