A hysterosalpingogram (HSG for short) is a non-invasive procedure which can performed at Coastal Fertility Specialists. HSG’s are used to detect blockages of the fallopian tubes and disorders or structural problems within the uterus. A small catheter is placed at the cervix and dyes is slowly injected while images are taken with an x-ray machine. The flow of dye through the uterus and out of the tubes is studied and recorded on x-ray film. In most circumstances the HSG is scheduled after a menstrual period but before ovulation (six to ten days after the start of menstrual flow). This test is usually scheduled by calling our office after your period begins.
There is some discomfort experienced with this test but it is transient and usually no worse that menstrual cramps. For your comfort, we recommend the following:
- Take an anti-inflammatory pain reliever (i.e., Nuprin, Medipren, Advil or ibuprofen) one hour prior to the procedure.
- Bring a panty liner or sanitary napkin to use after the procedure. Some of the dye, which is clear but sticky, may be expelled by the uterus after the procedure. Some dark brown spotting may be seen, which comes from the iodine solution used to clean the cervix.
Many patients have heard from others that this is a painful test. In the past this was certainly true. Currently we use different instruments to inject the dye, which is less painful. A new form of dye, which does not contain iodine, causes less distension and discomfort. We are aware of the possibility for discomfort and make every effort to be gentle in carrying out the procedure.
There is an additional benefit from this test to patients in whom no cause for their infertility has been diagnosed; studies have shown that the chance of conception appears to increase for several cycles after an HSG. If you have any questions regarding this procedure or any other, please call our office at (843) 883-5800.