Is Something Blocking Your Pregnancy Progress?
A lot of factors come into play for women trying to get pregnant. A healthy, functioning reproductive system, for instance, is the bare minimum. For a successful pregnancy, a fertilized egg must travel down the fallopian tubes, then attach to the uterus. If the fallopian tubes or uterus are obstructed in any way, a woman will have difficulty getting pregnant. More than 10% of American women struggle with infertility. Of that figure, about 29% may have blocked fallopian tubes. Using an HSG, or hysterosalpingogram, a doctor can tell if this is the reason behind infertility.
What causes blocks in the first place?
The fallopian tubes are a pair of muscular tubes responsible for transporting the egg to the uterus. This is also where fertilization takes place. If there is a block, the woman will be unable to get pregnant. Blocks also carry a risk of an ectopic pregnancy, where the embryo develops outside the uterus. Fallopian tubes become blocked from conditions like fibroids, endometriosis, surgical scars, or pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).
Looking for bumps in the road
An HSG is an exam that combines an x-ray and a special dye to find blockages in the fallopian tubes. The test can also uncover if the uterus is damaged or has an abnormal shape. Women suffering multiple miscarriages or trouble getting pregnant are the best candidates for HSG. The exam is one of the most effective ways to tell if there is an issue with the reproductive organs. HSG is a simple, relatively painless procedure. The exam lasts about 60 minutes and usually happens a few days after the last menstrual cycle.
Understanding the HSG process
The radiologist will have the patient lay down to take an x-ray of the reproductive organs. The doctor uses a special x-ray called fluoroscopy. Unlike a conventional exam, fluoroscopy gives a real-time video image. Then the doctor pumps the dye into the uterus through the vagina. The dye fills the uterus then moves into the fallopian tubes. The radiologist will receive images showing the dye in the uterus and fallopian tubes in contrast to the organs.
These are the HSG results
If there is no blockage, the dye will spill out of the fallopian tubes. The body then absorbs the dye. The shape of the tubes and the uterus should look normal. If there is an obstruction of some sort, the dye will stop or take on an abnormal shape. The abnormal shape helps the doctor determine an underlying condition or confirms the reasons for infertility. As a side effect, an HSG could remove a block in the fallopian tube. This is called tubal cannulation and has been known to increase the success rate of pregnancy.
Experience the benefits of an HSG
An HSG is an effective way of finding the possible cause of infertility. Doctors will be able to move forward with the necessary treatment to improve pregnancy chances. At the same time, a positive HSG test does not rule out infertility. HSG cannot tell if there is a hormonal issue, for example. Women struggling to get pregnant should see a specialist. The doctor may recommend an HSG as part of the testing process. Rest assured, the test puts hopeful parents on the right track to fertility.