There are three major advantages to having an HSG X-Ray at the Fertility Treatment Center.
The physicians at FTC use a “Soft Technique” which causes minimal discomfort compared to techniques used at most other facilities. If indicated, oil contrast is used to further boast subsequent pregnancy rates. If blocked fallopian tubes are discovered then tubal cannulation procedures are immediately available which usually results in opening the tubes. In addition to these advantages, HSG X-Rays performed here at FTC are done so by Board Certified reproductive endocrinologists (infertility specialists) not radiologists, eliminating the need for a written report to he issued by a radiologist which takes time, thus often causes a subsequent delay in a patient’s fertility treatment.
1. Soft Technique
Over the years, HSG X-Rays have acquired a bad reputation as a difficult procedure, and an especially painful test. Standard techniques used by most radiology facilities often cause severe pelvic cramping and discomfort.
Many patients who have had the test are often reluctant to repeat the HSG X-Ray due to their unpleasant prior experiences. At Fertility Treatment Center, the HSG X-Ray usually allows for a much more pleasant experience, with minimal or no discomfort— due to the unique and special methods developed at our facility.
We do not use a tenaculum (sharp metal clamp), instead a lighted plastic speculum that is specially designed to tilt the cervix to the proper position is substituted, resulting in proper alignment of the uterus in almost 95% of all patients.
A soft balloon tip dye injector is used instead of a rigid metal injector, and the balloon is inserted only a minimal distance into the cervix —thus avoiding significant cramping and allows the doctor to have a better view of any abnormalities that might be present in the uterus. Dye is injected into the uterus and out the tubes slowly and with low pressure, a technique that dramatically reduces or eliminates cramping pain during this phase of the procedure.
The average time for the entire test is less than 4 minutes, and patients usually go home 10 to 15 minutes later.
2. Immediate cannulation of blocked fallopian tubes
In approximately 25% of cases, routine HSG X-Ray reveals blockage of one or both fallopian tubes at the point where the fallopian tube exits the uterus. If proximal occlusion is encountered with HSG, at FTC the option of immediately opening the fallopian tubes using a Novy tubal cannulation device is done.
….Stay Tuned for more about this time and cost saving technique in my next blog entry.