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Birla Fertility & IVF
Birla Fertility & IVF

What You Need To Know About Pyosalpinx

  • Published on September 06, 2022
What You Need To Know About Pyosalpinx

What is Pyosalpinx?

Pyosalpinx is a condition in which your fallopian tubes swell up due to the accumulation of pus.

The fallopian tubes are a part of your reproductive system. They provide a passage for the ovaries to travel to your uterus.

In pyosalpinx, the fallopian tubes fill out and expand because of untreated or inadequate treatment of pelvic inflammatory disease.

This condition is quite common in young women between the ages of 20 to 40 years. However, it can happen in older women too.

 

What are the symptoms of pyosalpinx?

You can experience the following pyosalpinx symptoms:

  • Constant pain in the pelvic area
  • Fever and fatigue
  • Abnormal discharge from the vagina
  • Painful lump in your lower belly
  • Extreme abdominal pain during periods
  • Pain while having sex

Besides these, you can also experience infertility as a symptom of pyosalpinx. This is because fallopian tubes are jammed with pus and hence block the ovaries from reaching the uterus and their implantation in it.

 

What causes this condition?

Untreated pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) is the primary causal factor of pyosalpinx. Pelvic inflammatory disease is usually caused by STIs (sexually transmitted infections), such as chlamydia and gonorrhoea.

However, other kinds of infections like tuberculosis, bacterial vaginosis, etc. can also act as pyosalpinx causes.

One case report reveals that bilateral pyosalpinx was found in a sexually inactive girl suffering from irritable bowel syndrome, tonsillectomy, and urinary tract infections.

When your body is overcome with an infection, it causes your immune system to release a swarm of white blood cells. These white blood cells can become confined within the fallopian tubes.

With time, dead white blood cells (pus) collect within your fallopian tubes, causing them to enlarge and bulge out and thus result in pyosalpinx.

 

How is pyosalpinx diagnosed?

If it is not treated promptly, this condition can lead to hydro pyosalpinx – end-stage of pyosalpinx, which is very damaging to the fallopian tubes. So, it’s better to visit a doctor when you experience the symptoms of this condition.

A doctor conducts the following tests for the diagnosis of pyosalpinx and to know its causal factor:

– Pelvic Ultrasound

A transducer – a device used in this test – is coated with a specific gel by the doctor. This device is put and glided over your abdomen.

It creates sound waves to capture the pictures of your reproductive organs – fallopian tubes, uterus, ovaries – and then transmits them on a monitor screen. This helps the doctor look for pus obstructing the fallopian tubes (pyosalpinx).

– Pelvic MRI

For this test, you will need to rest on a table that will slide through a machine. The machine uses strong radio and magnetic waves to create pictures of your fallopian tubes, ovaries, and other organs. They will help the doctor look for pyosalpinx.

– Laparoscopy

This surgical procedure is conducted to examine your fallopian tubes. A doctor makes an incision near your abdomen and fills it with gas to get a clear view of your reproductive organs.

Sometimes, the doctor may insert surgical tools through the cut – to take a biopsy (remove a tissue sample) for analysis and rule out the possibility of other diseases.

 

How is pyosalpinx treated?

Generally, antibiotics are given by a doctor to clear the fallopian tubes and combat the infection and hence treat pyosalpinx.

However, in chronic cases of pyosalpinx, the following surgical treatments are usually used.

– Laparoscopic Surgery

It is a minimally invasive surgery. It drains the pus from fallopian tubes without damaging your reproductive organs.

– Bilateral salpingectomy

This is a pyosalpinx treatment that involves removing both the fallopian tubes.

– Oophorectomy

This surgical treatment is sometimes accompanied by bilateral salpingectomy and is used to remove either one or both ovaries.

– Hysterectomy

If the infection persists even after the above treatments, this surgical treatment method is used to remove the uterus and cervix as well, sometimes.

All these surgical treatment methods, except for laparoscopic surgery, can make you infertile. With the latter surgery, you get to retain your reproductive organs, so it doesn’t affect your chances of becoming pregnant.

 

Pyosalpinx prevention

Prevention is always the better option, so to ensure that you don’t suffer from pyosalpinx and, as a result, other complications and infertility, it’s better to take some simple precautionary measures from a young age only.

Remember, pyosalpinx is commonly caused by PID, and PID happens because of STIs. To prevent STIs, you should practice safe sex with the help of condoms.

Besides this, you should get regular health checkups and be tested for STIs once every year. If you test positive, don’t worry – start the treatment as soon as possible to counter and prevent further spread of infection.

Other than this, you should maintain a healthy vaginal pH level. You can do this by eating a vegetable and fruit rich-diet, peeing after having sex, avoiding washing your vagina with soaps, and keeping toxic chemicals away from it.

 

Conclusion

Pyosalpinx refers to the build-up of pus in the fallopian tubes because of infection. This condition is accompanied by pain while having sex, pain and lump in the pelvic area, fever, fatigue, etc.

These symptoms can happen either because of sexually transmitted infections (the main cause of PID) or other types of infections (different from STIs).

To ensure that these symptoms don’t worsen – consultation with a doctor is essential. For this, you can reach out to the doctors at Birla Fertility and IVF.

With leading doctors, fertility specialists, and top-notch technologies – Birla Fertility and IVF clinic aims to deliver compassionate healthcare services. Several branches of this clinic are present in different states and metro cities in India, and they all share a high rate of success.

To get a one-on-one consultation about the diagnosis and treatment of pyosalpinx, book an appointment with Dr Swati Mishra or visit a Birla Fertility and IVF branch.

 

FAQs 

1. Can you prevent pyosalpinx? 

As mentioned before, you can certainly lower your risk of suffering from pyosalpinx by making the following changes:

  • Use condoms while having sex
  • Limit your number of sex partners
  • Pee after having sex
  • Keep your vagina healthy
  • Don’t wash your vagina with chemicals or soaps
  • Get tested for STIs at least once a year
  • Get regular health checkups
  • Eat an antioxidant-rich diet

 

2. What does pyosalpinx mean medically?

Medically, pyosalpinx is defined as an obstruction of the fallopian tubes as a result of an accumulation of pus, which causes the fallopian tubes to swell up. The pus accumulates in the fallopian tubes because of an infection, usually caused by pelvic inflammatory disease. This leads to painful symptoms, so you should consult a doctor in time to get relief.

 

3. Is pyosalpinx a tubo-ovarian abscess?

A tubo-ovarian abscess refers to a collection of pus in the fallopian tubes or ovaries due to an infection, generally caused by pelvic inflammatory disease. Since pyosalpinx stands true to this definition, it is a tubo-ovarian abscess.

Moreover, similar to the first-line treatment method of tubo-ovarian abscess, pyosalpinx is also usually treated with antibiotics. And surgical treatment methods are used later – in case antibiotics fail to be effective.

Written by:
Dr Swati Mishra

Dr Swati Mishra

Consultant
Dr Swati Mishra is an internationally trained obstetrician-gynecologist and reproductive medicine specialist. She has trained and worked at some of the most reputed medical institutions in India and abroad. She has worked as a visiting consultant at multiple reputed reproductive medicine centers across Kolkata and as a chief consultant in ARC Fertility Center, Kolkata. Her unique skills and diverse work experience in India and the USA have made her a respected name in the field of IVF. She is also a trained specialist in all types of laparoscopic, hysteroscopic and operative procedures related to fertility treatment

Over 18 years of experience

Kolkata, West Bengal

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