• What is a HyCoSy?

    HyCoSy (Hystero – contrast – sonography) is a special ultrasound test using contrast foam solution (like a dye) to show whether your fallopian tubes are open or not and also involves examination of the uterine cavity and fallopian tubes at the same time. It includes a speculum examination, much like a smear test, in which a very thin tube (catheter) is passed into the uterus (womb) through the cervix. The tube has a very small balloon on the tip which is inflated to seal the cervix. Once the tube is in place the womb is scanned using a trans-vaginal (internal) ultrasound scan to check that the position of the tube is correct. A very small amount of a special gel/foam is then passed through the tube into the uterus and fallopian tubes. Ultrasound shows the gel/foam as it passes through the fallopian tubes and is spilled out of the end of the fallopian tubes, indicating that they are open (patent).

  • Who is the test for?

    It is required by your doctor to check if the tubes are open and are able to allow your eggs to travel freely down the tubes into your womb where they implant. It is performed on women who are finding it difficult to get pregnant or as a check after tubal surgery.

  • When should a HyCoSy be done?

    It must NOT be done when you are or could be pregnant, so it is best planned for the first half of your cycle, before day 12-14 when ovulation usually takes place. The days are counted from the first day of your last menstrual period. The time is best between day 5 and 10 but we can do it later in the cycle if you are certain you cannot be pregnant. For example, if you have abstained from intercourse with your partner. Most women get it done on day 1 of their cycle, when their period first starts.

  • What are the benefits of HyCoSy scan?

    This method of testing the tubes and cavity of womb is very safe. It does not require any surgery, anaesthetic or any exposure to radiations.

  • What preparations are needed for HyCoSy?

    You must use barrier methods of contraception (condom) during the cycle of the HyCoSy appointment.

    This test cannot be carried out during your period therefore it is important that there is no possibility of you being pregnant before the HyCoSy scan. Please do not have unprotected intercourse from the first day of your period until after the examination. This procedure could disturb the implantation of an embryo. If there is a possibility that you are pregnant, the procedure will need to be postponed until your next menstrual cycle. We are not able to do the examination if you are still bleeding from your period.

    We recommend taking some pain killers 1⁄2 hour before your HyCoSy test such as 2 paracetamol tablets (500 mg/ tablet) as this may help to relieve any discomfort during the examination.

  • How is the HyCoSy scan done?

    You will be seen by a nurse who will counsel you regarding the procedure and ask you for your consent. You will be asked to empty your bladder.

    You will be expected to have done a home urine pregnancy test on the day and the nurse will ask you to confirm that you have been using barrier method of contraception (condom) since your last period to make sure that you are not carrying an early pregnancy. You are also expected to have taken a painkiller (two tablets of Ibuprofen 200mg if suitable) one hour prior to the procedure.

    You will be made comfortable on an examination couch. A speculum (same instrument as used for a pap smear test) is passed into the vagina to visualise the neck of the womb. After cleaning the neck of the womb a very thin tube is passed into the womb. Following this an internal scan is performed while a gel/foam is injected into the womb. This fluid can be seen by the scan while it passes through the tubes to confirm whether the fallopian tubes are open or not.

  • What are the possible side effects?

    HyCoSy is a very safe method for checking the patency of fallopian tubes; it does not require any surgery or anesthetic. It also means you will not be exposed to X-ray.

    Some women occasionally experience some cramping pains during and after the procedure, but these will ease in a very short time. Rarely some women can feel dizzy or on may faint. We recommend that you do not drive after the procedure, so please make arrangements for a relative or a friend to drive you home or accompany you home on public transport. Reactions to the gel are very rare and may result in feeling faint or experiencing abdominal pain. We will ensure you are well enough before you leave the clinic.

    Rarely the procedure can cause pelvic infection; this would become apparent up to 10 days following the procedure. If you suspect you have any signs and/or symptoms please contact us. Symptoms include malodorous vaginal discharge, fever and stomach pain. Please note that it is recommended to screen all women for Chlamydia prior to HyCoSy therefore appropriate swabs will be done prior to the procedure to rule out presence of infection unless you have already had a test for Chlamydia within the last 6 months. In that case we would like to see that result.

    We also recommend prophylactic antibiotics if you have a heart valve problem or are on any immunosuppressive medications. Please talk to the doctor about your history before the procedure.

  • Will the procedure be painful?

    Hycosy does not require hospitalization, anesthetic or analgesia. Some women may have period-like pain during or shortly after the procedure. Tubal patency studies can cause a bit more cramping. We recommend taking some pain killers 1⁄2 hour before your HyCoSy test such as 2 paracetamol tablets (500 mg/ tablet) as this may help to relieve any discomfort during the examination.

  • When will I know the result and further plan?

    The doctor doing the scan will tell you the result after the scan and may discuss further if there are any other findings on scan relevant to your treatment. A further treatment plan will also be made for you.

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