A blocked or damaged fallopian tube is one of the most common indications of infertility in women. A blocked or damaged tube prevents the sperms from fusing with the eggs thereby preventing fertilization. HSG (hysterosalpingogram) is an X-ray test which allows the doctors to assess the uterus and fallopian tubes for signs of blockage.
There are many factors responsible for blockage of fallopian tubes. Some of them include scarring of uterus due to endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory diseases resulting from STD infections like gonorrhea and Chlamydia, abdominal surgery, uterine polyp and fibroids.
Besides detecting blockage, an HSG procedure may also reveal problems inside the uterus that could be preventing successful implantation of the embryo.
As a result, the test is often done for women who have difficulties getting pregnant naturally or with IUI. If you have been advised IVF due to other factors, you do not need to do HSG as the treatment of IVF bypasses the use of tubes and IVF is successful even with blocked tubes. So it is best to discuss the treatment plan with your clinician and then proceed accordingly.
HSG is usually done using a fluoroscopic image system (x-ray), an oil-based contrast dye and a small catheter.
During the procedure, the catheter is placed through the cervix of the vagina inside the uterus. Then the contrast dye is passed into the uterus (usually a clear liquid). X-ray images of the fluid are taken as it passes through the tubes and uterus.
Occasionally, the fluid will push through and spill out of the tubes, if they are open. Sometimes, it will open a Partially blocked tube and spill out. n
However, there are certain cases where the fluid won’t come through at all. In this case, the tubes are blocked. The results are reviewed by the physicians to determine the next step.
If the tubes are blocked, the doctor may recommend laparoscopy to view the tubes but the fastest an and most effective treatment after bloacked tubes is underoing IVF, since as discussed earlier the process of IVF bypasses the tubes.
The entire procedure usually takes around 10-30 minutes and most often anesthesia is not required. The test is recommended to be performed between 8-11 day of menstrual cycle.
HSG can help you in defining your treatment plan, a couple can save precious time by doing HSG and moving on to the next step, if required.
It is interesting to note that some women may end up conceiving naturally after undergoing HSG. One explanation for this is the flushing of tubes or enhancement of the uterine lining by the contrast dye.
To sum it up, we could say that undergoing HSG can increase your chances of getting pregnant naturally. That said, it’s worth noting that HSG is mainly done for the purpose of diagnosis.
At Archish IVF clinic, we place very high value in the safety and comfort of our patients. Our team consists of veteran clinicians and fertility experts who are compassionate and perform HSGs with minimal discomfort to patients. We want to do everything possible to help you realize your dream of having a child.