HSG is an X ray test which is done to see the outline of the shape of the uterus and to check if the fallopian tubes are blocked or open.
It is a minor procedure in which a special dye is injected that fills the uterus and then spills through the open fallopian tubes.
When Should this test be done
- As a part of workup for infertility.
- Usually recommended when a couple has been trying for more than a year with no success and when other basic tests have already been done.
- It is done after the periods ends but before the expected ovulation usually on cycle day 8 or 9.
- The procedure takes around 15-20 minutes and is usually done in x ray department.
- The woman is made to lie on a bed that is positioned so that a x ray imager is above, that can take pictures during the procedure.
- The gynecologist will do an internal examination and then places a speculum in the vagina.
- The cervix is visualized then cleaned and then a cannula like devise is placed into the opening of the cervix.
- Then through this cannula a liquid dye that contains iodine is slowly injected to fill up the uterus.
- This dye can be seen on the Xray as a white image.
What Abnormalities can be detected on HSG
- Abnormalities like polyps or fibroids inside the uterine cavity can be seen.
- The shape of the uterus is outlined and any abnormal shape can be detected.
- The length of the fallopian tubes and if they are open by the spill of the liquid dye confirms the patency.
Is it Painful?
- The procedure may cause mild to moderate periods like cramps for around 5-10 minutes.
- Some women may experience more pain and some may complain of only a mild discomfort.
- Some may experience on and off cramps for 1-2 days after the procedure.
- Pain killers like ibuoprofen before the procedure can help reduce the pain.
Chances to Conceive after the procedure.
Although HSG is only a diagnostic procedure, it is observed that after a normal HSG test where the tubes are open there is a slight increased chance to conceive for the next 3 months.
Risks And Complications
- Generally a very safe procedure.
- Infection is one of the most common complications and usually occurs if the procedure is done when there is already a pelvic infection.
- Some women may faint and this may happen if they are stressed about the procedure or may have a low threshold for pain.
- Radiation exposure: since the images are taken by x ray there is radiation exposure nut the risk of any damage is usually very low.
- Iodine allergy: very rarely if allergic to iodine contrast dye allergic reaction may happen.
- Spotting or very light bleeding may happen for 1-2 days after the procedure. If any heavy bleeding should inform doctor immediately.
What to do If Tubes are Blocked
- If only one tube is blocked conceiving is still possible but the chances are reduced.
- If both tubes are blocked either you need to go for IVF procedure to conceive or a laparoscopy is done in which tubes are washed and an attempt is done to open them.