In the process of conception, the body pushes a mature egg into the fallopian tubes where the sperm meets the egg and fertilises it. Once the egg is fertilized, it begins to divide and multiply, developing into an embryo, all the while continuing its journey through the fallopian tubes, until it reaches the uterus. On reaching the uterus, it will implant itself into the uterine lining. However, plenty of factors can prevent the egg from travelling down the fallopian tubes or even prevent the sperm meeting the egg. This is when the hysterosalpingogram test is recommended.
This HSG test assesses whether the women’s fallopian tubes are open, while also assessing whether the uterus has a normal shape. It also detects whether the cavity is affected by fibroids, polyps or any scar tissue. If your doctor is recommending that you undergo an HCG test procedure, here is what you can expect:
1. Prior to starting the HSG test procedure, your doctor will test your urine. This is an important step, as it allows your doctors to ensure that you are not unknowingly pregnant before the procedure. Should you test positive for pregnancy, the dye that is used in this test can harm or even displace the growing fetus. This also increases the risk of miscarriage.
2. Once the urine test is completed, the HSG test will begin. The process is similar to a pap smear, wherein which a speculum is inserted into the vagina in order to view the cervix. Your cervix will be cleaned with an antiseptic solution before a thin catheter is placed inside the cervix. A small amount of contrast dye is then inserted into the cervix filling the uterus and fallopian tubes.
3. A special type of X – Ray known as fluoroscopy is used to provide a “live” X-ray that will show the dye, as it fills the uterus and travels into the tube. If the dye passes through the length of the tube and spilling into the other side, it is considered open and clear. This indicates that the tubes will be able to pick up an egg post ovulation and pass it through.
4. Someone individuals who undergo the hysterosalpingogram test tend to find it uncomfortable. Therefore, your doctor may prescribe a painkiller or suggest an over the counter pain medication. You should take the medication an hour before your procedure takes place. If you tend to get nervous about the procedure, you can ask your doctor for a mild sedative. Your doctor may also prescribe a mild antibiotic to take before or after the test to reduce the risk of contracting any infection.
5. This test is normally scheduled a few days to a week after you have had your menstrual period. Normally, this is done to ensure that when you are not pregnant when the test is done. It also reduces the chances of contracting an infection.