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Examination of the fallopian tubes

The fallopian tubes play a vital role in the processes of conceiving and pregnancy. After ovulation, the oocyte (egg cell) is released into the fallopian tube. There, the oocyte should be able to encounter sperm cells. If the oocyte has been fertilized, it will be transported through the fallopian tube through the uterus. The patency of the fallopian tubes can be examined using a foam ultrasound, HSG (hysterosalpingography; a photograph of the uterus) or a laparoscopy (procedure allowing the physician to view the uterus).

Foam ultrasound

During a foam ultrasound, a speculum is inserted in the vagina. Through a thin catheter, a fluid with many bubbles will then be inserted in the uterus. The fluid will spread from the uterus to the fallopian tubes, and from those to the abdominal cavity. During the insertion of the fluid, an internal ultrasound will be used to determine the ways in which the fluid is spreading. This examination may cause you to feel as though you are menstruating. 

Hysterosalpingografie (HSG/uterine photograph)

During an HSG, a speculum will be inserted into the vagina. Through a thin catheter, a contrasting fluid will then be inserted in the uterus. The fluid will spread from the uterus to the fallopian tubes, and from those to the abdominal cavity. A HSG allows your treating nurse or physician to examine several things, such as the size and shape of the uterine cavity, a blockage of the fallopian tubes if such a blockage is present and sometimes lesions surrounding the fallopian tubes. It is an outpatient examination which takes place in the radiology department, since the spread of the fluid is monitored using x-ray photographs. A HSG may be painful and will take roughly fifteen minutes. Sometimes another x-ray photograph will be taken after you have dressed, to monitor the spread of the contrasting fluid in the abdominal cavity.

The MCK Fertility Center does not have radiology technology available. If this examination is decided on by you and your treating nurse or physician, they will discuss with you when and where this examination will take place.

Laparoscopy

The patency of the fallopian tubes can also be tested using a diagnostic laparoscopy. This procedure, which is usually an outpatient surgery, will take place in an operating room. You will be fully sedated. During it, the gynecologist will insert a blue fluid through the cervix into the uterine cavity and fallopian tubes. A laparoscopy will provide the same information as an HSG, but in addition to this the outside of the uterus and the surrounding tissues of the fallopian tubes will also be made visible, including any lesions and/or endometriosis (endometrial tissues outside the uterus).

The MCK Fertility Center does not have a surgery department. If this examination is decided on by you and your treating nurse or physician, they will discuss with you when and where this examination will take place.