Your fallopian tubes are an important passageway for an egg and a sperm to meet and for a fertilized egg (embryo) to make its way to your uterus. The health of your fallopian tubes impacts your fertility. Blocked or damaged fallopian tubes can make it difficult for individuals and couples to become pregnant.
Your fallopian tubes are a pair of hollow, muscular ducts located between your ovaries and your uterus. Each fallopian tube is a channel between your ovaries, where your body makes eggs, and your uterus, where a fertilized egg can develop into a fetus. Fertilization occurs in your fallopian tubes, making it a key part of your reproductive anatomy that affects your fertility.
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Your fallopian tubes play an important role in conception and pregnancy. Think of a fallopian tube as:
Yes. You may have been born with only one fallopian tube, or you may have had a fallopian tube removed because of a condition or injury. If you have at least one healthy fallopian tube and ovary, and your menstrual cycle is normal, you can still get pregnant.
You can also get pregnant without your fallopian tubes. In vitro fertilization (IVF) is an option for individuals and couples who wish to have a baby that doesn’t require fallopian tubes at all.
You have two fallopian tubes: One on the right side of your uterus and one on the left side. Each tube extends from an ovary and opens into your uterus.
A fallopian tube has four parts:
Each fallopian tube is between 4 to 5 inches long and between 0.2 to 0.6 inches in diameter.
A fallopian tube consists of a thin mucous membrane and layers of muscle.
Your fallopian tubes play a crucial role in enabling sperm to reach your egg and transporting a fertilized egg to your uterus. You may have trouble getting pregnant if there’s a blockage in your fallopian tubes (tubal obstruction) or a structural irregularity. Twenty to 30% of infertility cases involve problems associated with the fallopian tubes (tubal factor infertility).
Common conditions that affect your fallopian tubes include:
Congenital abnormalities and scarring following abdominal surgery can also lead to fertility issues related to your fallopian tubes.
The most common tests check for blockages in your fallopian tubes that may be making it hard for you to become pregnant.
Treating fallopian tube-related conditions may require repairing or removing one or both fallopian tubes.
Many conditions that affect your fallopian tubes are out of your control, but you can take steps to prevent infections that can damage your fallopian tubes and cause infertility. Practicing safer sex and limiting your number of sex partners can reduce your risk of sexually transmitted infections (STIs) that can lead to PID.
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Your fallopian tubes bridge the important work that your ovaries and your uterus do. This is why conditions that negatively impact your fallopian tubes negatively impact your fertility, too. Taking steps to prevent infection is the best way to keep your fallopian tubes healthy. If your fallopian tubes are damaged or have been removed, you may still be able to become pregnant through in vitro fertilization. Discuss your options with your provider or a fertility specialist.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 06/07/2022.
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