The fallopian tubes are critical in helping the sperm arrive at their destination for fertilization. The fallopian tubes have small ciliated cells that wave in one direction before ovulation to help the sperm meet the egg at the end of the tube. After ovulation the ciliated cells wave in the other direction to bring the fertilized egg into the uterus.
This incredible structure can malfunction if those ciliated cells get damaged. They can be damaged by infection, endometriosis or other conditions that create adhesions or scarring that can distort the normal position or function of the tubes.
Procedures (like the HSG – hysterosalpingogram) can be done to assess the openness or patency of the fallopian tubes and occasional corrective procedures can allow the tube to function better. Unfortunately when the tubes are more severely damaged, surgery will not help and IVF is the better option for patients. The tubes can be completely bypassed with the IVF procedure, eliminating the tubes as a factor in that patient’s infertility.