Around 25% of cases of female sterility are due to tubal factors, in other words, some abnormality of the Fallopian tubes. In normal conditions, the tubes behave like a fishing rod, picking up the ovum that has been released during ovulation, transporting the sperm towards the ovum and guiding the fertilised egg to the uterus. Partial damage to the tubes due to an adhesion, or complete damage due to tubal obstruction, will prevent this transport and as a result fertilisation will not take place. Tubal damage can occur due to:
• Infections rising from the cervix or uterus towards the tubes (Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, PID), or else per continuum from the abdominal cavity, e.g. an appendicitis. The germs most frequently involved in PID are Gonorrhoea, Chlamydia and other pathogens.
• Previous pelvic surgery, which may have produced adhesions on the tubes or endometriosis. Tubo-peritoneal factor is also associated with ectopic pregnancy, which is when the embryo does not reach the uterine cavity due to alterations in the diameter and the interior of the tube which prevents it from being transported correctly.