How It Feels
You probably will feel some cramping like
menstrual cramps during the test. The amount of pain you have depends on what
problems the doctor finds and treats during the test.
There is always a small chance of damage to
cells or tissue from being exposed to any radiation, including the low levels
of radiation used for this test. The chance of damage from the X-rays is
generally very low compared with the potential benefits of the test.
There is a small chance (less than 1 in 100) of a pelvic infection,
salpingitis after the test. The chance may be higher
for women who have had pelvic infections before. Your doctor may give you
antibiotics if he or she thinks you might develop a
There is a small chance of damaging or
puncturing the uterus or fallopian tubes during the test.
a small chance of an
allergic reaction to the iodine X-ray dye, especially
if you are allergic to any shellfish.
In rare cases, if an
oil-based dye is used, the oil can leak into the blood. This can cause blockage
of blood flow to a section of the lung (pulmonary embolism). Most hysterosalpingogram tests use water-based dyes.
After the test
After the test, some of the dye
will leak out of the vagina. You also may have some vaginal bleeding for
several days after the test. Call your doctor immediately if you have:
- Heavy vaginal bleeding (soak more than one
tampon or pad in one hour).
- A fever.
- Severe belly
- Vaginal bleeding that lasts for more than 3 to 4 days.
A hysterosalpingogram (HSG) is an
X-ray test that looks at the inside of the
fallopian tubes and the area around them.
The shape of the uterus and
fallopian tubes are normal. The fallopian tubes are not scarred or damaged. The
dye flows freely from the uterus, through the fallopian tubes, and spills
normally into the belly.
No objects (such as an
intrauterine device, or IUD), tumors, or growths are
seen in the uterus.
Fallopian tubes may be
scarred, malformed, or blocked so that the dye does not flow through the tubes
and spill into the belly. Possible causes of blocked fallopian tubes include
pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) or
The dye may leak through the
wall of the uterus, showing a tear or hole in the uterus.
An abnormal uterus may show
tissue (called a septum) that divides the uterus.
Growths, such as
fibroids, may be present.
What Affects the Test
Reasons you may not be able to
have the test or why the results may not be helpful include:
- If your fallopian tube has a spasm. This may
make a normal fallopian tube look blocked.
- If the doctor cannot put
a catheter in the uterus.
This test is not done on women who are having their period,
are pregnant, or have a pelvic infection.