Hysterosalpingogram (HSG)

A hysterosalpingogram, pronounced HIS-ta-ro-sal-PING-o-gram, is a test that lets the doctor examine the inside walls of your uterus and fallopian tubes.

Having a blocked fallopian tube or a growth in your uterus can reduce your chances for pregnancy.  If your fallopian tubes are blocked, the sperm can’t reach the egg.  A hysterosalpingogram (HSG) is a test that uses x-rays and a special dye to detect scar tissue, polyps, fibroids, and other growths that may be blocking your tubes or preventing a fertilized egg from implanting properly in your uterus.

What to expect during the HSG

The HSG is usually done in a radiology department and takes only a few minutes to complete.  Your doctor will insert a speculum into your vagina (like when you have a Pap smear), and then place a thin plastic tube inside your cervix that will lead to your uterus and fallopian tubes.  A special dye will be injected through the plastic tube.  The dye should fill your uterus and fallopian tubes, and spill out of each fallopian tube.  Next, x-rays will be taken, and your doctor can evaluate these organs.

Frequently Asked Questions About a Hysterosalpingogram

A friend had an HSG and said it was painful.  Is that true?

Many women feel some cramping, especially when the dye is injected.  Women who have a blocked fallopian tube may feel intense pain.  Over-the-counter pain medicines, such as ibuprofen, can help relieve this pain or discomfort.  Speak to your doctor about taking a pain medicine 30 to 60 minutes before the procedure to prevent or reduce pain during the test.

Is it OK to drive home by myself after the test?

Many women have no pain after the HSG, but you may feel crampy or achy after the procedure. But you should be able to drive yourself home.

What are the risks of a hysterosalpingogram?

The risks of the HSG include pain or discomfort, infection, and vaginal spotting or bleeding.  Contact your doctor if you develop a fever or continue to feel pain for more than a few days.

When is the best time during my cycle to schedule the HSG?

The test should be scheduled after your period ends, but before you expect to ovulate, usually between days six to eleven (6-11) of your menstrual cycle.  To figure out the days of your cycle, count day one (1) as the day your period begins.

HSG’S are performed Monday through Friday at 10:30 AM in the Radiology Department at Abington Memorial Hospital.