Hydrosalpinx is a distally blocked tube filled with fluid. The blocked tube may become markedly distended giving the tube a characteristic retort like shape. The condition is often bilateral and the affected tubes may reach several centimetres in diameter. Such blocked tubes can lead to infertility.
Hydrosalpinx causes low implantation, pregnancy and delivery rates and a higher incidence of spontaneous abortion after IVF-embryo transfer compared with women with tubal infertility of other causes due to effects of the toxic fluid within the hydrosalpinx.
The hydrosalpinx fluid may mechanically interfere with the process of embryo implantation or may impede embryo development due to its deficiencies in essential factors. The presence of hydrosalpinx may also reduce the receptivity of the endometrium by decreasing the expression of specific factors.
Hydrosalpinx was also found to be associated with ovulatory dysfunction and hence can effect natural conception.
Both bilateral hydrosalpinx and large size hydrosalpinx visible on ultrasound are associated with significant reduction in pregnancy rate as compared to unilateral hydrosalpinx and hydrosalpinx not visible on Ultrasound.
In the presence of hydrosalpinx the pregnancy rate and implantation rate is reduced by 50% and the risk of spontaneous abortions is doubled.