Hysterosalpingography (HSG)


Common Indications for Hysterosalpingography
  • Used to examine women with fertility problems.
  • Used to investigate repeated miscarriages.
  • Used to follow up the results of surgery of the fallopian tubes.
  • Hysterosalpingography is usually safe and has rare complications.
  • This test can occasionally open fallopian tubes that are blocked, allowing patient to become pregnant afterwards. Although a test may be helpful for those people trying to conceive, it is important to remember that it is first and foremost a diagnostic test, not an infertility treatment.
  • No radiation remains in a patient's body after an x-ray examination.
  • X-rays used as a diagnostic tool usually has no side effects.
The test is similar to a vaginal examination. During or after the procedure you may experience cramping as you might during your period if the contrast material spills into your abdominal cavity or if the fallopian tubes are blocked. In general the pain is not severe and medication is not required. Some patients do experience severe pain due to individual pain thresholds and other pathology.
  • In the case of a chronic inflammatory condition, a pelvic infection or an untreated sexually transmitted infection, the patient must notify the doctor before the procedure to avoid worsening the infection. Some doctors will prescribe antibiotics to be taken for two to three days after the procedure to reduce the risk of infection.
  • The possibility of an allergic reaction to the contrast material is rare. The reaction is usually a rash and it is not usually severe or serious.
  • Pelvic infection and uterine perforation are possible complications that can occur, but these are very uncommon.
  • You will be exposed to radiation; therefore, this test should not be performed if you are pregnant. If you are not sure if you could be pregnant, always let your doctor know.
  • Hysterosalpingography only sees the inside of the uterus (uterine cavity) and fallopian tubes. Abnormalities of the ovaries, wall of the uterus, and other pelvic structures should be evaluated by other methods, such as ultrasound and/or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
  • Infertility problems may be caused by a number of factors that cannot be evaluated by hysterosalpingography, such as low or abnormal sperm count or the inability of a fertilized egg to implant in the uterus
  • The procedure can sometimes fail due to abnormality of the cervix, such as a blockage that prevents the contrast material from being injected into the uterus, or if the cervix is too open, causing the contrast material to leak out.
  • Hysterosonogram (examination of a uterine cavity and fallopian tubes by using a transvaginal ultrasound with injection of sterile saline into the cervix.)
  • Hysteroscopy (the inspection of the uterine cavity by endoscopy with access through the cervix to diagnose uterine abnormality.)
  • Laparoscopy (examination through a camera inserted through the abdomen, for diagnosis and surgery.)

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