QS Study

The uterine tubes are also called Fallopian tubes. They carry ova from ovary to the uterus. They lie in the upper border of the broad ligament, extending laterally from the uterus, opening into the abdominal cavity, near the ovaries.

Development

The uterine tube develops from the upper vertical part of the corresponding paramesonephric duct. It is located in the upper free margin of the broad ligaments of the uterus and each uterine tube is about 10 cm long.

Function

They convey ova from the ovary to the uterus. Sperm introduced into the vagina pass into the uterus and from there into the uterine tubes. Fertilization usually takes place in the lateral part of the tube.

The main function of the uterine tubes is to assist in the transfer and transport of the ovum from the ovary, to the uterus. During ovulation, the fimbriae swell which aids the movement of the released oocyte from the ovary to the fallopian tubes.

Common functions of the uterine tubes (also called Fallopian tubes or oviducts):

  • transport the ovum from the ovary to the site of fertilization
  • help transport spermatozoa, the haploid male gametes, from the site of deposition to the site of fertilization
  • provide an appropriate environment for fertilization
  • transport the fertilized ovum (embryo) to the uterine horns where implantation and further development may occur.

Clinical significance

The uterine tubes are the site of tubal ectopic pregnancies. They can also be the site of bacterial infection which can lead to Pelvic Inflammatory Disease, a major cause of infertility in women.

  • Salpingitis: Inflammation of the tube (salpingitis) may occur.
  • Permanent sterility can be dale by tribal ligation.
  • Tubal pregnancy: Ectopic pregnancy can occur in the uterine tube.

The inflammation of the uterine tube (or salpinx) is referred to as salpingitis. It’s the commonest cause of tubal block resulting in secondary sterility in the female. Tubal infection typically happens because of upward spread of infection from vagina and uterus.