Women who experience infertility are commonly scheduled for a hysterosalpinogram (HSG) to see if their fallopian tubes are open and functioning properly. What many women don’t know is that the procedure itself can help a woman become pregnant.
Sometimes, a fallopian tube fills with a small amount of mucous. This mucous can form after infections, inflammation, or similar events. If the mucous forms together in one spot, it can block the tube (a mucous plug) and prevent an egg and sperm from meeting.
During an HSG, a thin catheter is inserted through the cervix and into the uterus, where radioactive dye is injected into the fallopian tubes. The force of the dye can push any existing mucous out of the tube. If the mucous was completing blocking the tube before, the woman is now able to become pregnant.
A mucous plug should not be confused with hydrosalpinx or tubal occlusion. Hydrosalpinx occurs when the tube fills with toxic fluid and remains trapped, despite an HSG. A tubal occlusion occurs when a tube is completely blocked, usually due to adhesions.
At CPT, we treat both hydrosalpinx and blocked fallopian tubes. We frequently recommend that our patients with blocked fallopian tubes or hydrosalpinx schedule a follow-up HSG after treatment with us. The HSG not only allows women to visualize the effects of treatment, but it may also push-out any remaining mucous in the tube after treatment.