The Full Wiki

Fallopian tube: Wikis


Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Fallopian tube
Scheme female reproductive system-en.svg
Schematic frontal view of female anatomy
Vessels of the uterus and its appendages, rear view. (Fallopian tubes visible at top right and top left.)
Latin tuba uterina
Gray's subject #267 1257
Artery tubal branches of ovarian artery, tubal branch of uterine artery
Lymph lumbar lymph nodes
Precursor Müllerian duct
MeSH Fallopian+Tubes

The Fallopian tubes, named after Gabriel Fallopius (Gabriele Fallopio), also known as oviducts, uterine tubes, and salpinges (singular salpinx) are two very fine tubes lined with ciliated epithelia, leading from the ovaries of female mammals into the uterus, via the utero-tubal junction. In non-mammalian vertebrates, the equivalent structures are the oviducts.


Anatomy and histology

The tube connects the ovary to the uterus as the egg passes through it in a woman's body. Its different segments are (lateral to medial): the infundibulum with its associated fimbriae near the ovary, the ampullary region that represents the major portion of the lateral tube, the isthmus which is the narrower part of the tube that links to the uterus, and the interstitial part that transverses the uterine musculature. The tubal ostium is the point where the tubal canal meets the peritoneal cavity, while the uterine opening of the Fallopian tube is the entrance into the uterine cavity.

There are two types of cells within the simple columnar epithelium of the Fallopian tube. Ciliated cells predominate throughout the tube, but are most numerous in the infundibulum and ampulla. Estrogen increases the production of cilia on these cells. Interspersed between the ciliated cells are peg cells, which contain apical granules and produce the tubular fluid. This fluid contains nutrients for spermatzoa, oocytes, and zygotes. The secretions also promote capacitation of the sperm by removing glycoproteins and other molecules from the plasma membrane of the sperm. Progesterone increases the number of peg cells, while estrogen increases their height and secretory activity. Tubal fluid flows against the action of the ciliae, that is toward the fimbrated end.

Function in fertilization

When an ovum is developing in an ovary, it is encapsulated in a sac known as an ovarian follicle. On maturity of the ovum, the follicle and the ovary's wall rupture, allowing the ovum to escape. The egg is caught by the fimbriated end and travels to the ampulla where typically the sperm are met and fertilization occurs; the fertilized ovum, now a zygote, travels towards the uterus aided by activity of tubal cilia and activity of the tubal muscle. After about five days the now embryo enters the uterine cavity and implants about a day later.

Occasionally the embryo implants into the Fallopian tube instead of the uterus, creating an ectopic pregnancy, commonly known as a "tubal pregnancy".

Patency testing

While a full testing of tubal functions in patients with infertility is not possible, tesing of tubal patency is important as tubal obstruction is a major cause of childlessness. A hysterosalpingogram will demonstrate that tubes are open when the radioopaque dye spills into the uterine cavity. Tubal insufflation is a office method to indicate patency. during surgery the status of the tubes can be inspected and a dye such as methylene blue can be injected into the uterus and shown to pass through the tubes when the cervix is occluded.

Embryology and homology

The Fallopian tubes are not homologous to the vas deferens or any other structure in males.

Embryos have two pairs of ducts to let gametes out of the body; one pair (the Müllerian ducts) develops in females into the Fallopian tubes, uterus and vagina, while the other pair (the Wolffian ducts) develops in males into the epididymis and vas deferens.

Normally, only one of the pairs of tubes will develop while the other regresses and disappears in utero.


Pelvic inflammatory disease can strike the fallopian tubes. This might cause a Fallopian tube obstruction. Fallopian tube cancer is a rare neoplasm that can arise from the epithelial lining of the Fallopian tube. This cancer is sometimes misdiagnosed as ovarian cancer [1]. However, treatment of both ovarian and Fallopian tube cancer is similar.


The surgical removal of a Fallopian tube is called a salpingectomy. To remove both sides is a bilateral salpingectomy. An operation that combines the removal of a Fallopian tube with removal of at least one ovary is a salpingo-oophorectomy. An operation to restore a fallopian tube obstruction is called a tuboplasty.

Etymology and nomenclature

They are named after their discoverer, the 16th century Italian anatomist, Gabriele Falloppio.

Though the name 'Fallopian tube' is eponymous, some texts spell it with a lower case 'f' from the assumption that the adjective 'fallopian' has been absorbed into modern English as the de facto name for the structure.

The Greek word salpinx (σαλπιγξ) means "trumpet".

Additional images

See also


External links


Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

Wikipedia has an article on:




Alternative forms


Fallopian tube

Fallopian tubes

Fallopian tube (plural Fallopian tubes)

  1. (anatomy) Either of the two ducts in female mammals through which ova pass from the ovaries to the uterus.



Simple English

Fallopian tube
Latin tuba uterina
Gray's subject #267 1257
Artery tubal branches of ovarian artery, tubal branch of uterine artery
Lymph lumbar lymph nodes
Precursor Müllerian duct
MeSH Fallopian+Tubes
Dorlands/Elsevier t_21/12827008

The fallopian tubes (also known as oviducts and uterine tubes) connect the ovaries to the uterus, and let the ovum pass into the uterus where they are able to be fertilized by sperm during sexual intercourse or other ways, such as artificial insemination. There are two Fallopian tubes attached to either side of the uterus.



They are named after the 16th century Italian anatomist, Gabriele Falloppio. The Greek word salpinx (σαλπιγξ) means "trumpet".


There are two Fallopian tubes attached to either side of the end of the uterus. Each tube will end near one ovary. This place is called the fimbria. The Fallopian tubes are not attached to the ovaries, but open into the peritoneal cavity.

In humans, the Fallopian tubes are about 7 - 14 cm long.


There are four parts of the fallopian tube from the ovary to the uterus:[1]

  • The fimbria
  • Infundibular
  • Ampulla - where the ovum is fertilized
  • Isthmus


The fallopian tube is made of three layers:[2]

  • Mucosa - these are folded walls with ciliated cells along them.[3]
  • Muscularis externa
  • Serosa


The Fallopian tubes can move around the pelvis.


When an ovum is ready to be released from the ovary, the ovary wall breaks open and the ovum goes into the fallopian tube. There, it starts moving towards to uterus with the help of liquids and cilia on the inside walls. This can take hours or days.

If the ovum is fertilized while in the fallopian tube, then it sticks to the endometrium, which is the beginning of pregnancy.


  1. SUNY Labs 43:04-0101 - "The Female Pelvis: The Oviduct"
  2. Fallopian tube
  3. Oviduct

Other pages

Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address