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Investigation of infertility management in primary care with open access hysterosalpingography (HSG): A pilot study

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Scott Wilkes, Professor Alison Murdoch, Emeritus Professor Greg RubinORCiD, Dr David Chinn, Dr John Wilsdon


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Infertility affects one in seven couples in the United Kingdom. The National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) issued guidance on the management of the infertile couple in February 2004, which included the statement "for the assessment of tubal damage, women not known to have co-morbidities (pelvic inflammatory disease, endometriosis or previous ectopic pregnancy) should be offered hysterosalpingography (HSG)". We made HSG available to six general practices in Newcastle upon Tyne as an open access investigation. Our aim was to evaluate the uptake of open access HSG, speed of access to specialist services and the quality of the information recorded in the referral letter. Using hospital clinical records we tracked the outcome of all infertile couples from the six pilot practices over a nine-month period. Of the 39 referrals identified, 10 women were eligible for open access HSG, of which six HSGs were organized by GPs. Couples who had open access HSG reached a diagnosis and management plan four weeks earlier than those who were referred directly (mean difference 4.0 weeks, 95% confidence interval (CI) - 8.8 to 0.4 weeks). The information recorded in the referral letter was generally poor. However, all referrals made via the open access HSG service had the prerequisite tests done. Open access HSG allowed prompter access to specialist services with more complete information passed on in the referral letter. Open access HSG was used in 15% of all infertile couples and 60% of those who fitted the criteria for its use. Open access HSG together with semen analysis and endocrine blood tests may allow GPs to manage the initial stages of the infertile couple and make a diagnosis. © British Fertility Society.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Wilkes S, Murdoch A, Rubin G, Chinn D, Wilsdon J

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Human Fertility

Year: 2006

Volume: 9

Issue: 1

Pages: 47-51

ISSN (print): 1464-7273

ISSN (electronic): 1742-8149

Publisher: Informa Healthcare


DOI: 10.1080/14647270500440663

PubMed id: 16581721


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