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 of a pelvic infection, endometritis, or 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 pelvic infection.
There is a small chance of damaging or puncturing the uterus or fallopian tubes during the test.
There is 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 pain.
- 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 uterus and 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 endometriosis.
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 polyps or fibroids, may be present.