Written by: Dr. Amy Beckley, PhD, Founder and Inventor of the Proov test — the first and only FDA-cleared test to check for successful ovulation at home.
Written on 7/6/22
Having open fallopian tubes supports your chances of getting pregnant. But does a positive ovulation test mean your fallopian tubes are open?
A positive ovulation test shows a rise in luteinizing hormone — the hormone that triggers the release of an egg from the ovaries (ovulation) — which means that ovulation might occur in 12 to 36 hours.
Let’s find out if a positive ovulation test means your fallopian tubes are open.
Does a positive ovulation test mean fallopian tubes are open?
The short answer is no. A positive ovulation test doesn’t mean your fallopian tubes are open or closed. It only tells you that ovulation is starting soon.
The good news? Having sex once you get a positive ovulation test increases your chances of becoming pregnant.
But how do the fallopian tubes fit in your pregnancy chances? Let’s take a quick look.
When the ovaries release an egg, it goes into the fallopian tube. The sperm meets the egg in the fallopian tubes, fertilizes it, and the fertilized egg travels back to the uterus and implants. This is when pregnancy starts.
If the fallopian tubes are blocked, the sperm cannot get to the egg to fertilize, nor can a fertilized egg travel to the uterus.
If you take an ovulation test and it shows positive, it means there’s a rise luteinizing hormone (LH) which signals the ovary is ready to release an egg. Sex had during this time is more likely to result in pregnancy.
Although a positive ovulation test doesn’t say whether your fallopian tubes are open, there are other ways to find out. But if your fallopian tubes are blocked, you may show no symptoms at all.
If you’re concerned that your fallopian tubes might not be open, or you’ve been trying for a baby for a year or six months if you’re 35 or older and have had no success, we recommend consulting your doctor.
If you're concerned your fallopian tubes may not be open, we recommend consulting your doctor.
How can I tell if my fallopian tubes are open?
The fallopian tube is a J-shaped organ that plays a vital role in getting a fertilized egg from the ovary to the uterus.
If you have fallopian tube problems or if they’re blocked, the fertilized egg may never reach the uterus and pregnancy may not occur. In fact, fallopian tube problems contribute to 25 to 35% of infertility cases.
But how do you know if your fallopian tubes are open?
You can know if your fallopian tubes are open or blocked by seeing a doctor. They’ll do testing on your fertility status and confirm if your fallopian tubes are blocked or not.
Although you might not also show any symptoms if they’re blocked, if the fallopian tubes are damaged or blocked, they can become filled with fluid. This fluid-filled fallopian tube is called a hydrosalpinx.
If you have a hydrosalpinx, you might experience pain in your belly or pelvic area. You might feel this pain more intensely during your period.
Unfortunately, a blocked fallopian tube may also lead to an ectopic pregnancy — a pregnancy where the fertilized egg implants outside the uterus.
More than 90% of the time, in an ectopic pregnancy, the fertilized egg attaches and grows in the fallopian tubes because it can’t travel to the uterus.
If you have an ectopic pregnancy, your symptoms might be the same as a healthy pregnancy in the early stages. But you might have other symptoms like:
- Abdominal pain or discomfort
- Pelvic pain or discomfort
- Abnormal vaginal bleeding
If you have any of the above symptoms and you are pregnant, we recommend seeking medical attention as soon as possible. Your doctor can confirm if the ectopic pregnancy resulted from blocked fallopian tubes.
Otherwise, if you seem to be having trouble conceiving, speak with a doctor or a fertility specialist. They will run fertility tests that might involve checking if your fallopian tubes are open.
Fertility tests that check the status of your fallopian tubes include:
- Hysterosalpingography: This is an X-ray test that a doctor uses to look at the fallopian tubes for any blockages.
- Sonohysterography: This is another ultrasound exam that a doctor might use to get a view of the fallopian tubes.
- Laparoscopy or keyhole surgery: This is a minor surgery that involves making a small cut on your belly and inserting a tiny camera called a laparoscope to check your fallopian tubes. This procedure can remove blockages in the fallopian tubes.
- Hysteroscopy: A doctor inserts a thin tube with a camera, called the hysteroscope, through the vagina to see the insides of your uterus. This procedure can also remove tissue blocking the fallopian tubes.
- Blood test: A doctor might conduct blood tests to check for infections causing fallopian tube problems.
There are several fertility tests that can check the status of your fallopian tubes.
What should I do if my fallopian tubes are closed?
If your doctor confirms that your fallopian tubes are closed, they might perform a laparoscopy or hysteroscopy to remove the blockages.
A doctor might recommend other surgeries to open the blocked tubes or create new openings. However, if your fallopian tubes are seriously damaged, your chances of pregnancy after surgery might still be slim. Your doctor might recommend in vitro fertilization (IVF), a procedure that involves inserting a fertilized egg straight into the uterus.
Conditions like pelvic inflammatory diseases, endometriosis, and sexually transmitted infections can block or damage the fallopian tubes. Your doctor might look into your health history for these conditions or perform tests to check for them and prescribe treatment accordingly.
A positive ovulation test only means ovulation will occur in a day or two. It can’t tell whether your fallopian tubes are open or closed. We recommend consulting your doctor if you’re curious about the health of your fallopian tubes or are having trouble getting pregnant.
Do I have to confirm that my tubes are open if I'm trying to conceive?
The short answer is no. If you’re trying for a baby, you don’t need to check whether your fallopian tubes are open.
There are simple, more convenient ways to be proactive about getting pregnant. One of them is taking at-home fertility tests that tell you when you’re most fertile — like an ovulation test — and if you’re actually ovulating, such as a PdG test.
Proov Predict & Confirm does just that! Not only will you be able to identify your LH surge to time intecourse around ovulation, but you can also confirm ovulation and understand if your body is ready for conception.
Although blocked fallopian tubes can limit a person’s chances of getting pregnant, the more info you have now, the better chances you have at getting pregnant!