What is a Hysterosalpingogram (HSG)?

A hysterosalpingogram (HSG) is a fluoroscopic X-ray exam in which a contrast media (X-ray dye) is injected into the uterus through a catheter placed in the vagina. This exam is commonly performed on individuals experiencing infertility to assess the anatomical structure and condition of the uterus and degree (if any) of patency in the fallopian tubes. This exam is also useful in detecting adhesions, fibroids, and polyps that may be present in the uterus. 

How do I prepare for the exam?

Patients should have a pregnancy test performed prior to this exam being performed.

Also, patients must abstain from unprotected sexual intercourse from the point in which their cycle begins until after their procedure is completed.

What will happen during the exam?

You will be asked to undress and change into a hospital gown. You will be directed to lie on your back on a special X-ray table. A radiographer and an OB/GYN may all be in the room for the exam. A speculum will be inserted into the vagina so that an antiseptic solution can be applied to the cervix.

A catheter will be inserted into the uterus, and the speculum will be removed. A contrast media (X-ray dye) will be injected through the catheter into the uterus. As the uterus fills, the contrast should flow into the fallopian tubes. If this does not occur, additional contrast may be injected and the woman may be asked to roll slightly to one side and then the other to further assess the anatomy. Additional pressure may be applied as well.

Fluoroscopic X-ray images will be taken at various points of the procedure. You may experience cramping and increased pressure throughout the exam, but this should subside shortly after the catheter is removed and the exam is completed. If you experience increased pain, fever, or heavy bleeding after the exam is completed, contact your doctor immediately.

How long will the procedure take?

An HSG usually only takes 5-10 minutes to perform the actual procedure, but the room is booked for 30 minutes to allow for pre-procedure consultation and room set-up, and post procedure recovery from cramping that is common with the contrast injection.

How will I get the results?

You will get the results from your doctor.


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