Can a common imaging procedure help women to conceive?
Can a common imaging procedure help you to conceive? – fertility clinic near Scottsdale
When a couple first comes to a fertility clinic, the first step is to determine the cause of the infertility. This involves a number of tests, including various blood tests along with imaging procedures. One common imaging procedure that’s often included in an infertility workup is a hysterosalpinogram, or HSG. Some women have heard that having an HSG will make them more likely to conceive afterward. Is this true? Can an imaging procedure really help you get pregnant?
What is an HSG?
First, some background. An HSG is a test that’s used to check for blockages or other abnormalities inside of the uterus and fallopian tubes. To perform the test, a small catheter is inserted through the opening of the cervix into the uterus. A substance called contrast medium, which is a dye that can be seen on X-rays, is passed through through the catheter. It fills the uterus and fallopian tubes. As the dye is entering the woman’s body, X-ray images are taken. This allows doctors to see the inside of the reproductive system.
Doctors use HSGs to look for abnormalities in the uterus, such as polyps, fibroids, or scar tissue. They can also detect blocked or narrowed fallopian tubes.
Can having an HSG increase pregnancy rates?
Perhaps surprisingly, the answer is yes. A woman who has an HSG has an increased chance of becoming pregnant after the procedure. This increase in pregnancy rates lasts for about three months after an HSG.
Scientists have still not determined why HSGs increase pregnancy rates. Many believe that, for some couples, the procedure may flush out debris in the fallopian tubes that is interfering with a pregnancy. Another possibility is that the procedure is beneficial to the lining of the uterus, making it more hospitable for the implantation of an embryo. The contrast medium also washes over the ovaries as it exits from the fallopian tubes, so it could potentially affect the likelihood of ovulation.
Some studies have indicated that the type of contrast medium used during an HSG affects the likelihood of conception afterward. Oil-based contrast leads to a higher rate of pregnancy than water-based contrast. Scientists are still not sure why this is true.
It’s important to mention that the increase in pregnancy rates following an HSG is relatively modest. The procedure is not used as a treatment in itself, but is considered a diagnostic procedure that also carries a boost in pregnancy rates as a bonus. This provides valuable information that allows your doctor to craft the right treatment plan for you.
Fertility clinic near Scottsdale, AZ
If you have any questions or would like more information about the fertility boost caused by an HSG, please schedule a consultation with us. The experts at our award-winning fertility clinic near Scottsdale, serving patients from Phoenix, Tucson, and even farther afield, would be very happy to discuss this further with you.
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