The Concept of Hysterosalpingogram (HSG) Testing in Women

hsg testing in womens

Hysterosalpingogram are a form of x-ray testing, which mainly examines a woman’s Fallopian tube and uterus. It is a common test performed on women who are having a hard time getting pregnant and is one of the best tools that current medical science brings to women who are battling infertility. The test is best done after a woman’s menstruation period has finished, but prior to ovulation because this would ensure that the woman undergoing the test isn’t pregnant; having an empty bowel is recommended as well as this would lead to greater visibility of the uterus as well as other nearby structures.

Why Hysterosalpingogram Tests are Necessary

The test is very effective in identifying abnormal structures (tumors, fibroid’s, etc.) in the uterus, which are often the culprits behind constant miscarriages and other fertility issues. It is also a very potent way of examining blockages in the Fallopian tube. These blockages are often the results of scars brought about by infections in the said structure. Lastly, it is used to examine whether tubal ligation procedures were successfully executed or not.

How Hysterosalpingogram are Performed

The test is usually performed by radiologists in a clinic or hospital’s X-ray room. The equipment used are typically a radio graphic table, a display monitor, and x-ray tubes. Prior to starting, most patients are given a mild sedative to help them relax and for the uterus to refrain from cramping. They are then asked to strip from the waist down; a gown will be placed on the waist. Afterward, they are asked to lie on the examination table with their feet held up (by stirrups, usually) or knees bent, which is very similar to a gynecological exam.

Once everything is set, the doctor will insert a speculum into the vagina; this instrument gently spreads the walls of the vagina leading up to the cervix. A cannula and catheter are employed to pass through the cervix then enter the uterus. A contrast dye is then poured into the two said tubes. The dye is a good way of knowing whether the Fallopian tube is blocked or not, as it would automatically flow through the said structure and absorbed by the body if it isn’t.

The dye will cover most of the structures in need of examination such as the main cavity of the uterus and Fallopian tubes. X-ray images of the structures, using a fluoroscopy, are then shown on the display monitor. After the doctor has deemed the test complete, the speculum, cannula, and catheter are removed.

The Effectiveness of Hysterosalpingogram

X-rays have always been very effective in most forms of medical examination. Coupled with X-ray dyes and a fluoroscopy, they prove to be the best method that doctors can perform to make real-time examinations of the uterus and Fallopian tube, or any internal part of the body for that matter.

While Hysterosalpingogram testing is, at best, a safe medical procedure, women should not fully disregard its risks. One of the most obvious is the exposure to radiation (albeit in low levels only), which are known promulgators of cancer. Pain and inflammation are experienced after testing as well, though rarely. The efficacy and precision of this type of examination, though, immediately dismisses the aforementioned downsides.


Author Bio:

Bloom Reproductive institute is one of the largest providers of advanced infertility treatment in Arizona. We provide the full range of IVF services, including in-vitro fertilization (IVF), egg/embryo freezing, embryo blastocyst culture and biopsy, PGS/PGD, and fertility preserving surgery. With the help our advanced reproduction and HSG testing treatments, our expert team is committed to helping patients achieve their dream of starting a family.


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