This article contains everything that you ever wanted to know about Hysterosalpingogram.
What is Hysterosalpingogram?
Hysterosalpingogram (or referred to as HSG) is a special form of X-Ray. The procedure involves injecting of Dye through the cervix and later taking X rays of Uterus and fallopian tubes. The image captured during the X-Ray will provide information on the structure of uterus and whether the tubes are blocked or open.
When do Doctors order a HSG?
It is a common procedure and can be ordered as routine check up. However, in most cases the HSG is ordered when there has been frequent miscarriages or if the physician suspects a blocked fallopian tube.
How to Prepare for an HSG?
This is not a surgical procedure therefore you do not have to be worried. No anesthesia is require and you will remain awake during the procedure.
The procedure is usually carried out after your periods but before ovulation. Approximately, the date falls around 10 or 12th of your menstrual cycle. You will have to speak to your fertility specialists as to the exact day.
The procedure needs only half an hour maximum to be completed. In some cases women feel pain when the dye is injected and hence common painkiller like ibuprofen might be prescribed. Moreover, antibiotics may also be prescribed to avert any chances of infection.
How is HSG done?
You will be asked to lay on the examination table (the usual ones found in the hospital). The designated doctor will arrive and do a quick pelvic exam.
After that, speculum will be placed in you vagina followed by cannula into your cervix. With the help of cannula the dye will be injected. After injection of dye an X Ray device is lowered over your abdomen. You are asked to hold you breath for every picture taken. A slight change in position for certain pictures might be necessary.
Problems with HSG:
Generally the procedure is safe. However in 1% of patients infection has occurred. This is possible when there are signs of infection in the fallopian tubes prior to procedure.
In some rare cases patient have experienced iodine allergy. If you are allergic to some objects talk to your doctor about it as it may help in avoiding allergens.
If you feel pain, fever or faintness talk to your physician immediately. You might also experience itching which can be treated.
Will the radiations of HSG procedure have any negative Effects?
The amount of radiation that you are exposed during a HSG procedure is very low therefore, there is no way that it can have any effect on you. Even if you have conceived at the same cycle if won’t have any effect.
If the dye goes free in the tubes and the uterus is in perfect shape then the cause of your infertility is neither uterus related or blocked fallopian tubes. However, if the dye does not pass through the tubes then blocked fallopian tube (s) is suspected which might be the cause of infertility.
Note: Statistics has shown that 35% of HSG report with respect to uterus are false. In other words an HSG is incompatible in detecting the uterus shape. You will have to opt for hysteroscopy to confirm the shape of your uterus. It consists of a telescopic structure inserted through the cervix into the uterus and visually inspected using a camera.
If the block appears where the uterus and the fallopian tubes meet then the doctor might order another HSG to confirm. This is because a blockage at this juncture has shown to have 15% of false positive.
An HSG only determines whether the tubes are blocked or open. It cannot explain the cause. Your physician might order laparascopy or hysteroscopy to know the cause of blockage.