Skip to main content

Tubal problems

The fallopian tubes pick up the egg from the ovary after ovulation and the sperm travel to meet the egg and fertilise it in the tube. The fertilised egg (embryo) then travels through the tube to the womb where it should implant and grow into a pregnancy.

If tubes are scarred or blocked, this affects your fertility and can also increase the risk of ectopic pregnancy (when the pregnancy gets stuck in the tube rather than making it to the womb).

Tubal damage is often caused by an infection called pelvic inflammatory disease. It doesn’t always have any symptoms and it can be caused by bacteria, and is a common complication of sexually transmitted infections such as chlamydia.








Please give us your feedback

Please complete our short survey to give us your feedback on these pages.

This will help us understand how people are using this resource, to ensure it is relevant and useful.

If you have any questions, please email



Elsewhere on the site

Medical terms explained
A–Z of common medical words in women’s health
About the RCOG
Find out about our work to improve women’s health worldwide