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Hysterosalpingogram - What to Expect?

Updated: Oct 2, 2022

You have seen your fertility specialist, and a long list of recommended testing has been handed over for your “to do” list. Most likely, your provider has included a hysterosalpingogram. In this article, we will be describing the procedure, what to expect and how to prepare.

What is a Hysterosalpingogram?

A hysterosalpingogram, also referred to as an HSG, is an x-ray procedure that is used to evaluate the inside of the uterus and fallopian tubes.

During the procedure, a contrast dye is placed in the uterus and fallopian tubes. The dye allows your provider to evaluate the inner size and structure of the uterus and fallopian tubes.

Why Is a Hysterosalpingogram Performed?

Hysterosalpingograms are often performed as part of a patient’s fertility workup. This procedure can identify scarring or abnormalities in the uterus or fallopian tubes which can impact fertility. In some cases, a hysterosalpingogram may be performed following tubal ligation to ensure that the fallopian tubes have been completely blocked.

How Is a Hysterosalpingogram Performed?

Hysterosalpingograms are performed in the hospital, clinic or office setting. For this procedure, the patient lies on her back as if she is preparing for a pelvic examination. A speculum is used, and a local anesthetic is sometimes placed on the cervix. Fluid is placed into the uterus, and x-ray images are taken as fluid fills the uterus and fallopian tubes.

What Should I Expect with a Hysterosalpingogram?

Patients often experience cramping during the procedure. This may continue for a day or two after the procedure. Additionally, there may be slight vaginal bleeding for a couple of days.

What Risks Are Associated with a Hysterosalpingogram?

The procedure is relatively low risk. There is the possibility of an allergy to the dye, pelvic infection or injury to the uterus. However, these complications are rare.

Closing Message:

A hysterosalpingogram is often ordered as part of the fertility workup process. The procedure is an outpatient procedure performed in the hospital or clinic setting. Hysterosalpingograms allow for visualization of the uterus and fallopian tubes and identification of any potential issues that could impact fertility. The procedure is a relatively low risk procedure, and patients often have minimal pain following the procedure.

Have you been evaluated with a hysterosalpingogram? What was your experience like? We welcome you to share in the comments below.

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