A hysterosalpingogram (HSG) is an
X-ray test. It looks at the inside of the
fallopian tubes and the area around them. It often is
done for women who are having a hard time getting pregnant (infertile).
During the test, a dye (contrast material) is put through a thin tube. That tube is put through the vagina and
into the uterus. Because the uterus and the fallopian tubes are hooked
together, the dye will flow into the fallopian tubes. Pictures are taken using
a steady beam of X-ray (fluoroscopy) as the dye passes through
the uterus and fallopian tubes. The pictures can show problems such as an
injury or abnormal structure of the uterus or fallopian tubes. They can also show a blockage
that would prevent an egg moving through a fallopian tube to the uterus. A
blockage also could prevent sperm from moving into a fallopian tube and joining
(fertilizing) an egg. The test also may find problems on the
inside of the uterus that prevent a fertilized egg from attaching (implanting)
to the uterine wall.
Why It Is Done
A hysterosalpingogram (HSG) is done
Check for a blocked fallopian tube. The test often
is done for a woman who is having a hard time getting pregnant. An infection
may cause severe scarring of the fallopian tubes and block the tubes. This can prevent pregnancy. Once in a while, the dye used during the HSG will push through and open a blocked tube.
Find problems in the
uterus, such as an abnormal shape or structure. The test can also look for an injury,
adhesions, or a foreign object in the uterus. These
types of problems may cause painful menstrual periods or repeated
See if tubal implants for permanent birth control are blocking the fallopian tubes.
Are allergic to the iodine dye
used or any other substance that has iodine. Also tell your doctor if you have
asthma or are allergic to any medicines. Tell him or her if you have had a
serious allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) from any substance. (For example, have you had a reaction to the venom from a bee sting or from eating shellfish?)
Have any bleeding problems or are taking any
blood-thinning medicines. Examples of these medicines are aspirin and warfarin
Have a history of kidney problems or
diabetes, especially if you take metformin (such as Glucophage) to control your diabetes. The dye used during the test can cause kidney damage in people with poor kidney
function. If you have a history of kidney problems, blood tests (creatinine,
blood urea nitrogen) may be done before the test. These check to see that
your kidneys are working well.