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A Look At Hysterosalpingogram Fertility Testing

Hysterosalpingogram TestDoctors usually run several diagnostic tests when a couple comes in to find out about what is causing their fertility problems. These are often the doctor’s best tools in discovering the explanation for the couple’s infertility.

One test that many doctors decide to run in some cases is called a hysterosalpingogram. This procedure is basically an x-ray of the uterus and the fallopian tubes.

A hysterosalpingogram can reveal several potential problems that could be causing a woman’s infertility. If she has fallopian tubes blocked by scar tissue or adhesions, this procedure will reveal that. This test can also show uterine cavity abnormalities, intrauterine adhesions, and uterine and vaginal septa. Any of these issues can cause a woman to have fertility problems.

This test may or may not be able to show more detailed problems in the pelvic area, such as endometriosis, small polyps, or pelvic adhesions. These types of issues can cause fertility problems as well, so if they are suspected but not seen, other tests such as a laparoscopy may need to be done.

The hysterosalpingogram procedure is rather simple, but it does involve a few steps. First of all, the woman is usually scheduled to have the test done during day 7 and day 10 of her cycle to ensure against possible pregnancy (even if that isn’t at all likely). The woman may also be told to take an anti-inflammatory medication before the procedure to help with pain relief afterwards.

Once the woman arrives for her appointment at the radiology department at the hospital (where most hysterosalpingogram procedures are done), she assumes the position of a pap smear. The doctor inserts a speculum into the vagina. Then he inserts a soft thin catheter into the speculum, passing it through the cervix. A contrasting dye is injected into the uterus via the catheter, and an x-ray image is taken as the uterus is filling up. More dye is injected so that the fallopian tubes begin to fill and the dye begins to spill into the abdominal cavity. More x-rays are taken while this filling and overflow of the dye occurs.

When both tubes are shown to be blocked (or not), the woman is usually asked to roll to one side for another x-ray view of her pelvic area. That is the last step of the procedure, other than recovery time. The woman may experience cramping from the dye being injected, so she may need to lie on the exam table for awhile to recover.

Resulting x-rays can be viewed by the doctor (and the woman) right away.

One unusual result from having a hysterosalpingogram is that it can increase a woman’s likelihood of pregnancy. Though this procedure isn’t done for that purpose, the flushing of the dye through the tubes can act to clean the tubes of debris that could be causing conception difficulties.

If that doesn’t occur, a hysterosalpingogram is still a good diagnostic tool because it can reveal a lot of possible problems. And, with no common serious side effects, it is a good test to take.

 
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