Hysterosalpingogram (HSG) is also called “dye test” as a liquid dye is inserted by a catheter through the vagina (cervix) into the uterus. Then, X-rays are taken to see if there is partly or fully a blockage in the fallopian tubes and if the dye flows freely into the abdomen. HSG is also used to show if the inside of the uterus is of a normal size and shape.
Hysterosalpingogram (HSG) is an important diagnostic test performed in the initial fertility consultation for evaluation of the fallopian tubes and the internal cavity of the uterus in infertile women. Other indications for HSG include recurrent miscarriages, abnormal vaginal bleeding, or suspected uterine anomalies.
Hysterosalpingogram (HSG) is scheduled when period ends, but before the expected day of ovulation, between days 5 to 12 of the menstrual cycle. To figure out the days of menstrual cycle, day 1 is the day of the period begins.
After lying down on a table under an X-ray imager called a fluoroscopea speculum is inserted into the vagina to keep it open, and then cervix is cleaned. Next a thin tube called a cannula is inserted into the cervix and the speculum is removed. The uterus is filled with a radio-opaque liquid that is called dye. The liquid contrasts with the uterus and fallopian tubes on the X-rays.Finally, the images are taken with the fluoroscope X-ray. It usually takes less than 5 minutes, and you can go home the same day.
In most women, the dye painlessly passes through the uterus, through the fallopian tubes, and out into the abdominal cavity. Some women may feel slight cramping, especially when the dye is injected. In women who have a blocked fallopian tubethe dye can cause pressure and can then lead to substantial discomfort or even pain.Over-the-counter pain medicines such as ibuprofen can help relieve this pain or discomfort.
Some vaginal spotting or vaginal discharge can occur for a few days after the procedure. Cramps, dizziness, and nausea are possible, as well. These side effects are normal and will eventually go away.
Hysterosalpingogram (HSG) is considered a relatively safe procedure but all procedures have risks.
Infection - The most common serious problem with Hysterosalpingogram (HSG) is pelvic infection which occur less than 1% of the time. This usually occurs when a woman has had previous tubal disease (such as a past infection of chlamydia). In rare cases, infection can damage the fallopian tubes or make it necessary to remove them.
The symptoms of the infection are:
Radiation Exposure - The risk of radiation exposure is exceptionally low, less than with a lung study. This exposure does not cause harm, even if a woman conceives in the same month.
Iodine Allergy - An allergy to the iodinecontrast used in HSG is rarely observed. Ifa woman is allergic to iodine she should inform her doctor. HSG procedure can be performed without an iodine-containing contrast solution.
A radiologist will evaluate the X-ray images and report to your doctor. You will talk the results with your doctor and your doctor will explain if more tests are needed.If the report shows that your fallopian tubes are blocked,your doctor will explain you about the options of either laparoscopy or in vitro fertilization(IVF), and help you make the decision that is best for you.
The Hysterosalpingogram (HSG) procedure allows about 5% of infertile couples to be diagnosed with blocked tubes.An infection, endometriosis, or a previous ectopic pregnancy may cause severe scarring of the fallopiantubes and block the tubes which prevent pregnancy, these obstructions cannot be opened by HSG.
Once the dye inserted during HSG, it can flush some mucous through the fallopian tube and open a blocked tube. For this reason,the chances of getting pregnant can increase as much as 25% for up to three months after the procedure.
Hysterosalpingogram (HSG) might boost the chances of conceiving, but it is important to remember that the primary purpose is to serve as a diagnostic test. It is safe to try within several days.