Hysterosalpingogram, or HSG, is a radiology procedure that uses x-rays to evaluate the uterus and fallopian tubes. The examination is often ordered for patients experiencing difficulty in getting pregnant, women with prior fallopian tube surgery, or in women planning a reversal of prior tubal ligation. It can be used to evaluate women who have a developmental or congenital deformity of the shape of the uterus. Some sterilization procedures (like Essure tubes) require an HSG to show the tubes are blocked.
Here’s what you can expect when you schedule an HSG:
You will be asked to schedule your appointment between days 7 through 11 of your menstrual cycle. Day 1 of your menstrual cycle is the day you start your period and the exam is done 7 - 11 days following when you are no longer bleeding. This should be a normal period - since the test uses low doses of xrays, we don't want to do the test if there is a chance you are pregnant. The day of your exam we recommend taking ibuprofen (600 mg) 1 hour prior to your exam to limit menstrual cramping that can result from the procedure.
The HSG procedure will require an injection of contrast medication or x-ray contrast dye. This colorless medication is injected through a small tube, called a catheter, placed in your cervix. The contrast material will fill your uterine cavity and then flow into your fallopian tubes. X-ray pictures will be taken during the test.
The images produced will be interpreted by the radiologist. Often times, the radiologist can show the images to you right after the test, as many people find them interesting to see. The procedure typically lasts about 10-15 minutes, not counting the setup time.
After your HSG is completed, you may experience mild cramping or a small amount of spotting. Most women return to normal activity that day without limitation.
Results will be interpreted by the radiologist and a final report will be sent to your provider.
Originally published 8/1/13 on diagnosticimagingcenterskc.com.