A new ultrasound technology, used in conjunction with an improved medical dye, is helping women with infertility issues at Mercy Hospital.
Anjana Thottungal, a consultant sonologist at Mercy Hospital, is working with an improved organic dye and the first 3D imaging software with Coded Contrast Imaging in WA in order to detect blockages within the fallopian tubes of women experiencing trouble conceiving.
“Although this process is widely used in Europe, it’s the first time the technology and gel are being applied in Western Australia,” she said. “We’re very happy with the results so far.”
Filling the uterus and tubes with the improved contrast medium, which causes less allergic reactions than previous ones, and simultaneously scanning the process with Coded Contrast Imaging, allows Anjana and her patients to watch a 3D image of the dye moving up through the fallopian tubes.
“We can then clearly see if there are any blockages or abnormalities, making diagnosis much easier,” she adds.
Accuracy in diagnosis has also increased, thanks to the combination of stronger signal qualities of the contrast, and the innovative 3D scanning software. Women can now have more confidence in their diagnosis and a better understanding of what may be causing problems.
“In the past women needed hospitalisation, general anaesthetic and exposure to radiation from x-rays to achieve an understanding of their fertility issues,” Anjana explained. “Now the process is not only safer, it’s easier, faster and more accurate.”
Anjana hopes the new technology will help many women and couples to achieve their dream of creating a family in the future.
One of Anjana’s first patients to undergo the procedure was Westminster resident, Melissa. “My husband and I have been trying to conceive for a number of years,” she said. “We were recommended to have this procedure to see if any cause could be found to explain why I’m not falling pregnant, and I’m thankful that it came back all-clear.”
Melissa said everything was explained very well before, during and after the procedure, and she knew exactly what to expect, which took all the anxiety away.
“On this frustrating and sometimes helpless path of working out our fertility disadvantages, my husband and I felt this procedure really made a positive difference to our experiences elsewhere. Whilst we didn’t find out why we’re not falling pregnant, through process of elimination, at least it ruled out a number of things.
“If all goes well, we are hoping that we can be back to see Anjana in the near future having our baby’s ultrasound!"