A Hysterosalpingogram Is a Valuable Procedure for Female Fertility Evaluation
One of the fertility evaluation tools we use at our Tulsa fertility clinic is a hysterosalpingogram, or HSG. This non-surgical procedure gives our fertility experts a detailed examination of the inside of the uterus. An X-ray test with dye, HSG provides our physicians with information about a woman’s reproductive anatomy, including her uterus, endometrium and fallopian tubes. It helps identify potential problems, such as blockages in the fallopian tubes or uterine anatomical issues such as fibroids, polyps or adhesions.
Who benefits from HSG
Our physicians typically begin their evaluation with a pelvic examination, bloodwork and a transvaginal ultrasound. After those exams, they may decide that a hysterosalpingogram could give them vital information that they need to create a treatment plan. This step is particularly important for women who have suffered multiple miscarriages or have unexplained infertility. Women who are pregnant or have a pelvic infection should not have this procedure.
What to expect during a hysterosalpingogram
HSG is an X-ray of the fallopian tubes and uterus. The physician injects dye into the tubes and uterine cavity. The actual procedure only takes about five minutes or less.
Here’s what women should expect during the test.
- The patient lies down on a table with stirrups.
- The provider inserts a speculum into the vagina, like physicians do during a pelvic exam.
- Next, the provider inserts a thin catheter into the uterus through the cervical canal and injects the dye through the thin tube.
- As the dye enters the uterus, patients may need to straighten their legs or move into different positions.
- When the provider finishes with the X-rays, he or she removes the tubes.
Women often experience some mild discomfort and may feel cramping during the procedure. They can take an over-the-counter pain reliever about an hour before the procedure. It’s fine to go home immediately following a hysterosalpingogram, but patients need to have someone drive them.
What to expect after an HSG procedure
After the procedure, women should wear a sanitary pad to absorb dye and discharge. Cramps, dizziness, nausea or stomach upset, and some vaginal bleeding for a day or two after the procedure are common side effects.
Like any medical procedure, there are certain risks, but complications such as infection, allergies to the dye, or injuries to the uterus are very rare. Women should call our physicians if they experience any of the following symptoms after HSG because they may have an infection.
- Foul-smelling vaginal discharge
- Heavy vaginal bleeding
- Severe abdominal cramping
After the physicians at our Tulsa fertility clinic receive the test results, they meet with patients and discuss how the information affects their diagnosis and treatment.
A woman’s fertility evaluation is in expert hands at our Tulsa fertility clinic
HSG is one of the tools our fertility experts use to diagnose infertility. Every woman is unique, and each needs an individualized diagnosis and treatment plan. Contact us to start your fertility journey.