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Hydrosalpinx: what impact on fertility?

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Hydrosalpinx: what impact on fertility?

A disease that can lead to tubal infertility, Hydrosalpinx is a dysfunction of the fallopian tubes, which become blocked due to an infection.

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What is Hydrosalpinx?

Hydrosalpinx is a disease caused by an infection of one or both fallopian tubes, also known as uterine tubes. These tubes, which can be up to 14 centimeters long, are where fertilization usually takes place.

In a woman with Hydrosalpinx, the tube that connects the uterus to the ovaries is blocked by fluid build-up due to the infection. This makes fertilization impossible: the egg is lost, and the sperm cannot reach the fusion zone.

If only one tube is affected, the egg and sperm can still meet if the second tube functions normally. If both uterine ducts are affected, this is called tubal infertility.

What are the symptoms of a blocked tube and Hydrosalpinx?

After about a month, if the infection in the fallopian tube is not treated, it can develop into a hydrosalpinx. Most often asymptomatic, it can go undetected for several years and cause tubal infertility. The diagnosis is usually made during a fertility check-up and when a child is wanted.

Signs that can alert :

  • Painful sexual intercourse in the woman
  • A painful pelvis
  • A feeling of compression in the pelvis
  • A frequent need to urinate

PID, the infection that causes Hydrosalpinx, can cause noticeable symptoms:

  • Pain in the lower abdomen
  • Fever
  • Frequent need to urinate and pain when urinating
  • Nausea
  • Bleeding outside of your period
  • Yellow and abundant discharge

Causes of Hydrosalpinx

Hydrosalpinx is usually caused by an STI – sexually transmitted infection – such as chlamydia or gonorrhea, which leads to PID, an infection of the fallopian tubes. Untreated PID can lead to Hydrosalpinx.

Other causes have been put forward for the development of this condition:

  • Surgery of the abdomen
  • Endometriosis
  • Intrauterine contraception such as the IUD

How to treat Hydrosalpinx?

Microsurgery has long been one of the most widely considered solutions to unblock the fallopian tube(s) and give them a funnel shape to fertilize.

Today, it is not uncommon for specialists to turn directly to IVF – in vitro fertilization – to enable the couple to conceive a child. In most cases, the infected tube or tubes are removed to reduce the risk of re-infection.

If PID is discovered in time, before it develops into Hydrosalpinx, treatment with antibiotics may be sufficient to treat the infection. Hospitalization may also be necessary if the patient is in pain and to administer the treatment via a venous infusion.

What are the consequences of Hydrosalpinx on fertility?

If PID is treated quickly and the antibiotics are effective, the fallopian tubes will be able to function normally afterward. It all depends on the virulence of the infection and how well the treatment is carried out.

Their removal will be considered when the Hydrosalpinx has set in and the tubes are completely blocked. IVF will then be an effective alternative for conceiving a baby.


Hydrosalpinx is the name for a condition in which a woman’s fallopian tube becomes blocked with fluid. There are different causes for this condition, and symptoms can vary depending on the individual. Some women do not experience any symptoms, but Hydrosalpinx can have a severe impact on fertility.

The most common treatment for a woman with Hydrosalpinx is to have surgery to remove the affected tube. If a woman decides to have treatment for Hydrosalpinx, chances of a successful pregnancy are higher, particularly if IVF treatment is given after treatment has taken place.

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