Hysterosalpingogram (HSG)

A hysterosalpingogram (HSG) is an x-ray of your fallopian tubes, uterus, and pelvis. This test will provide us a better indication as to whether your fallopian tubes are open, damaged, or blocked and also help determine if there are any structural problems inside your uterus (e.g. scarring, fibroids, polyps, congenital malformations). An HSG is scheduled sometime between your fifth and twelfth cycle days. Therefore, we ask that you call our office the first day you begin your period; we consider cycle day one to be the first day of menstrual flow or, if menstrual flow begins after 6 PM, the following day is designated as day one.

The HSG is performed at a hospital in the radiology (x-ray) department. It is always performed as a brief outpatient procedure. Please advise us if your insurance provider requires that the test be performed at a specific hospital. You should plan to arrive at the hospital 30 minutes before the actual test time to allow for registration. The scheduled time is determined by the availability of the x-ray suite.

There is no preparation for an HSG. You may have food beforehand, although we suggest something light. We also encourage you to take ibuprofen, naproxen, or acetaminophen 30 minutes before the test to reduce cramping during the procedure. During the test, you are positioned on an x-ray table with foot rests similar to a pelvic examination.

Your physician will place a speculum in order to visualize your cervix, and use an iodine-based cleanser prior to placement of the HSG catheter. Once the catheter is passed into the uterine cavity, a tiny balloon is inflated to hold it in place. The speculum will be removed prior to instillation of x-ray dye. The dye will then fill the uterus and fallopian tubes, and flow out into the pelvis. Several pictures will be taken as the dye is injected. The entire process normally takes only 10 to 15 minutes.

Occasionally, you will continue to experience some cramping for a few hours after the HSG. Additional administration of one of the above medications should help relieve the discomfort. You may also notice some spotting and/or discharge after the test. This is very normal and should resolve within 48 hours. If pain or bleeding continues, a fever develops, or you have another concern, please contact the office immediately.

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