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There are two Fallopian tubes, attached to either side of the cornual end of the uterus, and each terminating at or near one ovary forming a structure called the fimbria.
The Fallopian tubes are not directly attached to the ovaries, but open into the peritoneal cavity (essentially the inside of the abdomen); they thus form a direct communication between the peritoneal cavity and the outside via the vagina.
In humans, the Fallopian tubes are about 7–14 cm long.
There are four regions of the fallopian tube from the ovary to the uterus:
There are three layers of the fallopian tube:
The Fallopian tubes are mobile, and have been observed on time-lapse videography moving about the pelvis.
Although anatomical illustrations have them proceeding from the uterine horns to the ovary, this is not the case for most of the menstrual cycle, and a tube may cross to the other side or lie on top of the uterus.
Function in fertilization
On maturity of the ovum, the follicle and the ovary's wall rupture, allowing the ovum to escape and enter the Fallopian tube. There it travels toward the uterus, pushed along by movements of cilia on the inner lining of the tubes. This trip takes hours or days. If the ovum is fertilized while in the Fallopian tube, then it normally implants in the endometrium when it reaches the uterus, which signals the beginning of pregnancy.
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 the utero.
Pelvic inflammatory disease can strike the fallopian tubes. This might cause a fallopian tube obstruction.
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' owing to the theory 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".
|This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Fallopian_tube". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.|