A hysterosalpingogram or more commonly known as the HSG is an important test for you and other females for fertility potential; and for the test, a hysterosalpingogram or HSG is utilized, and it is an x-ray method to check if your tubes are open and if the inner portion of your uterus is normal. The HSG is generally an outpatient procedure that takes just about five minutes to achieve; also, this procedure is usually done right before your ovulation or after your menstrual period.

Why is Hysterosalpingogram Done?

Your doctor or healthcare specialist may request that you take this test if you are having any problems when it comes to getting pregnant or if you ever experienced any pregnancy problems such as miscarriages. Furthermore, hysterosalpingography can also identify the causes of infertility.

If you have ever undergone tubal surgery in the past, your doctor or healthcare specialist may ask for a hysterosalpingography for them to be able to check and determine if the operation was successful; however, if you had undergone a tubal ligation – a method that closes your fallopian tubes – the doctor may instead, order this kind of test to make sure that your fallopian tubes are properly and securely closed. Furthermore, the test can also determine if a reversal of your tubal ligation was favorable when it comes to reopening the fallopian tubes.

How the Hysterosalpingogram is Done

You will be asked to lay under a fluoroscope – a kind of X-ray device that can easily take photos during a study – so a radiologist or gynecologist can thoroughly examine your uterus. During the process, he or she will set a speculum in your vagina. After this, your cervix will be cleaned before a cannula will be placed right into the opening of your cervix.

Your doctor will then carefully and gently fill your uterus with fluid that can easily be seen through the X-ray; this is necessary since the contrast will be viewed as white which can easily exhibit the contours of your uterus. The liquid will slowly travel from the cannula all the way to the uterus, and once it reaches your fallopian tubes, it will also thoroughly outline the area and will spill out if the ends of the tubes are open. During the hysterosalpingogram, your doctor will also be able to detect any abnormalities in the uterine cavity since the movement of the fluid will instantly be disrupted by the present abnormalities.

Keep in mind that this procedure is not necessarily designed to diagnose endometriosis or to assess your ovaries; it also cannot determine any fibroids that are detected outside your endometrial cavity. Most of the time, side views of your fallopian tubes and uterus are acquired when you change positions while underneath the fluoroscope. Once the hysterosalpingogram is done, you can instantly continue with your regular activities unless your doctors request that you avoid having intercourse for a couple of days.

Risks and Complications of Hysterosalpingogram

When you go through the hysterosalpingogram, the usual side effects include mild to moderate uterine cramps for about five to ten minutes in total; however, there are some women who experience longer periods of cramping which usually lasts for about several hours. Thankfully, these HSG symptoms can be lessened by taking medicines for menstrual cramps right when they occur or before the HSG procedure.

Despite the cramps, hysterosalpingogram is still considered to be an extremely safe procedure; however, there are some common complications that accompany the procedure – some of these are serious but these occur less than a percentage of the time.

• Fainting

This is rare but there are times when women end up getting light-heading shortly after or during the HSG.

• Infections

One of the most common and serious issues linked with hysterosalpingogram is the pelvic infection; it usually happens when you have previously experienced a tubal disease. In rare instances, the infection can quickly destroy your fallopian tubes to the point where the tubes need to be completely removed. If you are ever experiencing fever or increased pains within one to two days of the hysterosalpingogram procedure, call your doctor as soon as possible and inform him or her about this.

• Iodine Allergy

This is another rare case but sometimes, women tend to get allergies due to the iodine contrast that is utilized in HSG. If you ever plan to go through the procedure, make sure to inform your doctor if you are allergic to iodine, seafood, or intravenous contrast dyes. If this is the case, you should have your HSG done using a contrast solution without iodine; however, if you ever experience itching, rashes, or even swelling right after the hysterosalpingogram, you should tell your doctor immediately.

• Spotting

This usually happens a day or two after the procedure; unless instructed by your doctor, you should notify him or her if you notice any.

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