Your doctor may have recommended that you have a HyCoSy to assess fertility issues you may be having. HyCoSy is short for Hysterosalpingo-contrast-sonography, it is an ultrasound technique commonly used to assess infertility by examining the fallopian tubes and other pelvic organs. It is safe, convenient and low risk.
What is the process?
It is a simple process where a bubbly saline solution is infused into the uterine cavity and monitored as the fluid travels along the fallopian tube. The bright echoes generated by the bubbly saline solution enable us to clearly visualise the fallopian tubes and see if there are any blockages along the way, the picture is further improved by the addition of colour Doppler imaging.
We use a non-aerated saline first to check for any issues, before using the aerated saline.
The test is performed from Day 6 to 12 of your typical menstrual cycle, to make the uterine lining easier to assess and also ensure there is no risk of a potential pregnancy in the tube.
The function of the Fallopian tube
The ovary produces the egg and it needs to meet the sperm for a pregnancy to occur. After fertilisation occurs in the tube, the embryo must progress to the uterine cavity, where it implants. However, if the tube is blocked then the egg and sperm may not meet.
If the embryo, after fertilisation, does not pass through the tube at the normal rate, it can implant in the Fallopian tube and this is called an ectopic pregnancy which will not be successful.
The causes of infertility
Infertility affects up to 10% of couples in the Western World and 20-40% of these cases may be due to ruptured ovarian cysts, previous abdominal surgery, infection of the fallopian tube or scarring from endometriosis.
Is there any discomfort?
There can be some discomfort associated with this procedure, similar to period pain. If one or both of your Fallopian tubes are blocked, then the “period-like” pain can be strong. We will discuss pain relief with you prior to the procedure (as long as there are no contraindications by our staff).
Usually we will recommend 2 x Naprogesic tablets (a NSAID-type of pain relief)
If you do suffer from heavy periods, we recommend that you don’t drive home after this procedure, perhaps ask a support person for a lift or get a taxi if need be
What to Expect after a HyCoSy
All of our doctors are experienced in performing this procedure and the risks are minimal. Most women experience no problems following their procedure. However it is good to be informed about what is regardied as normal and what is considered abnormal following a HyCoSy:
It is NORMAL for you to experience the following:
- Abdominal cramping for up to an hour following the procedure
- Light bleeding for 3-4 days, which should be controlled by wearing a panty-liner or pad
- Please do not use a tampon (to minimise the risk of infection)
It is NOT NORMAL for you to experience the following:
- Foul-smelling discharge
- A fever greater than 38 degrees Celsius
If either of these symptoms occur, it could be a sign of infection. Please contact the Ultrasound clinic and doctor of your procedure, or please contact your referring doctor/GP to arrange appropriate assessment and to start treatment.
Additionally, it is not necessary to abstain from intercourse following the procedure.
If you have any more questions regarding the HyCoSy procedure, please get in touch with our staff on 1300 557 226, remember it is a safe low-risk procedure, valuable in providing further direction for diagnosis and treatment of infertility.