What is the Function and Structure of Fallopian Tubes?

The fallopian tube is a part of the female reproductive system in mammals. It is the female accessory duct and is also known as oviduct. A pair of fallopian tubes connect the ovaries to the uterus. The main function of the fallopian tube is to collect the mature ovum from ovaries and provide passage to the fertilized ovum to reach the uterus for implantation. The fertilisation of the ovum with sperm takes place in the ampulla region of the fallopian tube.

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Fallopian Tubes Structure and Function

A pair of fallopian tubes or oviducts are part of the mammalian female reproductive system. The main characteristics of fallopian tubes are:

  • It is ~ 10 to 12 cm long.
  • Fallopian tubes connect both the ovaries to the uterus.
  • The fallopian tube is composed of three parts, infundibulum, ampulla and isthmus.
  • Oviduct is lined by ciliated epithelium, which helps in the movement of secondary oocytes towards the uterus.
  • Infundibulum – It is a funnel-shaped structure present close to the ovaries. This part collects the ovum after ovulation. The finger-like projections called fimbriae at the edges near the ovaries help in ovum collection.
  • Ampulla – Infundibulum leads into a wider ampullary region. Here fertilisation takes place.
  • Isthmus – It is the last part of the fallopian tubes. It has a narrow lumen and connects to the uterus.
  • The main function of fallopian tubes is to transport secondary oocytes after ovulation. Fertilisation takes place in the fallopian tubes. If the ovum is not fertilised then it gets degenerated here. After fertilisation, the zygote moves towards the uterus with the help of ciliated epithelium and muscle movement of the fallopian tube.
  • Initial embryo development occurs in the fallopian tube. The embryo enters the uterine cavity on the fifth day and gets implanted on the sixth day after fertilisation.
  • Ectopic pregnancy – It is the condition when the embryo gets implanted in the fallopian tube itself instead of the uterus. It is also known as tubal pregnancy. Any damage in the fallopian tube lining may hinder the further movement of fertilised egg and it gets lodged there. It can lead to internal bleeding and rupture.
  • Tubectomy – It is a method of sterilisation in females where fallopian tubes are blocked to prevent the transport of ovum to the uterus.
  • In IVF techniques like ZIFT (Zygote intrafallopian transfer) and GIFT (gamete intrafallopian transfer), zygote and gametes are transferred to the fallopian tube, respectively.

This was in brief about Fallopian Tubes. Test your understanding with MCQs on Female Reproductive System, only at BYJU’S.

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