Trying to conceive

Blocked fallopian tubes are one cause of why women are not able to conceive. These tubes are the pathways from the ovaries to the uterus. At ovulation, usually the middle of the month, an egg is released from the ovaries and travels though the fallopian tube to the uterus. Conception also happens in the fallopian tube. If an egg is fertilised by sperm, it moves through the tube to the uterus for implantation. If a fallopian tube is blocked, the passage for sperm to get to the egg, as well as the path back to the uterus for the fertilised egg, is blocked. 

Oftentimes, it is only when a woman investigates why she is not conceiving that she discovers she has one, or both, fallopian tubes blocked. This is because the condition often, does not give rise to any symptoms. However, in some cases, blocked fallopian tubes can lead to mild, regular pain on one side of the abdomen. This usually happens in a type of blockage called a hydrosalpinx. This is when fluid fills and enlarges a blocked fallopian tube. Other conditions, such as endometriosis, can lead to a blocked fallopian tube can cause their own symptoms. These symptoms may include very painful and heavy periods and pelvic pain. Other conditions that may cause blocked fallopian tubes are,

Pelvic inflammatory disease as this may cause scarring. I have already mentioned endometriosis, which is a build up of endometrial tissues in the fallopian tubes. Adhesions that block the fallopian tubes can also be formed by the build up of endometrial tissue on the outside of other organs. Some sexually transmitted infections such as chlamydia and gonorrhea can cause scarring and this is turn leads on to other problems. Fibroids can block the fallopian tube, particularly where they attach to the uterus and a previous ectopic pregnancy may also lead to scarring in the tube. Any surgery on the fallopian tubes may also lead to the formation of adhesions with the same end result – blockage.

Surgical options for this problem include, salpingectomy, fimbrioplasty, and selective tubal cannulation but there are some natural therapies too. These options are of benefit on their own and before and after surgery.

 The first option is a herbal tonic designed to clear inflammation, infection, hormonal balance and optimise blood circulation.  Alongside this, abdominal massage helps in supporting the health of the fallopian tubes. It increases circulation and helps to break down adhesions and scar tissue.

There is another technique known as Wurn, which is a specialised physical therapy technique and is completely natural. This technique is reported to be very successful, so, if blocked fallopian tubes are preventing you becoming pregnant, ask your physical therapist if they are familiar with the technique.

A more traditional, and common therapy is the castor oil pack. This is a cloth soaked in castor oil and then placed on the skin.  By placing the pack on the abdomen, circulation is enhanced, and the lymphatic system is boosted.  The castor oil pack works well with massage and herbs to optimise the health of the fallopian tubes.

So, as well as, instead of, or with surgery, a combination of herbal medicine, massage, physical therapy and an old-fashioned castor oil pack can help this particular cause of infertility.

Dr Rosari Kingston

Dr. Rosari Kingston PhD, M.Sc (Herbal medicine) is a medical herbalist practising in Dr. O’Reilly’s integrative clinical practice in Clonakilty, Co. Cork as well as Church Cross, Skibbereen. Dr. Kingston’s area of research are the healing modalities present in Irish vernacular medicine and she incorporates them, where possible, into her clinical practice. In her clinical practise she specialises in infertility and digestive issues.

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