Tubal Patency Tests (HSG, SSG)
Tubal Patency Tests at Birla Fertility & IVF
To get pregnant, the fallopian tubes must be open and healthy. Tubal patency tests are fertility investigations to detect blockages and adhesions in the fallopian tubes. Tubal defects are estimated to be the cause of infertility in almost 15%-20% of all patients. At Birla Fertility & IVF, we recommend tubal assessment as a first line of fertility investigations.
Why Undergo Tubal Patency Tests?
Tubal patency tests are recommended for couples who are unable to conceive after one year of regular unprotected sexual intercourse in spite of no obvious cause of infertility as well as for couples with a history of failed IUI treatments.
Women with a history of pelvic infections, endometriosis and surgery are also advised to undergo tubal patency tests as they are at a higher risk of having obstructions in their fallopian tubes.
Types of Tubal Patency Tests
The fallopian tubes are evaluated using any one or combination of HSG, HyCoSy, and SSG. If required, a laparoscopy is done for a more detailed investigation.
Each of these procedures vary slightly in duration and complexity, however they all involve injecting a dye into the female reproductive system to study its movement. If the flow of the dye is interrupted at any point, it may be indicative of a blockage. These investigations are minimally invasive and require no hospitalisation.
Hysterosalpingogram or HSG is a type of x-ray that involves fluoroscopy and a contrast dye. In this procedure, a contrast dye is injected into the uterus using a thin catheter. The movement of the dye through the reproductive system is studied through the fluoroscopic x-ray.
Hysterosalpingocontrast sonography (HyCoSy) is an advanced imaging procedure that does not require x-rays. Unlike HSG, SSG and laparoscopic investigations, in a HyCoSy an ultrasound contrast medium is injected into the uterus and its movement is studied by ultrasound. 3D ultrasound technology has allowed for better accuracy and precision in this procedure.
Sonohysterography or SSG involves three main steps: performing a transvaginal ultrasound, injecting a sterile fluid into the uterus, and repeating the ultrasound scan to monitor the flow of the fluid through the reproductive system.
Frequently Asked Questions
In many cases, patients with obstructions in their fallopian tubes may experience no symptoms or may confuse their symptoms for something else. Regular gynaecological check-ups can help with early detection and timely intervention which can mitigate the long-term impact of tubal problems on fertility.
Fallopian tube blockage is often the result of inflammation of the fallopian tubes. This can be caused by sexually transmitted infections, endometriosis and surgery in the pelvic region among other conditions.
While there is no way to eliminate the risk of blockages in the fallopian tube, its impact can be minimised if it is detected early and treated accordingly.
Pregnancy with blocked fallopian tubes depends on the severity of the blockage. In some cases, surgical intervention can help correct these issues. ART procedures like IVF have helped women with tubal infertility conceive successfully.
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