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Hysterosonogram (HSN)

Patency of the fallopian tubes with HSN

To become pregnant, either through intercourse or insemination, at least one of the fallopian tubes should be patent. If the fallopian tubes are blocked, the egg and sperm cell cannot meet, and fertilisation of the egg cannot occur. If one of the fallopian tubes is partially blocked, there will be an increased risk of pregnancy outside the womb. Therefore, we recommend that you have a hysterosonogram (HSN) done to check the patency of your fallopian tubes. HSN is a precondition for having hormone-stimulated insemination. If both of your fallopian tubes are blocked, the only way for you to become pregnant is through IVF

Most women have patent fallopian tubes, but if you have previously had pelvic infection, chlamydia, appendicitis, endometriosis or other disorders where damage to your fallopian tubes is suspected, there is a risk that your fallopian tubes, could be partially or totally blocked. Chlamydia, a pelvic infection that may not cause any symptoms (“a silent infection"), can also cause narrowing or blockage of your fallopian tubes. 

You can have a HSN done here in the clinic to check if your fallopian tubes are patent. In hospitals and X-ray clinics, an investigation can be done where a contrast agent is used while an X-ray is done at the same time. This test is called a hysterosalpingogram (HSG). 

How a HSN is done

This test is done once your period has stopped and before expected ovulation—on about day 8–12 of you menstrual cycle. In most cases, you can be inseminated during the same cycle. Prior to the investigation, the result of a chlamydia swab from the neck of the womb (cervix) that is no more than three months old should be available. The chlamydia swab can be taken at StorkKlinik or by your GP/gynaecologist. 

The HSN can be done on a gynaecology couch. After cleaning your cervix (so that no bacteria ascend into your womb), a thin catheter is inserted. When the catheter is in place, a small balloon is filled with air. This is done to ensure that the fluid that is injected into the womb does flow back out through the cervix but passes into the fallopian tubes. When the balloon is being filled, some women may be aware of a feeling of tension in the abdomen, but it is not painful. When the balloon has been filled with water, an ultrasound will be done. During the scan, a mixture of sterile salt water and air will be injected into the womb while we follow the passage of the water through the fallopian tubes. If the fallopian tubes are blocked, the fluid will not be able to flow freely through them. 

Some women develop period-type pain during the HSN. HSN is done without sedation, and most women can go to work immediately afterwards. For some women, it may be a good idea to take a few painkillers, e.g. 1 g of Panodil, an hour before a HSN. You can have a rest before you return home. 

You may have a thin discharge and possibly some spotting after a HSN. Therefore, we advise you to wear a sanitary towel afterwards. The risk of infection is minimal, but if you develop pain and fever in the days after the HSN it is important that you contact a doctor with a view to getting treatment if required. You can take Panodil for pain, but it is usually not necessary. If both of your fallopian tubes are found to be blocked, our doctors will discuss further treatment options with you. You may be advised to either have an investigation that looks at the fallopian tubes (a laparoscopy) or to proceed directly to IVF.

We are here for you!

Please feel free to contact us!

Our opening times:

Mon and Thu: 08:00 - 18:00
Tue, Wed and Fri: 08:00 - 16:00
Sat, Sun and holiday: 08:30 - 15:00

Schedule an appointment:

Fill out the contact form

✉ info[at]storkklinik.dk
+45 32 57 33 16

We look forward to hearing from you!