Like tubal patency, the tubal function is also important to achieve a successful pregnancy. Optimal tubal functions like adequate ciliary motion and muscular activity are required for sperm-egg interaction and transport of the embryo to the uterine cavity for implantation.
Apart from being a mere passage for sperm and egg to meet, it has lots of other functions, which are vital to get pregnant. It would be difficult to conceive with tubes that are open but not doing its function properly.
Subtle infections like mild chlamydia, gonorrhoea infections, smoking, endometriosis can cause tubal function defect and lead to difficulty in getting pregnant.
It is difficult to assess tubal function and hence a detailed history taking is important to identify women who are at risk of tubal damage. Those with significant risk factors like, previous sexually transmitted infections, previous ectopic pregnancy, abdominal surgery should be advised to have IVF if not pregnant within 1-2 years of trying naturally, even if their tubes are patent.