Hysterosalpingogram

WHY this test is done

A Hysterosalpingogram (HSG) is an imaging technique that gives information about the cavity of your uterus and Fallopian tubes. It gives information about the shape of the cavity of the uterus and helps determine if fibroids are distorting the cavity of the uterus. HSG also determines if Fallopian tubes are open or blocked. No information is obtained regarding the ovaries or outer contour of the uterus. Women who have a normal hysterosalpingogram have increased fertility rates after the procedure, presumably from "flushing" out the Fallopian tubes.

HOW to schedule an HSG

An HSG should be performed after you have completed your period and prior to ovulation. For most women, the best time to have an HSG is between day 6 and 12 of their cycle. If there is any question as to the appropriate timing of the exam, check with your doctor.

WHAT you should do to prepare

Taking 600mg of ibuprofen 30-60 minutes prior to the procedure will alleviate cramping. No other preparation is needed. There is no need to fast; it is a good idea to eat something. If you have ever had a reaction to dye, please inform your doctor or the X-ray technician prior to the beginning of the procedure.

WHAT to expect during the procedure

Your doctor will insert a speculum, just like for a Pap smear, and cleanse the cervix with a betadyne soap solution. A thin catheter (tube) will then be inserted into your cervical canal. Some women feel a slight cramp during this part of the procedure. A tiny balloon will be inflated to hold the catheter in position. This may also cause a mild cramp. Your doctor will then remove the speculum. A small amount of fluid (contrast dye) will be injected through the catheter in order to fill the uterine cavity. A "live" X-ray is taken while the dye fills the cavity of the uterus. The physician watches the dye fill the uterus to observe if it flows through one or both tubes. You may also watch, if you desire. There may be slight cramping during this time. Once the pictures are taken, the balloon is deflated and the catheter and vaginal probe are removed. If there is cramping, it usually lasts about 10-20 seconds and then subsides. The procedure takes about five to ten minutes.

WHAT to expect after the procedure

Some women will have slight cramping throughout the day. The soap used to clean the cervix is dark brown. The dye is clear and sticky. Throughout the day, expect a discharge of dye and soap. You may use a tampon or pad. Slight bleeding is no cause for concern.

RESULTS

The doctor who performs the procedure will immediately discuss results.

FAQ

Can I try to get pregnant immediately after the HSG?
Most women are ovulating days after the HSG. Yes, you may try and conceive unless your doctor has instructed otherwise.

Are there possible complications?
As with any medical procedure, there is always a chance of a complication. Infection is rare, but please call immediately if you have a fever in the days following an HSG. Some women have an allergic reaction to the dye. If you have ever had an allergic reaction to X-ray dye, you should not have an HSG.

Can my husband or a friend accompany me?
Our HSG suite is quite small and cannot accommodate visitors. We are happy to include your husband, partner or friend in the discussion of results immediately following the procedure.

If I need to see a fertility specialist, can he or she get the results?
Of course. Please let us know if you would like a written report and pictures for your records or for your fertility specialist.