What to expect during an HSG procedure

Among various fertility tests, hysterosalpingogram test (HSG) is known to be a unique type of x-ray, which helps determine fertility in women. A HSG test is generally an outpatient procedure and takes about half an hour to do.

What happens during a HSG test for infertility?

The HSG test procedure allows the doctor to observe the uterus walls and the fallopian tube for any damage. It thus, gives medical specialists an idea about the shape and size of the uterus and whether there are any polyps or fibroids present.

During the HSG test, a dye is introduced into the uterus for x-ray imaging through a device called the speculum. The speculum is initially inserted into the vagina, which feels very similar to getting a Pap smear test done. The dye fills the uterus and the 2 tubes finally spilling out giving doctors a view of any blockage or impairment.

When is a HSG test for infertilitydone?

The HSG test is done just after a period is over and before the ovulation cycle begins again. Such a time is chosen, to basically avoid the risk of doing the test during a possible pregnancy. The procedure does not use general anaesthesia, and the patient remains awake. A pain killer is administered an hour before the test. A few doctors also prescribe antibiotics, in order to prevent infection.

What can you expect during a HSG procedure?

During the procedure you will be asked to lay down and place your legs on stir-ups. The doctor will then proceed to conduct a pelvic exam, after which he will place the speculum just inside the vaginal area. The cannula is inserted into the cervix through the speculum, and the dye is introduced.

As the dye fills into the uterus and the fallopian tubes, one generally feels a warming sensation. In case of blockage you may also feel pain. In this case be sure to inform the doctor immediately.

For better imaging the doctor may also ask you to change position, which can get a bit uncomfortable. Once all the images are obtained, the speculum is removed from the vagina and discharge is given after sometime of rest.

HSG test is quite safe, but there are certain risk factors, which one has to be careful of. Infection may develop after the test. One may also experience fainting spells or feel a bit dizzy during and post-test. Iodine allergy is very rare, but one should get tested for it before the test.

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