Image: HyFoSy image of the uterus and fallopian tubes (Photo courtesy of ExEm Foam)
A novel medical foam for ultrasound imaging helps assess blockages in the fallopian tubes in women with known or suspected infertility.
Intended for an ultrasound technique called hysterosalpingo foam sonography (HyFoSy), ExEm Foam, a product of ExEm Foam (Nashville, TN, USA), is an air polymer-type A intrauterine foam that offers a highly accurate, less invasive alternative to tubal patency assessment procedures such as laparoscopy or X-ray hysterosalpingography (HSG). The viscous foam is made by mixing the contents of the two ExEM syringes together. A catheter is then used to infuse this foam through the uterine cavity into the fallopian tubes during the HyFoSy procedure.
If the tubes are patent the foam will appear as a thin, bright white line within the fallopian tubes and spill over the ovaries and into the peritoneal cavity; if the white line does not appear, the fallopian tubes might be occluded or blocked. ExEm Foam should not be used during pregnancy, in women with known or suspected lower genital tract inflammation, infection, or vaginal bleeding, following a gynecologic procedure within the last 30 days, or in known or suspected reproductive tract neoplasia. Side effects include pelvic and abdominal pain, vasovagal reactions and associated symptoms such as nausea and faintness, and post-procedure spotting.
“With a growing demand for assisted reproductive technologies and a downward trend for using radiation in women trying to conceive, there is a huge need for a gentler and more patient-friendly tubal patency test,” said Johan Remmerswaal, President of ExEm Foam. “We are proud to be able to fulfill this need with the Foam procedure by quickly, safely and accurately assessing the patency of the fallopian tubes in the comfort of a patient's gynecologist office.”
“For couples experiencing infertility, we must evaluate a number of different aspects of the reproductive system to determine the root cause. Unfortunately, this evaluation can involve a lengthy process and several uncomfortable procedures,” said Professor Mark Hans Emanuel, MD, PhD, of University Medical Center Utrecht (The Netherlands), and co-inventor of ExEM Foam. “Cutting-edge, safe and effective diagnostic procedures, like the Foam procedure, allow us to quickly and as comfortably as possible identify fertility issues and plan the next step in a patient's fertility journey.”
Blockage of the fallopian tubes accounts for infertility in approximately 20% of couples who are having difficulty conceiving.