Patient Information on Tubal Patency Assessment
When your doctor refers you for a tubal patency assessment, it means that your doctor would like us to check whether your Fallopian tubes, the tubes though which the egg travels from the ovary to the uterus, are open. Because normal tubes can not be assessed with regular ultrasound you require a special test to assess them. A 'contrast' fluid needs to be injected into the uterine cavity via a fine plastic tube that is passed through the cervix. A vaginal ultrasound is performed while the contrast is injected and we assess whether the contrast fluid passes freely through the tubes. Your doctor has probably explained the test to you but more information regarding this procedure can be found in 'our services'.
When should the test be performed?
The test should be performed in the first half of your cycle before you ovulate. We recommend that you ring Camberwell Ultrasound for Women on the first day of your period (=day 1 of the cycle) and book the appointment for day 7 to day 10 of that cycle. Our staff can assist you with the right time for your appointment.
Once you ovulate you are potentially pregnant. We would not take the risk of injecting a fluid in the uterus after ovulation, even if the chance of pregnancy is low. The test is therefore postponed to the next cycle if we note on the initial ultrasound that you have already ovulated.
Is the test painful?
The pain experienced during the test is very variable. Some women feel absolutely no pain, while other women feel significant cramping of the uterus when the contrast is injected. It is therefore difficult to tell you what to expect but it would be fair to say that the majority of women feels mild to moderate discomfort during the procedure. The pain is comparable to serious period-like cramping. We are guided by what you feel so it is important that you let the doctor know when you experience pain.
Because pain and cramping may occur during the test, we recommend that you take a pain killer like Naprosyn or Nurofen (2 tablets) approximately 1 hour before the procedure. Although most women feel fine after the procedure, you may consider bringing a friend to drive you home and arrange to have the rest of the day off work.
The doctor who performs the examination will discuss the results with you during and after the examination. Don't hesitate to ask questions. A written copy of the result is sent in the mail and should reach your doctor 2 days after your ultrasound. Please advise us if you see your doctor earlier than that so we can fax the results.