The fallopian tubes (uterine tubes or oviducts) are two symmetrical ducts that connect each of the two ovaries (organs predisposed to produce eggs to be fertilized) with the uterus (organ prepared for the possible implant and maturation of the fertilized ovum). The fallopian tubes represent the normal place of fertilization, or the place where the encounter between the ovule (female gamete) and sperm (male gamete) occurs.

The fallopian tubes exit the uterus through an area called the cornua, connecting the endometrial and peritoneal cavities.

What are fallopian tubes?

The fallopian tubes are two symmetrical ducts that connect each of the two ovaries with uterus. A fallopian tube is a term that derives from the Greek word that means "trumpet, or “tuba". The name "Fallopian tubes" dates back to the sixteenth century and its name is closely related to Gabriele tubes, an Italian anatomist who first described the process.

The fallopian tubes are 12 to 18 cm long, and they have a thickness of up to 3 mm. Along with the ovaries they comprise the group of the so-called uterine annexes

The fallopian tubes are anatomically formed in the following way:


  • The infundibulum: the first portion has a funnel shape and is the section closest to the ovaries: it ends with a pavilion rimmed fringes (scientifically called fimbriae) that at the time of the release of the egg from the ovarian follicle will promote its passage towards the inside of the tube itself.
  • The ampulla: about 7-8 centimetres long, the ampoule is the longest part of the fallopian tubes and it has the task of regulating, through contractions, the passage of eggs and sperm and, in the case of fertilization, it controls the embryonic transit.
  • The isthmus: which is subtler and on it extends in a straight direction with a length of about 3-4 centimetres.
  • The final part of the uterine fallopian tubes (or interstitial or intramural) is represented by the portion where the tubes are introduced into the uterine cavity.


The main blood supply of the fallopian tubes comes from the upper portion of the uterine artery, which branches out below the tubes to connect with the ovarian artery through anastomosis. The central two-thirds of the fallopian tubes have a blood supply that is provided mainly from the uterine artery. However, the arterial supply may vary from person to person and it is usually accompanied by anastomoses between uterine and ovarian arteries. On the other hand, the nerve supply to the fallopian tubes is provided through both sympathetic and parasympathetic fibres. The sensory fibres extend from thoracic segments 11-12 and lumbar segment 1.

What function do the fallopian tubes serve?

The function of the fallopian tubes is two fold: to allow migration of a mature ovum ready for fertilization from the ovaries to the uterus; pick up the egg (female gamete) and sperm (male gamete) and act as a meeting location of the male and female gametes, facilitating fertilization.