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What Are the Different Types of Fallopian Tube Tests?

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  • Written By: Jennifer Long
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 21 November 2016
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Fallopian tube tests are tests that are used to determine the conditions of a woman’s fallopian tubes, particularly if there are health concerns or fertility problems. Common tests include a hysterosalpingogram (HSG), laparoscopy, imaging tests, and in some cases biopsies. These tests can help doctors differentiate between healthy and damaged fallopian tubes. Doctors may also use fallopian tests to determine effective treatments for conditions such as blockages and cancer.

Imaging tests are one of the common types of fallopian tube tests chosen first by doctors. Computed tomography (CT) scans use an x-ray to provide three-dimensional images. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) uses magnetic fields to provide images, and ultrasounds use sound waves that provide images when they bounce off organs and tissue. If a doctor notices any abnormalities, additional testing is generally ordered.

A hysterosalpingogram is another one of the fallopian tube tests that may be used. It is another type of x-ray test, but one that involves using a contrast dye. The dye is added to the uterus through a thin tube. After the dye is in the uterus, it travels into the fallopian tubes. An x-ray beam provides images of the tubes as the dye passes through.

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A laparoscopy is a fallopian tube test that is considered a minimally invasive surgical procedure. The doctor makes a small incision near the belly button, just over the uterus. A thin tube with a camera on the end is inserted through the incision and into the uterus. From this point, the doctor can see the uterus and fallopian tubes.

Biopsies are another form of surgery that can be used for fallopian tube tests. A biopsy does not always involve surgery, but in this instance an incision is necessary. When other tests have shown abnormalities such as tissue damage or tumors, a sample can be taken and tested in a laboratory. Samples are taken by a tube that has a special end that cuts and grabs pieces.

In some cases, blood testing is another type of fallopian tube test that is done. Blood testing can help detect fallopian tube cancer. A specific chemical called CA-125 is often a marker for ovarian or fallopian cancer, pelvic inflammatory disease, or the presence of fibroids.

Fallopian tube tests can be used for diagnostic aids or as part of treatment. When used as aids for diagnosis, doctors rely on the test results to confirm or rule out the occurrence of fallopian tube conditions. If these tests are used as part of a treatment plan, they can be used to determine if treatments for conditions have been successful.

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