Posts for: December, 2017
Are you having difficulty getting pregnant? Does your OBGYN believe that a fallopian tube obstruction could be to blame? If so, then chances are good that you’ll have to undergo a diagnostic test known as selective salpingography to determine the health of the fallopian tubes and to determine if there are any blockages.
Once a month an egg is released from the ovaries during ovulation. Once the egg is released it moves from the ovary through the fallopian tubes; however, if there is a blockage within the fallopian tubes the egg cannot get to the uterus. If there is only a partial blockage, it could lead to an ectopic pregnancy (a serious condition in which the egg is fertilized within the fallopian tubes).
Due to the seriousness of this condition, it’s important that we determine if a blocked fallopian tube is the root cause so that we can treat the problem right away. During a selective salpingography a small catheter is inserted and guided into the entrance of the fallopian tube with help from an X-ray. Once the catheter is at the opening of the tube, a special dye is injected into it.
If there is no blockage, the dye will successfully travel the length of the fallopian tube, but if there is a blockage the gel will be blocked (which your gynecologist will be able to detect on the X-ray machine). In some cases, the obstruction can be opened during this diagnostic procedure; however, it isn’t always possible. Your OBGYN will be able to determine if the obstruction is something that can be treated right now or if this will require a separate procedure.
In many instances, a blockage may be the result of a muscle spasm, which is not considered serious and can easily be treated. Of course, there are other reasons why you may be faced with an obstructed fallopian tube including uterine fibroids, pelvic inflammatory disease, chlamydia or endometriosis. Sometimes an obstruction can even occur as a complication of abdominal surgery.
A fallopian tube obstruction doesn’t produce any symptoms so the best way to tell whether this condition is affecting your ability to conceive is to visit your OBGYN for an evaluation right away.
With breast cancer being the most commonly diagnosed cancer in American women it’s now more important than ever to educate women on the importance of getting regular mammograms. While most women won’t need to get them during their early adult years, it’s important to understand why mammograms are necessary, who should be getting them and how often you should get one.
No matter your age, it is important to note that if a lump is detected during a physical breast exam a mammogram should be performed. According to the American Cancer Society, women should get a mammogram once a year starting around the age of 40. This doesn’t include the self-exams you should be performing on yourself once a month to check for lumps. Women 55 years old or older should get a mammogram every two years.
Of course, if breast cancer runs in your family then you may need to get a mammogram earlier. It’s important that you talk to your gynecologist right away about your family history in order to determine whether or not you should start getting regular mammograms sooner. After all, a mammogram is the best diagnostic tool to be able to detect breast cancer earlier. This simple tool could just end up saving your life.
A mammogram only takes about 20 minutes to complete. A machine will be used to compress the breast for a couple seconds in order to capture the necessary images. While the compression may be uncomfortable it shouldn’t be painful. If you do feel pain it’s important that you let us know. It can take up to 10 days to get results.
A radiologist will look at the images captured during your mammogram and explain findings on a scale from 0 to 6, with 0 meaning that there were no abnormalities and 6 being malignant breast cancer that has already been detected with a biopsy. If there are any suspicious findings, a biopsy may be recommended to test the breast tissue for the presence of cancer cells.
If it’s believed that the findings are benign then a biopsy will not be necessary; however, we may recommend that you come in more regularly for routine mammograms.
Whether you have questions about getting a mammogram or you want to find out if you could benefit from this diagnostic test, call your OBGYN today to learn more. Taking precautions now could protect you in the future.