How To Prepare continued...
This test should be done 2 to 5 days after your menstrual
period has ended to be sure you are not pregnant. It should also be done before
ovulate the next month (unless you are using
contraception) to avoid using X-rays during an early pregnancy. You may want to
bring along a sanitary napkin to wear after the test because some leakage of
the X-ray dye may occur along with slight bleeding.
You may need
to sign a consent form that says you understand the risks of a
hysterosalpingogram and agree to have the test done. Talk to your doctor about any concerns you have about the need for the test, its
risks, how it will be done, or what the results will mean. To help you
understand the importance of this test, fill out the
medical test information form(What is a PDF document?).
How It Is Done
A hysterosalpingogram usually is done
radiologist in the X-ray room of a hospital or clinic.
A radiology technologist and a nurse may help the doctor. A
gynecologist or a doctor who specializes in
infertility (reproductive endocrinologist) also may help with the
Before the test begins, you may get a
sedative or ibuprofen (such as Advil) to help you
relax and to relax your uterus so it will not cramp during the test. You will
need to take off your clothes below the waist and drape a gown around your
waist. You will empty your bladder and then lie on your back on an examination
table with your feet raised and supported by stirrups. This allows your doctor
to look at your genital area.
An X-ray may be taken to make sure
that there is nothing in the large intestine (colon) that could block the view
of the uterus and fallopian tubes. Sometimes a laxative or enema is given a few
hours before the test to empty the large intestine.
will put a smooth, curved speculum into your vagina. The speculum gently
spreads apart the vaginal walls, allowing him or her to see the inside of the
vagina and the
cervix. The cervix may be held in place with a clamp
called a tenaculum. The cervix is washed with a special soap and a stiff tube
(cannula) or a flexible tube (catheter) is put through the cervix into the
uterus. The X-ray dye is put through the tube. If the fallopian tubes are open,
the dye will flow through them and spill into the belly where it will be
absorbed naturally by the body. If a fallopian tube is blocked, the dye will
not pass through. The X-ray pictures are shown on a TV monitor during the test.
If another view is needed, the examination table may be tilted or you may be
asked to change position.
After the test, the cannula or catheter
and speculum are removed. This test usually takes 15 to 30 minutes.