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Can A Century-Old HSG Procedure Help You Get Pregnant?

Can prospective parents be spared the excess bills from invasive fertility treatment procedures with just a simple one?

Hysterosalpingography (HSG) is a technique that has been used since 1917 for the diagnosis of infertility. The procedure helps visualize fallopian tube blockage, inflammation, and or scarring. It involves flushing the women’s fallopian tubes with either water or oil and using a contrast dye to take an X-ray image.

A new study published in the prestigious New England Journal of Medicine journal shows that the HSG procedure can also be used as a treatment for infertility due to its one intriguing side effect – pregnancy. In the H2Oil trial, a total of 1119 infertility women participated in the study and were included because none experienced a hormonal problem or had a major tube blockage or had partners with a low sperm count. About half of the trial participants received water-based HSG procedure, while the remaining received an oil-based HSG procedure. After 6 months of watchful waiting following the HSG procedure, overall pregnancy results were surprising: 40% of the woman in the oil-based treatment and 29% of the participants in the water-based treatment were pregnant.

Doctors are still puzzled by the exact reason of why the HSG procedure works. Many doctors agree that one possible explanation is that the path for the sperm is cleared by the flushing out of unseen debris in the fallopian tubes and because the density of the oil medium makes the fallopian tubes more receptive to conception.

Like many other procedures, HSG has the potential for undesired side effects such as allergic reactions and small vaginal bleeding, which is often painful. Whether you need this procedure as a diagnostic tool or as a treatment option for your infertility – the best is to discuss it with a fertility expert.

Opionato is here to help. You can reach our team of fertility experts at [email protected]

Reference:

http://www.nejm.org/doi/10.1056/NEJMoa1612337

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