Hysterosalpinogram (HSG) Handout

Hysterosalpinogram (HSG) Handout


Hysterosalpinogram (HSG) is used to help identify structural abnormalities of the uterine cavity and the integrity of the fallopian tubes. This is performed in a radiology facility with fluoroscopic guidance. An HSG involves placing a speculum in the vagina, cleaning the cervix with a mild disinfectant, followed by inserting a small catheter through the cervix past the internal os, i.e. into the lower portion of the uterine cavity. The catheter is connected to a syringe which contains a fluid which blocks the transmission of the x-ray beam. The fluid is slowly injected, to fill the uterine cavity and the fallopian tubes. This procedure is frequently referred to as the ‘dye test’ by women, but the fluid is actually clear like water. As the fluid blocks the s-ray beam, the uterine cavity and fallopian tubes can be visualized, much like bone is visualized with an x-ray.

While injecting the fluid under fluoroscopic guidance, the physician can watch the uterus and fallopian tubes fill; abnormalities within the uterine cavity and patency of the fallopian tubes can be evaluated. It is also possible to evaluate whether there may be scar tissue around the tube, as the fluid would not be able to disperse throughout the pelvis. The test is done on an x-ray table, without the administration of any anesthesia. Women may experience cramping, the severity of which can be minimized by taking ibuprofen or naproxen an hour before the procedure. Should cramping occur, it typically abates within 5 to 10 minutes. The actual injection of fluid takes about 60 seconds. We ask women to take an oral antibiotic to minimize the very small risk of an infection. The test is performed after the end of menstrual bleeding, but prior to ovulation, to avoid radiating a pregnancy. Should a woman be on BCP’s, and there is no chance of pregnancy, the procedure can be performed any time, as long as there is no vaginal bleeding. Please ask the radiologist for a copy of the HSG if your physician at Alpha Fertility is not performing the procedure.

You will be given a copy on a CD-ROM. Please droop this off at Alpha Fertility or bring it with you at your next scheduled appointment. Your physician at Alpha Fertility will review the x-ray images of the procedure with you at your next appointment. 

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