Having a Hysterosalpingogram - Do I have Tubal Blockage?

Published: 12th April 2010
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There are many reasons why a woman may not be able to conceive a child without a doctor's assistance. This could be due to a number of factors such as endometriosis, a partner with a low sperm count or even a condition called polycystic ovarian syndrome. One problem that can come up is tubal blockage. This is a condition where one or both of the fallopian tubes are blocked for some reason which keeps the sperm and egg from ever meeting.

When a woman has a tubal blockage, her physician may decide on several treatment options including in vitro fertilization and tubal surgery. However, before that can happen it needs to be determined whether or not the woman really has a tubal blockage. The best course of action to diagnose a tubal blockage is by having a procedure done called a hysterosalpingogram.

Hysterosalpingogram or An HSG as it is commonly called, is not necessarily the most pleasant medical procedure that a woman can have done. (Are any of them?) It's usually done in an outpatient center or in a hospital setting because it requires the expertise of a radiologist and a special dye. This special dye is radioactive and is inserted through the woman's cervix using special instruments and catheters.

By inserting this special kind of dye doctors are able to take an x-ray and see whether or not the dye spills, as they call it, over from the uterus into the ovaries. Sometimes a little rocking back and forth of your body during the hysterosalpingogram has helped the procedure along.

If it does not spill into the fallopian tubes, doctors are able to see where the blockage is happening. The blockage can be caused from a number of different obstacles including scarring from a previous surgery or ectopic pregnancy. In some rare cases the dye actually pushes its way through the blockage and opens the fallopian tubes back up. However, women should not count on this happening as it is a pretty rare occurrence. In some small number of cases it can even help cause a tubal blockage by the matter washed out of the uterus into the fallopian tubes.

Many women find that it's helpful to take ibuprofen before having the procedure as there can be considerable cramping that happens during and afterward. This is due to the dye being inserted into the uterus. Most women find that they are fine within a day or so. However, the dye will leak out of the uterus and she may experience some bleeding for a couple of days after the procedure.

What is important is that this hysterosalpingogram test can help to determine whether or not your infertility problems are caused by tubal blockage. You will want to consider and test for other possibilities as well dependent upon what your doctor and you together decide.

If a tubal blockage is found during your hysterosalpingogram (HSG) you may find that the best solution to end your infertility problem is tubal surgery. Contact the specialists at the Chapel Hill Tubal Reversal Center at http://www.tubal-reversal.net/ for more information.

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