Tubal patency tests can check for blockages in the fallopian tubes that could be preventing you from getting pregnant. Blocked fallopian tubes are a common cause of female infertility, but it is possible to overcome this issue with IVF treatment.
The tubal patency test is one of the checks that you might have during a fertility assessment if you’re concerned about your fertility or considering IVF treatment. The test will check for any blockages in your fallopian tubes. The fallopian tubes connect your ovaries to the uterus. When a mature egg is released from the ovary at ovulation, it will start moving along the fallopian tube. During natural collection, the sperm will swim up through the womb and the conception will actually take place in the fallopian tube. The fertilised egg will then move down the tube and into the womb. Any blockages in the fallopian tube could prevent the egg and sperm from meeting or make it harder for the egg to make its way to the womb.
If you have had an STI, pelvic inflammatory disease, endometriosis or an ectopic pregnancy in the past then your doctor may recommend a surgical procedure called laparoscopy to check on your fallopian tubes instead of the fallopian patency test.
A tubal patency test is a type of X-ray that uses a special dye to see how clear the fallopian tubes are. Although this test is very safe, you may feel a bit uncomfortable as the dye is introduced. A speculum will be used to open up the vagina, in the same way as during a cervical smear test. A thin tube will then be inserted through the vagina and cervix into the womb. The dye will be released into the womb and it will make its way along the fallopian tubes. A series of X-rays will be taken while this is happening so that the dye can be tracked. If there are any blockages, then the dye won’t be able to move freely along the fallopian tubes. The X-rays will show where the dye stopped or was slowed down.
If a blockage is found then you may need further tests to identify the exact cause. It may be possible to remove the blockage, but if not then it can be bypassed with IVF treatment. During IVF, eggs are collected from your ovaries and the embryos are transferred directly into your womb so there is no need for them to move along the fallopian tubes.
Our experienced fertility doctors can advise you on which fertility tests you should have. We can arrange tubal patency tests in the UK or overseas if you’re worried about your fertility or having trouble conceiving. We can also help you with the next steps if the results reveal that you need extra help to get pregnant.
If you want to arrange a tubal patency test or other fertility checks, get in touch to talk to one of our fertility specialists. We’ll help you to get the tests you need.
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