IVF babble is all about informing our readers and followers about different techniques that are used to diagnose infertility.
So we asked the brilliant team at Embryolab, in Greece, to explain one of the procedures they use to test whether a patient has blocked fallopian tubes, called ultrasonographic hysterosalpingography (HYFOSY or foamed salpingography)
What is it?
The ultrasonographic hysterosalpingography is a modern ultrasound scan, used to test the uterus and fallopian tubes when investigating infertility.
How is it done?
Examination is done by injecting a foamy contrast agent with hypoallergenic action into the uterine cavity and by performing ultrasound monitoring in real-time of the flow of the contrast through the fallopian tubes.
What information does it give us?
The ultrasonographic hysterosalpingography examines the uterine cavity in regards to its form, and the permeability of the fallopian tubes so that fertilisation can be successfully achieved.
What other terms are used for the same test?
There are various terms commonly used to describe the ultrasonographic salpingography examination, such as HyCoSy (from Hystero-Contrast-Salpinography), HyFoSy (from Hystero-Foam-Salpingography, using foam as a contrast medium), painless salpingography, salpingography.
The advantages of ultrasonographic hysterosalpingography with regards to the conventional (radiological) hysterosalpingography are:
- zero radiation
- minimal to zero nuisance during examination
- short duration
- is combined with vaginal ultrasound of the uterus and ovaries, to obtain at the same time (as a salpingography) information on the condition of the above organs.
- is an examination realized at a gynecological office with specialized staff.
How long does it last?
The average duration of ultrasonographic hysterosalpingography is about ten minutes.
What preparation does the exam require?
To do this, you do not have to schedule it on a specific day of your cycle, however, it is recommended to be done before ovulation to rule out the possibility of an early pregnancy. Your doctor will have previously completed the necessary microbiological testing for chlamydia and other micro-organisms or, alternatively, you will be given an antibiotic treatment due to the injection of the contrast medium.
What are the possible side effects?
Ultrasonographic Hysterosalpingography is a test well tolerated by all women, as there are no reported side effects or allergic reactions in more than 60,000 recorded cases, except in rare occasions where minor complaints have been reported during the test.
What is the international experience?
Ultrasonographic hysterosalpingography is a test done since the 1990s throughout the world. The research data we have collected to date, show similar efficacy compared to a classical salpingography with regard to tubal checking with very rare side effects.
Does it have other benefits?
It has been observed that in the first few months after examining with an ultrasonographic salpingography, the possibility of natural conception increases for the couple that is trying for a pregnancy due to the better functioning of the fallopian tubes following the infusion of the contrast medium.
Are there any restrictions?
Ultrasonographic hysterosalpingography cannot provide information about the operation of the fallopian tubes in cases where although the tubes are open, they do not work properly. Additionally, the fallopian tubes could, rarely, be undetected during the examination, although they may be actually open and normal. This usually occurs when tubal spasms are caused from the entry of the contrast medium.
At Embryolab, doctors with a high specialization level in Gynaecology and Assisted Reproduction have applied Ultrasound Surgery, having been trained and accredited by reference centers in the United Kingdom. They have many years of experience in the field of ultrasound salpingography.
Embryolab doctors have extensive experience in conducting the examination and interpreting the results based on their experience in infertility, in assisted reproduction and in fallopian tube surgical procedures.
Embryolab’s well-equipped rooms and modern clinics are equipped with 3D and 4D ultrasound machines, which contribute to an even more reliable evaluation of the results according to the exact details of women’s gynaecological history.
To find out more about Embryolab, click here