The Challenges Faced by Practitioners When Carrying out HSG & HyCoSy Procedures

17.02.2017 The Challenges Faced By Practitioners When Carrying Out HSG and HyCoSy Procedures

Procedures to check the fallopian tubes can prove problematic. What obstacles are faced by healthcare practitioners and what solutions are available to them?

A cornerstone of gynaecology is the assessment of both the fallopian tubes and the uterus, the conditions of which can impact on fertility and women’s health in general. Two common procedures to undertake these assessments are Hysterosalpingography (abbreviated to HSG) and Hystero-Salpingo Contrast Sonography (abbreviated to HyCoSy). Both provide their own challenges, for patients, healthcare practitioners and medical instrument manufacturers.

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Case 2: Normal Hycosy (click for animation)*

HSG is an X-ray procedure used to see whether the fallopian tubes are open and if the interior of the uterus is normal. HSG is an outpatient procedure that normally takes less than five minutes to perform. It is usually done after the menstrual period ends but before ovulation. The procedure is used to investigate miscarriages resulting from abnormalities within the uterus. It can also be used to determine the presence and severity of tumour masses, adhesions and uterine fibroids. In addition, HSG can occasionally open blocked fallopian tubes to allow the patient to become pregnant afterwards. 

A HyCoSy fertility scan is a short procedure to detect whether the fallopian tubes are damaged or blocked. It is sometimes called a Tubal Patency Test or a Dye Test and can be a substitute for HSG or Laparoscopy and Dye, without the use of X-rays. A small thin catheter is passed through the cervix into the uterus, and ultrasound contrast medium is passed through the fallopian tubes. The progress of the fluid can be monitored by ultrasound, and any blockages or abnormalities can be detected.

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Case 9: unilateral cornual block**

Both HSG and HyCoSy are primarily diagnostic procedures, although they can help with fertility in some rare cases.

HSG is considered a very safe procedure. However, there are some recognised complications, some serious, which occur less than 1% of the time. These complications include infection, fainting, radiation exposure, iodine allergy and spotting.

HyCoSy, as with HSG, can result in some women experiencing period pains and spotting.

As a medical instrument manufacturer, Pelican Feminine Healthcare has received feedback that achieving maximum visibility of the cervix for preparation of the procedure can be problematic, often due to failure in equipment used in the process. A common complaint is that the fixed lighting systems found in clinics and hospitals where HSG and HyCoSy procedures are carried out are often awkward or inconvenient to use, and in some cases the equipment is completely broken.

PELIspec® Vaginal Speculum, manufactured in the UK by Pelican Feminine Healthcare can be used in both HSG and HyCoSy. The market-leading PELIspec® is also available with a light source, offering a quick, convenient, and effective solution to broken or unreliable lighting equipment. To claim your free PELIspec® Light Source Starter pack, please contact us today.

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PELIspec® with Light Source

*Case courtesy of Dr Pir Abdul Ahad Aziz, Radiopaedia.org, rID: 48789
** Case courtesy of Dr Kewal Arunkumar Mistry, Radiopaedia.org, rID: 35635