Although tricky to pronounce, a Hysterosalpingogram (HSG), is a simple in-office procedure that determines whether the fallopian tubes are open, and assesses the presence and condition of fibroids or polyps in the uterine cavity. Very low radiation x-rays are used via fluoroscope, while iodine contrast dye is gently injected into the uterus and fallopian tubes. The procedure takes roughly 20 minutes.
The female patient lies on an exam table under the fluoroscope. A speculum is placed in the vagina, and a catheter is used to administer the contrast dye through the cervical opening into the uterus. Once the dye is injected, the fluoroscope is used to determine whether the dye fills and spills out of the fallopian tubes, indicating the fallopian tubes are open.
An ultrasound called a hysterosonogram, may be performed at the time of the HSG providing an enhanced evaluation of the uterine cavity. A hysterosonogram can provide information that an HSG alone could miss. An HSG is performed for diagnostic purposes; however, there has been some evidence that an HSG may increase fertility in the months following the procedure. There are very few risks associated with this procedure, but it is important to tell your doctor if you are allergic to iodine, IV contrast dyes or seafood. There is an alternative for patients with these allergies.
Patients have rated an HSG as mildly to moderately uncomfortable, experiencing discomfort similar to menstrual cramps. A non-steroidal, such as Advil (Ibuprofen) taken ½ hour prior to the procedure, can minimize this discomfort. After the procedure the patient can resume their normal daily routines. Some spotting may occur, but heavy bleeding should be reported to our staff immediately. CNY Fertility Center offers HSG on-site, alleviating the need to go to a hospital for this procedure. Following the procedure, the doctor will be able to diagnose tubal or uterine factor infertility, and a treatment protocol can be established.