Hysterosalpingogram (HSG) is a diagnostic procedure that uses an X-ray to look at your fallopian tubes and uterus.

HSG is an important test in determining female fertility potential. In order to get pregnant, your fallopian tubes must be open for an egg to travel from the ovary to the uterus. The uterus must be shaped normally to accept and support a developing embryo. An HSG helps your doctor to determine if this is happening as it should.

Hysterosalpingogram: What to Expect

During an HSG, your health care provider will use a small catheter, inserted through the vagina and into the cervix, to inject an iodine-based contrast media. He or she will then monitor its flow via real-time X-ray from the uterus through the tubes and into the abdominal cavity.

HSG is an outpatient procedure.

An HSG usually causes mild or moderate uterine cramping for about 5 minutes. We advise taking 600mg of Ibuprofen 30 minutes prior to the procedure to minimize cramping.

An HSG is considered a very safe procedure. However, a complication may occur less than 1 percent of the time. The most common complications include infection and fainting. You should notify your physician if you have a fever or increased vaginal discharge after the procedure.

Vaginal spotting commonly occurs for 1 to 2 days after HSG. Unless otherwise instructed, you should notify your doctor if you experience heavy bleeding after HSG.

Hysterosalpingogram: Understanding the Results

If your tubes are blocked, the dye cannot pass and this is visible on X-ray. Sometimes this can be corrected at the time of the HSG.

Uterine abnormalities such as polyps, fibroids, or congenital malformations are usually visible in the HSG. Sometimes forcing dye through the tubes will cause them to open or small obstructions might be removed.

Consequently, some women may have an increased chance of pregnancy in the months immediately following the HSG.