What is a Hysterosalpingogram?

Hysterosalpingogram (HSG) is an x-ray procedure done to diagnose problems of the uterus and fallopian tubes. The test is often used to determine the source of infertility.

Hysterosalpingogram is used to identify blockage in the fallopian tubes, the passageway an egg travels through from the ovary to the uterus. Partial or complete blockage of the tubes can lead to infertility.

Fertility specialists can also use HSG to evaluate the inside of the uterus. The test can reveal abnormalities in the shape of the uterus, issues which can contribute to infertility or interfere with pregnancy.


How is a Hysterosalpingogram Performed?

Hysterosalpingogram is performed using X-rays, so the test is typically done either at your fertility clinic or at a radiology center. Fertility specialists often prefer to do the test during days 5-12 of the menstrual cycle, since there is less risk within that timeframe the patient could have become pregnant.

No sedation is used during the HSG, although your reproductive endocrinologist may suggest you take pain medication, either over-the-counter or prescription strength, prior to the procedure.

Positioning for the hysterosalpingogram is identical to that of a pelvic exam. The woman lies on her back with her feet in stirrups and a speculum is inserted into the vagina. The cervix is then cleaned and a narrow catheter is placed through the cervix.

Dye is passed through the catheter and into the uterus and fallopian tubes while x-ray images are made. Some women experience mild cramping as the fluid is released. Position changes may be necessary throughout HSG to ensure the dye is distributed throughout the uterus and tubes.


Following Hysterosalpingogram

Complications due to hysterosalpingogram are rare. It is normal to experience vaginal discharge following HSG and the sticky discharge may have a bloody tinge. Some women also experience mild cramping and dizziness or nausea after the procedure. Menstrual pads should be used in place of tampons following HSG.


The following symptoms are NOT normal after hysterosalpingogram:



These symptoms could indicate infection or other complications and should be reported to your reproductive endocrinologist immediately.


Hysterosalpingogram is a minimally invasive procedure that can provide valuable information about the condition of the uterus and fallopian tubes. The test does not reveal information about the condition of the ovaries, uterine wall or other pelvic structures.

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