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Evaluating Fallopian Tubes with Sono HSG
Blocked fallopian tubes are responsible for approximately one-third of infertility in women. Blockage can be caused by endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) or pelvic surgery, and has historically been diagnosed with a hysterosalpingogram (HSG) using dye and x-ray. Alternatively, a Sono HSG uses sterile saline and air, and unlike the HSG there is no radiation involved; the tubes are evaluated with ultrasound.
FemVueTM Sono HSG has been used by fertility doctors and gynecologists across the U.S. since 2011. With FemVue, the doctor inserts a mixture of saline and air bubbles into the uterus which flow into the fallopian tubes. The saline and air bubbles are visible under ultrasound and the doctor follows the bubbles' path to determine if the fallopian tubes are open.
There are a number of benefits of Sono HSG over traditional HSG:
- Sono HSG can be performed in the doctor’s office rather than a radiology center or hospital
- It can be performed by a gynecologist or fertility doctor, rather than a radiologist or technician
- Sono HSG utilizes ultrasound rather than xray
- Results are immediately available
- Sono HSG is less expensive than HSG
A study published in Fertility & Sterility in 2013, Evaluation of Tubal Patency with the FemvueTM Saline-Air Device: Can we Move Back into the Office?, assessed the feasibility of in-office Sono HSG with FemVue, compared to traditional HSG for evaluating fallopian tubes in women with infertility. The study concluded that tubal assessment with FemVue, “appears to be a convenient, well-tolerated method that may be performed alongside conventional ultrasound and uterine cavity assessment as part of the infertility evaluation.”
In answer to the question the study’s title asked, it seems that yes, the procedure can move back into the office.