What is a hydrosalpinx and how does it affect my fertility?
The channels that connect the ovaries and the uterus are called fallopian tubes (or uterine tubes). These structures perform extremely important functions for natural reproduction, as they are responsible for the capture of the egg every month and the union between the egg and the sperm (fertilization). In addition, they allow the transport of the resulting embryo into the uterus, where the pregnancy will take place.
A hydrosalpinx is the result of an obstruction at the ends of the fallopian tube, which causes it to fill with fluid. Sometimes the fallopian tube is very swollen and distended, giving the typical "sausage" image. In many cases, the fluid build-up and obstruction hinders the proper functioning of the fallopian tube: sperm will not rise, the egg will not be picked up by the fallopian tube and fertilization will not occur, making a natural pregnancy difficult (especially if it affects the fallopian tube). Hydrosalpinx can also promote pregnancy in the fallopian tube (ectopic pregnancy).
What should I do if I have blocked tubes and want to get pregnant?
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Why is the fallopian tube blocked?
The blockage usually occurs as a result of an (old) infection of the tubes, often related to sexual transmission (e.g. chlamydia or gonorrhea). However, it is important to note that not all pelvic infections will cause hydrosalpinx. Less commonly, hydrosalpinx can occur after surgery (including tubal surgery), severe pelvic adhesions or endometriosis.
What are the symptoms caused by hydrosalpinx?
In most cases, none. Occasionally, the patient may experience lower abdominal pain (occasional or persistent), which may increase with menstruation and is often associated with constant vaginal discharge. In some cases, an ectopic pregnancy may be the initial sign of fallopian tube damage. When hydrosalpinx results in severe damage or complete blockage of the fallopian tubes, the reason for consultation is infertility.
How is hydrosalpinx diagnosed?
We have three evaluations that often complement each other to know if the tubes have this obstruction: Hysterosalpingography (HSG); In ultrasonography, the fluid in the tubes is usually visible after a transvaginal ultrasound and also indicates, in general, that we are facing a larger and more severe hydrosalpinx.
Laparoscopy , this surgical procedure is used to evaluate the surface of the tubes and also to determine if they are open and to inject a liquid dye through the uterus and check through the ends of the tubes.
How can I prevent the appearance of hydrosalpinx?
Since hydrosalpinx is usually the result of a tubal infection, it is recommended that you adopt behaviors aimed at reducing the risk of sexually transmitted diseases and the proper and early management of pelvic infections with antibiotics.
If I have hydrosalpinx, can I get pregnant?
If the tubes are completely blocked, fertilization will not be possible and pregnancy will not be achieved by natural means. In this case, the most effective treatment is in vitro fertilization (IVF) to achieve a pregnancy, since in this case fertilization will be carried out in the laboratory and the embryos will then be placed directly in the uterus without the need for intervention. Tubes The extraction or occlusion of hydrosalpinx is generally recommended before starting IVF, as hydrosalpinx has been associated with a decreased chance of pregnancy with IVF, especially if the hydrosalpinx affects both tubes.
I don't want a pregnancy, but I have hydrosalpinx, what should I do?
In patients who are not seeking pregnancy but who suffer from symptoms such as severe pain that do not manage pain medication following hydrosalpinx, surgery to remove the affected tube (salpingectomy) should be considered.