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Hydrosalpinx
   
  A hydrosalpinx is a blocked fallopian tube that is filled with fluid. It can be dilated to varying degrees from the accumulated fluid. It is a result of damage towards the distal (far) end of the fallopian tube, near the ovary. The fluid, a normal secretion of the tubal glands, pools in the damaged tube causing it to swell or dilate.
   
  Causes
  Hydrosalpinx generally forms as the result of prior tubal infection or any pelvic infection. The pelvic infections that lead to hydrosalpinges (plural form of hydrosalpinx) are generally caused by sexually transmitted diseases (Gonorrhea, Chlamydia, etc.). Other causes of the pelvic infections (apart from STDs) include:
   
       Having intrauterine devices (IUD) inserted
     Abortion
     Endometriosis
     Abdominal Surgery
     Childbirth
     History of Tuberculosis
 
Symptoms
  Some women with a hydrosalpinx display no symptoms, while many suffer from severe, chronic, or recurrent pelvic pain. Patients with a hydrosalpinx are more susceptible to repeated acute tubal infections, which cause fever and pain.
   
  Diagnosis
  The following methods are employed to evaluate Hydrosalpinx:
 
      Hysterosalpingogram (HSG): Diagnosis of hydrosalpinx is usually made by a HSG. It is an x-ray procedure in which a special dye
    is injected through the cervix into the uterine cavity to illustrate the inner shape of the uterus and the extent of openness of the fallopian tubes. The dye spills out of the ends of the fallopian tubes if the tubes are open, but won’t come out if the tubes are blocked.
      Ultrasound: A vaginal ultrasound probe uses sound waves to image the tubes and is marginally safer and more comfortable than
    HSG. If the fallopian tube is normal, it usually does not show in the ultrasound. However, a Hydrosalpinx appears as a characteristic sausage shaped fluid collection.
     Laparoscopy: Hydrosalpinx can also be diagnosed by laparoscopy, in which a small television camera is introduced into the    
    abdomen through an incision to inspect the tubes. The related risks of anesthesia and surgery involved with laparoscopy dictate that it is generally used for diagnosis along with a planned treatment.
   
  Effect on Fertility
  Hydrosalpinx is a serious threat to fertility. If the fallopian tubes are completely blocked, conception will not occur without medical intervention. Opening the tubes surgically might restore fertility in milder cases. If the lining of the tubes is severely damaged, in vitro fertilization (IVF), which bypasses the fallopian tubes, is the preferred treatment option. IVF, a method of assisted reproduction, involves surgically removing an egg from the ovary (by ultrasound-guided retrieval) after ovulation induction, combining it with sperm in a petri dish and, after fertilization, replacing the resulting embryo(s) in the woman's uterus. The embryo implants in the uterine lining and develops further.

Fertility specialists often advice patients to have the hydrosalpinx removed prior to undergoing IVF because its presence reduces the success rates of IVF and even increases the risk of miscarriages. Moreover, a hydrosalpinx in one tube often affects the other, resulting in two abnormal tubes.
   
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