fallopian tube(redirected from Fallopian tubes)
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fallopian tube(fəlō`pēən), either of a pair of tubes extending from the uterus to the paired ovaries in the human female, also called oviducts, technically known as the uterine tube. At one end the long, slender fallopian tube opens into the uterus; the other end expands into a funnel shape near the ovary. The epithelium that lines the tube is covered with cilia that beat continuously toward the uterus. When an ovum is expelled into the peritoneal cavity from the ovary during ovulation, it is propelled into the wide-mouthed opening of the fallopian tube, through the tube, and into the uterus by the wavelike motion of the cilia. If the ovum is fertilized, an event that normally takes place in the fallopian tube, and the embryo (fertilized ovum) implants in the tube, or another area outside the uterus, an ectopic pregnancy occurs. About 98% of ectopic implantations occur in the tubes, but other sites include the abdomen, ovary, and cervix. Immediate surgical removal of the products of conception is necessary to prevent hemorrhage and other complications resulting from ectopic pregnancy. The fallopian tubes are also the site of the most common surgical procedures used to prevent conception or cause infertility in women. Usually the tubes are tied off in a procedure known as tubal ligation, although they are also sometimes excised or occluded by other methods. See reproductive systemreproductive system,
in animals, the anatomical organs concerned with production of offspring. In humans and other mammals the female reproductive system produces the female reproductive cells (the eggs, or ova) and contains an organ in which development of the fetus takes
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in most female mammals, hollow muscular organ in which the fetus develops and from which it is delivered at the end of pregnancy. The human uterus is pear-shaped and about 3 in. (7.
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The upper part of the female oviduct present in humans and other higher vertebrates. The Fallopian tube extends from the ovary to the uterus and transports ova from the ovary to the cavity of the uterus. Each tube is about 5 in. (12.5 cm) long; one lies on either side of the uterus and is attached at the upper portion. Each curves outward to end in a hoodlike opening, the infundibulum, with many fingerlike projections; the cavity of the Fallopian tube is continuous with the cavity of the coelom. The ovaries lie below and inside the tubal curve.
The ovum remains viable in the oviduct for about 1–3 days only. If fertilization occurs, the ovum moves into the cavity of the uterus and then implants on its wall. If fertilization fails to occur, the ovum degenerates in the uterus. Occasionally, a fertilized ovum fails to enter the uterus, or may be freed into the abdominal cavity, so that an ectopic pregnancy results if the ovum finds a site for implantation. See Reproductive system