Fallopian Tube Factors

What Fallopian Tube Factors Are and How They Affect Fertility

Infertility due to fallopian tube factors accounts for about 32 percent of all cases. The fallopian tubes, approximately 7 to 14 centimeters long, are a pair of small tubes that are comprised of smooth muscle tissue that link the ovaries to the uterus. The fallopian tubes consist of three different parts that all have a specific function. The fimbrial end is the closest to the ovary and is the section of the tube that catches the egg that is being ovulated during that menstrual cycle. The ampulla is the middle section of the tube and where the ampulla meets the isthmus is where sperm and egg meet for fertilization. The final section of the tube is the isthmus and this is where the tube connects to the uterus. The rise in progesterone, produced by the corpus luteum, will clear the secretions and fluid that is present in the tubes and help move the embryo down the tube toward the isthmus and the uterus. The secretory cells produce the secretions that are essential for the egg and embryo survival. There are also cilia inside the tubes that propel the egg down the tube toward the isthmus and uterus.

Women with fallopian tube factors are classified by either structural or functional blockages. The structural blockages involve damage to the tube from infections, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), Salpingitis, Hydrosalpinx, Hematosalpinx, Pyosalpinx, fibroids, pelvic endometriosis or pelvic surgery. The functional blockages can be from either spasms or stiffness of the muscles of the fallopian tube walls or from excess or reduced secretions within the tubes themselves. 

How Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture Treat Fallopian Tube Factors

Research in China has shown encouraging results using administration of Chinese herbs to treat blocked fallopian tubes and restore fertility. In a study at the Shenzhen Municipal Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine, they looked at the external application of Chinese herbs on acupuncture points on the abdomen combined with tubal surgery. The first group received this external application with surgery and the comparison group received just the tubal surgery on its own. The study group consisted of 75 women who were divided into the two groups. In the surgery only group: 46% were cured, 23% improved and 30% failed for a combined effectiveness rate of 70%. In the herb and surgery group: 58% cured, 24% improved and 18% failed for a combined effectiveness rate of 82%. This study demonstrated that the use of Chinese herbs can increase the effectiveness of surgery to correct fallopian tube blockages.

Acupuncture points will focus on breaking down the scar tissue and adhesions near and around the fallopian tubes, increasing blood circulation, relaxing muscle tension and spasm of the fallopian tubes, and either increasing or decreasing the amount of mucus within the fallopian tubes. Acupuncture will also reduce stress and regulate the function of the fallopian tubes as a whole.

Chinese herbs will be targeted to the area of the tube that is blocked, reduce adhesions and scar tissue, relax spasms of the tubes, and either increase or decrease the mucus secretions within the tubes. Your particular formula will be individualized and tailored to your exact condition.

Reproductive Organ Massage is a highly specialized form of therapeutic massage that manipulates the fascia of the pelvic cavity to unblock any obstructions or reduce any adhesions in the reproductive organs and improve the blood flow to these organs. Massage 2-3 times before ovulation can be very effective in removal of adhesions in or around the tubes.

Dietary guidance will be given and certain foods will be restricted to either reduce or increase mucus secretions within the tubes or to help breakdown the adhesions and scar tissue. There is also an enzyme, serrapeptase, which can be taken to break down the scar tissue and cystic tissue while promoting blood circulation. Smoking cigarettes will be discouraged since it paralyzes the cilia within the fallopian tubes.

How Western Medicine Treats Elevated FSH Levels

Western medicine treats blockages in all areas of the tubes by either doing surgery to remove the tubes or to reduce the blockages inside the tubes. If a woman wishes to conceive, Western medicine will refer her to an infertility clinic for IVF (in vitro fertilization)

Research and Related Articles on Fallopian Tube Factors

J Tradit Chin Med. 2005 Sep;25(3):174-6.

External application of chinese drugs on acupoint Shenque combined with salpingostomy for treatment of sterility caused by obstruction of the fallopian tube--a clinical report of 45 cases.

Huang J.
Shenzhen Municipal Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Guangdong 518033, China. OBJECTIVE: To observe the therapeutic effect of external application of Chinese drugs on acupoint Shenque (CV 8) combined with salpingostomy for treatment of sterility caused by obstruction of the fallopian tube. METHOD: 75 cases were randomly divided into the following 2 groups. Forty-five patients in the treatment group were treated with external application of Chinese drugs on acupoint Shenque (CV 8) combined with salpingostomy, while 30 patients in the control group were treated with salpingostomy only. RESULTS: The results showed that in the treatment group, 26 cases were cured, 11 cases improved, and 8 cases failed, with a total effective rate of 82.22%; while in the control group, 14 cases were cured, 7 cases improved, and 9 cases failed, with a total effective rate of 70.00%. There is a significant difference in the total effective rate between the two groups (P<0.05). CONCLUSION: The therapeutic effect of external application of Chinese drugs on acupoint Shenque combined with salpingostomy is better than that of salpingostomy only. PMID: 16334717 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

Zhongguo Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Za Zhi. 2006 Apr;26(4):325-8.

[Effects of combined therapy of salpingostomy and Bushen Huoxue drugs on fallopian tube obstructive infertility]

[Article in Chinese]
Jiang YC, Liang RN, Liu RT.
The Affiliated Hospital of Jiangxi College of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Nanchang 330006.
OBJECTIVE: To compare the effect of treatment of fallopian tube obstructive infertility by salpingostomy alone and in combination with TCM drugs for Bushen Huoxue (invigorating Shen and promoting blood circulation).

METHODS: To all the patients, salpingostomy was performed 3 to 7 days after menstruation and hydrotubation with Xiangdan Injection (XI) was applied once in the next menstrual cycle. Bushen Huoxue Decoction (BHD) was administrated additionally to patients in the treated group, 1 dose every day starting from the 5th day of menstrual cycle for 14 days. Three months' treatment was taken as one therapeutic course and the observation lasted for 4 courses.

RESULTS: The condition of follicular development, thickness of endometrium and level of serum estradiol in the preovulatory phase after treatment were all significantly increased in the two groups (P < 0.05 and P < 0.01); but the improvement in the treated group was significantly superior to that in the control group, showing significant difference. Moreover, the pregnancy rate was also higher in the former than in the latter (P < 0.05).

CONCLUSION: The combined therapy of salpingostomy and TCM drugs for invigorating Shen and promoting blood circulation is an effective therapy for fallopian tube obstructive infertility, it has the effect of enhancing follicular development and increasing thickness of endometrium, and could elevate the pregnancy rate in patients. PMID: 16689000 [PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]

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Did You Know?
The March 2008 Issues of the British Journal published results of a study showing those who received acupuncture during IVF increased their chances of conceiving my 65%.
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