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What is A Hysterosalpingogram?

A hysterosalpingogram (HSG) is a form of x-ray, which is used to determine the cause of a woman’s infertility. HSG enables the doctor to diagnose issues such as uterine fibroids, fallopian tube blockages, polyps, and congenital abnormalities of the uterus.

Hysterosalpingography: When A Hysterosalpingogram (HSG) is Needed For Infertility

What happens during an HSG?

This type of procedure is usually performed in the radiology department of a hospital. The woman lies on a table and a speculum is inserted into her vagina. The doctor injects a water-based contrast solution into the uterus via the cervix. This will show up on the x-ray and reveal any abnormalities or blockages.

If the test result is normal, the x-ray will show the uterus filled with fluid and fluid in the left and right fallopian tubes. If the test result is abnormal, the x-ray will show the flow of fluid stopped at a blockage. In the presence of polyps, uterine fibroids, or uterine scarring, the fluid will move around the edges of the obstructions.

Are there any side effects of HSG?

Often, an HSG will cause mild cramping for up to 10 minutes. Some women may experience cramping for several hours after the test. In this case, women can alleviate the symptoms by taking an over-the-counter medication used to treat menstrual cramps.

Risks and complications of HSG

HSG x-rays are considered to be very safe procedures, with complications only occurring 1% of the time. Some reported complications include fainting, pelvic infection, iodine allergy, and spotting. Radiation exposure is minimal and does not cause harm even for women who conceive later in the same month as the HSG.

What happens after HSG?

Sometimes, an HSG can solve fertility issues. For example, if a woman has debris attached to the fallopian tubes, the fluid may dislodge it. An HSG also flushes out mucus and stretches the tubes a little. If a woman’s tubes are blocked, doctors will usually recommend a laparoscopy to view the tubes directly or bypass the blockage by using in vitro fertilization (IVF). Both options should be discussed with the doctor before a decision is made. HSG is a great solution for many women having difficulty conceiving.

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