“Up to one in three women who are infertile have a tubal factor,” says Dr. Jeffrey A. Marcus, an Atlanta board-certified obstetrician and gynecologist. Marcus is the chief medical advisor to Femasys Inc., a medical technology company that designs and develops in-office devices for women’s health.
Blocked fallopian tubes can be a significant barrier to fertility. That’s because the egg and sperm meet in the fallopian tube for fertilization.
Traditionally fallopian tubes are evaluated during an X-ray procedure called hysterosalpingogram or HSG, during which dye is injected via syringe into the fallopian tubes. The test is performed off-site by a radiologist and patients wait to get results. But with improved technology called FemVue, the test can be done in-office by the patient’s doctor without radiation exposure. Patients get the results right away.
During the FemVue procedure, a consistent stream of saline and air flows through each fallopian tube. Doctors watch an ultrasound to see if the tubes are blocked. “We’re able to assess the fallopian tubes in the office using our FemVue device where you use saline, air and ultrasound,” says Dr. Marcus, noting the test can be performed in the office in less than 15 minutes.
Patients like the convenience of getting the procedure in their doctor’s office, as well as the comfort of having their doctor, whom they know and trust, perform the procedure.
“The beauty of FemVue is that when we do the test, they can watch the test being done on them on an ultrasound monitor and get real-time results,” he says. “More and more, patients want to see.”
“When women have made the decision to become pregnant, they want it to happen quickly,”says Dr. Marcus, emphasizing how important it is to patients to not have to wait for test results.
The test is cheaper too, since the procedure is not performed at a specialist’s office or a separate facility. He says insurance companies may be more likely to pay for it since it’s cost effective.
“It’ll become the standard,” says Dr. Marcus, who expects the procedure will get more popular once more patients and doctors use it for fallopian tube evaluations.
Kristen Castillo, [email protected]