Hydrotubation in the management of female infertility: outcome in low resource settings

East Afr Med J. 2009 Jan;86(1):31-6. doi: 10.4314/eamj.v86i1.46925.


Objectives: To determine the outcome of therapeutic hydrotubation (tubal flushing) in patients with tubal infertility and unexplained infertility.

Design: Prospective non-randomised observational study.

Setting: Alba hospital, a five bed multidisciplinary private hospital in Kaduna city, Nigeria.

Subjects: Infertile women with tubal and unexplained infertility.

Results: Two hundred and fifty seven patients that had therapeutic hydrotubation over 7.5 years were analysed. The age range was 21 to 44 years with mean of 34.5 years. Secondary infertility was found in 209 (81.3%) patients and primary infertility in 166 (64.6%) patients. Of the 257 patients, 134 (52.1%) had had induced abortion. Indications for hydrotubation were bilateral perifimbrial adhesion (incomplete tubal occlusion) 47.9%, bilateral fimbrial end occlusion 24.9%, bilateral cornual blockage 16% and unexplained infertility in 11.3% of cases. One hundred and nine conceptions were recorded in this study and the overall conception rate was 42.4%. Likewise, percentage ratio of conception in these 154 patients with evidence of post-hydrotubation tubal patency was 70.8%. Pregnancy outcome of the 109 conceptions are term pregnancy 84.4%, preterm pregnancy 9.2%, miscarriage 4.6% and ectopic pregnancy in 1.8% of the conceptions. Recorded complications were pelvic pain in 177 (68.9%) patients and vaginal bleeding in 63 (24.5%) patients.

Conclusion: With good case selection, therapeutic hydrotubation may be beneficial in resource poor countries, especially in patients with incomplete tubal occlusion (bilateral perifimbrial adhesions) and as part of treatment for unexplained infertility.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Clomiphene / therapeutic use
  • Fallopian Tube Diseases / complications
  • Fallopian Tube Diseases / diagnostic imaging
  • Fallopian Tube Diseases / drug therapy
  • Fallopian Tube Diseases / therapy*
  • Female
  • Fertility Agents, Female / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Hysterosalpingography
  • Infertility, Female / diagnostic imaging
  • Infertility, Female / drug therapy
  • Infertility, Female / etiology
  • Infertility, Female / therapy*
  • Middle Aged
  • Nigeria / epidemiology
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications
  • Pregnancy Outcome / epidemiology
  • Prospective Studies
  • Therapeutic Irrigation / methods*
  • Time Factors
  • Young Adult


  • Fertility Agents, Female
  • Clomiphene