The Newest Way to Uncover Fertility Problems? Bubbles! (Yep, You Read That Right)

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ByMadeline Schmitz
Mar 2017
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Photo: Shutterstock/The Bump

One of the biggest roadblocks to becoming pregnant is often just that — a roadblock. Fallopian tubal blockage, actually. Most doctors do an X-Ray HSG to see if such blockage exists in a patient, but the process is often incredibly uncomfortable for women, which keeps a lot of patients from undergoing the procedure. Fertility specialists at UC San Diego, however, have a master plan to ease the discomfort: bubbles.

A new ultrasound technique mixes saline and air bubbles and delivers the solution into the uterus via catheter. Under the ultrasound, it’s easy for doctors to see if there’s any blockage in the Fallopian tubes thanks to the visibility of the bubbles. Best of all, women with allergies to the dye that is traditionally used in an X-Ray HSG or those who experience pain during the procedure don’t have to worry. This new technique is painless and the saline negates any chance of allergic reaction.

The procedure takes places right at your clinic, and results are available immediately. Ideal candidates, for now, are those who have already had a successful pregnancy and those who are at a low risk for tubal disease.

What even causes blockage in your Fallopian tubes? The main culprits are infection, prior surgeries, and endometriosis. Each case is unique, so even if your doc finds a blockage, there’s no “cookie cutter” fertility treatment. Common solutions include fertility medicines, IVF, or removing the diseased tube.

Who knew something so simple could have such a huge impact on fertility issues?

Have you ever gone through fertility treatments?

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