What causes scarring of the fallopian tubes?

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Thomas R. Antony, MD
OBGYN (Obstetrics & Gynecology)
Infection and surgery are the two main causes of fallopian tube scarring. In this video, Thomas Antony, MD, of Citrus Memorial Hospital, explains.
Anthony L. Komaroff, MD
Internal Medicine
Sexually transmitted diseases are the most common cause of scarring of the fallopian tubes, but there are several other causes.

The fallopian tubes are the path eggs travel from the ovaries to the uterus. Fertilization usually takes place within the tubes, so they are critical to conception. Tubal damage can be a cause of infertility. And infection is a common cause of tubal damage.

Infections caused by bacteria introduced by intercourse are called sexually transmitted diseases. These include gonorrhea and Chlamydia. They cause inflammation, which forms scar tissue in the tubes that can block egg.

Infections that are not transmitted sexually can also lead to scarring. Examples include appendicitis, diverticulitis, and peritonitis. If these infections spread to the pelvis, the inflammation next to the outside layer of the tubes may cause damage.

Infection is not the only cause of tubal damage. Pelvic surgery can create scar tissue that may kink and block the tubes. Diseases such as endometriosis may cause infertility by disrupting the function of the cells that line the fallopian tubes.

If tubal damage cannot be corrected, in vitro fertilization may be needed for conception. In this case, the egg is fertilized outside the body, bypassing the role of the tubes.
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.