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Understanding The HSG Procedure: What To Expect And How To Prepare

A hysterosalpingogram (HSG) is an X-ray procedure used to see whether the fallopian tubes are patent (open) and if the inside of the uterus (uterine cavity) is normal. An HSG can assist your doctor in identifying abnormalities in your reproductive anatomy that may prevent you from conceiving.

When does a hysterosalpingogram occur?

Your provider will schedule your procedure after the menstrual period ends but before you

HSG Procedure

ovulate (cycle day 5-10).

Who must not receive a hysterosalpingogram?

If you are pregnant or have a pelvic infection, you should not undergo an HSG.

What Can You Expect From A Hysterosalpingogram?

An HSG is an outpatient procedure that takes under five minutes.

During the procedure, your physician will inject a dye-containing fluid into your uterus and fallopian tubes while an X-ray is taken.

Getting ready for the dye injection

  • A woman is positioned under a fluoroscope (x-ray imager that will take pictures during the study)

  • Your provider will introduce a speculum tool into your vagina to expand it and give access to your cervix.

  • Your doctor will clean your cervix and a device (cannula) is placed into the opening of the cervix. Alternatively, your supplier may employ a thin plastic tube with a balloon at the end. Once within your body, the balloon inflates to hold the dye injection tube in place.

Injecting the Die

  • The doctor gently fills the uterus with a liquid containing iodine (a fluid that can be seen by x-ray) through the cannula. The contrast will be seen as white on the image and can show the contour of the uterus as the liquid travels from the cannula, into the uterus, and through the fallopian tubes.

  • As the contrast enters the tubes, it outlines the length of the tubes and spills out their ends if they are open.

  • Abnormalities inside the uterine cavity may also be detected by the doctor observing the x-ray images when the fluid movement is disrupted by the abnormality.