Physiology of fallopian tube


Earlier investigators were interested in the understanding of egg transport in order to develop models for use in biological contraception and contragestion. Thus several hormonal combination were tried out to cause tube locking and so trap the egg in the oviduct during egg transport or rapid transit so that the egg becomes lost in the uterine cavity before the mucosa is ready for implantation. Studies have also included the use of gonadotropins to stimulate egg transport, and also the use of α and β adrenoceptor agents to affect egg transport. Several investigators have also tried out prostaglandins, opioid peptides, posterior pituitary extracts (ADH and oxytocin). Biophysical models have been developed in the oviduct, which aid the understanding of egg transport. Recently it has been suggested that understanding of oviduct motility might aid the development of studies in electrical activities of the oviduct especially at various segments and zones so that a clinical diagnostic electrotubogram may be developed.  Muscular activity is aided by intrinsic myogenic contractility which is also aided by neurogenic factors.

Distal of the oviduct has cilia and this region contains the largest luminal size in rat  oviduct. The cilia is thought to maintain a chemical bond with the peripheral parts of the transported egg and the cumulus cells. Ciliary transport is very important before the egg reaches the ampullaryisthmic junction. It is probable that ciliary transport is aided by endocrine factors which may be produced locally and which may involve paracrine stimulation.

There is a combination of muscular/ciliary transportation. This may lead to change in position of the oviduct during transportation so that this change may aid ovum pick up and also transportation across the ampullaryisthmic junction, all assisted by ciliary activity. It has been shown that peristaltic waves increases in the rabbit as estrus is approached.

The luminal diameter of the human oviduct extends from 0.3 to 6mm with junctura having 0.3 to 0.4mm, ampulla 1.5 to 6mm, isthmus is 0.3-1mm.  Hence the junctura is actually the narrowest and not the isthmus in the human oviduct as previously believed, which differs from data from the rat where the isthmus is the narrowest. Also areas of small luminal size tend to coincide with increase of thick muscularis, suggesting an intimate need for intimate interaction between the epithelium, lumen and transported material during transport through contractile activity.

Fallopian tube as an endocrine gland

It appear most of the female reproductive tract function clearly as endocrine organs and oviduct is no exception. Evidence abounds that it produces peptides and steroids to aid its function of egg transport etc.

It is already well known that the main function of the oviduct is cellular (gametic and early embryonal) transport. Hence it is luminal size will shed light into the processes by which it provides transportation and not only that, the ability of the surgeon to provide reconstruction thereby being well informed about the data of normal lumen size.

Sperm transport

Egg transport

Female reproductive tract physiology: venoarterial passage and functional portal circulation in the female reproductive tract

Female reproductive cycle



Egg transport: Egg is released into the distal part of the tube and it initially journeys into the ampulla where fertilization takes place. The resulting embryo then journeys very slowly to reach the uterus for implantation.

Sperm transport: Oviduct is responsible for egg sperm and embryo transports. Its sperm transport has two phases. The fast and the slow one. The fast phase allows the sperm to reach the ampulla or even peritoneum in seconds. The second and slow phase takes several minutes.









Gross anatomy
Lymphatic drainage
Organ integration
Clinical anatomy




Chemical Pathology


Anatomical Pathology





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Creator: Oluwole Ogunranti