Fallopian Tube Patency Test (Hysterosalpingosonography)
Hysterosalpingosonography (HSSG) is an examination carried out to determine whether the fallopian tubes are clear and whether there are any abnormalities (septa, polyps or myomas) in the uterine cavity.
First, the woman is given a gynecological examination and a vaginal ultrasonography. A speculum is then inserted into the vagina to hold open the vaginal walls, after which a catheter is inserted into the uterine canal. An “anchor ball” at the end of the catheter is filled with saline solution to prevent any backflow of fluids. Since this stage may cause temporary discomfort resembling menstrual pain, we recommend a painkiller to relieve the pain (about one hour before the procedure). An air-saline solution mix is injected into the uterine cavity via the catheter. The progress of air bubbles through the fallopian tubes can be monitored with ultrasound. The examination also gives the physician an idea of the shape of the uterine cavity. If the fallopian tubes are blocked, air will not move through them and no fluid is spilled into the abdominal cavity. The injected solution may irritate the abdomen, which in turn may occasionally cause a sharp pain in the shoulder. This is harmless and will pass spontaneously.