Because open and functional fallopian tubes are necessary for conception, tests to determine tubal openness (patency) are important.

Tubal factors, as well as factors affecting the peritoneum (lining of the pelvis and abdomen), account for about 35% of all infertility problems. A special x-ray called a hysterosalpingogram (HSG) can be performed to evaluate the fallopian tubes and uterus.

During an HSG, a special fluid (dye) is injected through your cervix, fills your uterus, and travels into your fallopian tubes. If the fluid spills out the ends of the tubes, they are open. If the fluid does not spill out the ends, then the tubes are blocked.

If the tubes are found to be blocked, scarred, or damaged, surgery can sometimes correct the problem. But surgery does not guarantee that the tube, even if opened up or cleared of scar tissue, will function properly