WHAT IS HYSTEROSALPINGOGRAPHY?
Hysterosalpingography (HSG) is a type of X-ray of the female reproductive system. For this purpose, a contrast medium is used which helps visualize the uterine cavity and the fallopian tubes. This procedure is extremely important for reproductive medicine because it helps gynecologists to find the cause of infertility in many patients.
Hysterosalpingography is performed to establish:
- Presence of adhesions inside the fallopian tubes
- Shape and size of the uterine cavity
- Congenital anomalies of the uterus and fallopian tubes
The test is not performed when we suspect pregnancy, pelvic inflammatory disease, allergy to the contrast medium, severe heart or kidney disease, vaginal bleeding.
PREPARATION FOR THE TEST
A few weeks before HSG, you will be tested for vaginal infections. If one is found, you will receive treatment.
Hysterosalpingography is performed between the 8th and 12th day of the menstrual cycle. It is important that you abstain from sexual intercourse after the beginning of that menstrual cycle.
On the day of the test or the day before, you will have blood drawn for a complete blood count (CBC) and erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR) to rule out infection. If you feel unwell (eg fever, diarrhea, burning when urinating, etc.), be sure to tell your obstetrician-gynecologist.
WHAT TO EXPECT DURING THE TEST?
The contrast agent is injected through the cervical canal with a soft, thin catheter into the uterine cavity and fallopian tubes. This is when the X-ray is taken. If the fallopian tubes are intact, the contrast medium flows into the abdominal cavity and is absorbed. In the presence of adhesions, the contrast matter stops at the level of adhesion, which is shown on the X-ray.
Hysterosalpingography can cause some discomfort or pain that resembles menstrual cramps. If necessary, intravenous anesthesia could be used. You will be advised to abstain from sexual intercourse for a week after the procedure.
Your gynecologist will interpret your test results and together you will discuss the most suitable methods for you to achieve a successful pregnancy.