Will an operation unblock my fallopian tubes?

Monday March 9 2020


By Dr Vincent Karuhanga

I was told by a gynaecologist that my fallopian tubes are blocked and I need an operation. Do you think it will be successful? Angella

Dear Angella,
One of the most common causes of infertility in Ugandan women is blocked fallopian tubes, which may be due to adhesions outside the tubes (such as after appendicitis) or scars inside the tubes resulting from untreated STI’s.

Salpingolysis is the surgery done to release the tubes from such adhesions while Salpingostomy is the surgery done to repair the scars and make tubes patent to allow pregnancy to take place.

The success of the operations depends on many factors including the extent of scarring and age. Sometimes the tubes may get opened up without conceiving because of other factors such as age, fibroids and other causes of infertility in women.

Doctors first look out for other causes of infertility before embarking on surgery since some of those causes may be rectified during the surgery to open up the tubes. Also, if there is an additional cause of infertility that cannot be rectified, then the doctor will advise on other methods of assisted fertility treatments such as IVF or adoption.

Making tubes patent through surgery may not always end up in successful pregnancy since patent tubes may have had the inner hairs (which propel the fertilised eggs to the womb for pregnancy) damaged leading either to pregnancy in the tubes or no pregnancy at all.


This however should not make you pessimistic and deter you from seeking the operation because it may be successful.