Fallopian Tubes Testing

How to check fallopian tubes?

Fallopian tube blockage is a common cause of infertility. The egg cannot meet sperm if your fallopian tube is blocked. If you are trying to get pregnant, it is always recommended to test your fallopian tubes and make sure your tube is healthy.

 

We can check your fallopian tube and uterine cavity by using:
Saline infusion salpingogram (SIS) under ultrasound or Hysterosalpinogram (HSG) under X-ray

How is a SIS or HSG done?

 

Both SIS and HSG are straightforward procedures lasting about 5-10 minutes.

 

During SIS, we place a speculum in your vagina, clean your cervix and place a very thin cannula into the opening of the cervix. Through the cannula, we gently fill the uterus with a small amount of normal saline and tiny air bubbles. As the normal saline travels through the cervix into the uterus and the fallopian tubes, it outlines the uterine cavity and the fallopian tubes. If a woman has open fallopian tubes, normal saline can spill out the ends of fallopian tubes and can be noted under the ultrasound. You will have the SIS results right away after the procedure.

 

Similar to SIS, the HSG procedure injects a dye contrast instead of normal saline into your uterine cavity through the thin cannula. The dye contrast can be seen by X-ray during HSG procedure.

Depending on the uterine position, some women might need HSG to assess their fallopian tubes.

Can SIS or HSG assess my uterine cavity?

Yes. Both SIS and HSG can assess uterine cavity abnormalities such as endometrial polyp, fibroid, or adhesions. These abnormalities can distort the uterine cavity, making it difficult for the embryo to implant. If you had D&C, previous uterine surgery, or cesarean section, scars or adhesions can form in the uterine cavity and cause infertility. Uterine evaluation is one of the key assessments if you are trying to conceive. If uterine abnormalities are identified, hysteroscopy can be used to treat those abnormalities.

Is SIS or HSG uncomfortable?

There might be mild uterine cramping during SIS or HSG procedure. These discomforts typically last 5-10 minutes and can be greatly reduced by taking Ibuprofen before the procedure. We will prepare you with pain medication before the procedure, if you would like. You may have spotting for 1-2 days after the procedure.

Can I try to get pregnant in the same cycle after a SIS or HSG?

Yes. While there is no solid data, some studies suggest a slight increase in fertility after a normal SIS or HSG. Some women are concerned about radiation exposure of HSG, but the radiation from an HSG is very low. This exposure has not been shown to result in reducing the egg quality or causing fetal anomalies if the woman gets pregnant later in the same or subsequent cycles.

What is the next step if my tubes are blocked?

IVF can bypass the fallopian tubes and create embryos by combining the egg and sperm in-vitro. If your fallopian tubes are blocked, IVF will be the treatment to get you pregnant.