Hysterosalpingogram (HSG)

Definition - What does Hysterosalpingogram (HSG) mean?

A hysterosalpingogram (HSG) is an X-ray procedure that examines the uterus, fallopian tubes and surrounding areas within the body. In cases of infertility, a hysterosalpingogram may be ordered as a diagnostic test to check for issues or complications that may be preventing pregnancy from occurring. The exam typically lasts less then ten minutes, and carries few risks or complications.

FertilitySmarts explains Hysterosalpingogram (HSG)

The hysterosalpingogram is a procedure that typically occurs in the radiology department of a medical office or hospital. During the exam, contrast dye, a water-based liquid that can be seen by X-ray, is inserted into the uterus through a thin tube in the vagina and the small opening of the cervix. The dye flows through the uterus and the fallopian tubes while the X-ray machines take a series of photos.

These photos are used to check for abnormalities, blockage, damage, or any situation that would hinder an egg’s descent from the ovary or sperm’s advancement into the fallopian tubes. The test may also indicate if there are any issues in the uterus that would prevent the implantation, or attachment, of a fertilized egg to the uterine wall.

Prior to the procedure, ibuprofen or a similar pain reliever may be administered to avoid cramping or pain. Similar to a pelvic examination, clothes below the waist will be removed, and the test will occur on an examination table with feet raised and in stirrups. A speculum is inserted into the vagina prior to the opening of the cervix and insertion of the dye tube. Mild discomfort may occur while the exam is underway.

The test may incur a small chance of infection and some women may be allergic to the dye. Following the test, light bleeding and mild pain may occur.

This test should not be done on pregnant women as the contrast dye may be harmful to the fetus and increase the risk of miscarriage.

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