What is a hysterosalpingogram (HSG)?

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 which is injected inside the uterine cavityto detect whether the fallopioan tubes are open or not. HSG is an outpatient procedure that usually takes less than 5 minutes to perform. It is usually done after the menstrual period ends but before ovulation.


What to expect during HSG ?

The HSG is done in a radiology lab and takes between 10 and 30 minutes. A speculum is inserted into your vagina and then a catheter / thin plastic tube is placed inside your cervix through which a special dye is injected. The dye fills the uterus and fallopian tubes and spill out of each fallopian tube. X rays are taken through the process to capture the images.


Is the HSG procedure painful?

Many women feel some cramping, especially when the dye is injected. Women who have a blocked fallopian tube may feel pain. Over-the-counter pain medicines such as ibuprofen can help relieve this pain or discomfort.


What are the risks or possible side effects of HSG?

There can be mild discomfort for few hours in lower abdomen. Some patients may have vaginal spotting or bleeding for a day or two which resolves by itself. The procedure is done under aseptic precautions so risk of infection is low but can occur for which antibiotics are prescribed.


What is the next step if tubes are blocked?

If there is Tubal blockage , depending on the cause and site of block you may be advised Laproscopy or other procedures. If there is blockage at the proximal end of the tubes FTR ( Fallopian tube recanalization ) can be done under fluoroscopy.

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