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Infertility & Reproduction Health Center

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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 can't 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.

What To Think About

  • In some cases, a pelvic ultrasound test may be done instead of a hysterosalpingogram to find foreign objects in the uterus, such as an intrauterine device (IUD). To learn more, see the topic Pelvic Ultrasound.
  • Some early tests to find the cause of infertility may include tests such as semen analysis and blood tests for luteinizing hormone (LH), progesterone, or follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH). If these tests can't find the cause of infertility, a hysterosalpingogram may be done. To learn more, see the topic Infertility Testing.
  • A hysterosalpingogram is done mainly for women who are having a hard time becoming pregnant. Some studies show that this test may help a woman's chance of becoming pregnant because the dye may remove mucus plugs, straighten the fallopian tubes, and break through thin scar tissue.
  • Hysteroscopy may be done instead of a hysterosalpingogram to look at the uterus. Another test called laparoscopy may also be done instead of a hysterosalpingogram to look at the fallopian tubes. A laparoscopy does not show whether the fallopian tubes are open, unless dye is injected during the laparoscopy.
  • Another test, a sonohysterogram (SHG), may be more accurate than a hysterosalpingogram for looking at uterine fibroids or polyps. SHG uses ultrasound to watch the movement of a salt solution (saline) that is injected into the uterus. SHG does not use X-rays or an iodine dye.
  • If a blocked fallopian tube is the cause of infertility, an oil-based dye may be used during a hysterosalpingogram to remove the blockage. Some studies show that an oil-based dye may open up a blockage better than a water-based dye, but other studies have shown no difference between the two dyes.
  • Be sure your doctor knows if you take metformin (such as Glucophage) for diabetes or for any other reason, such as polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), because of the possible interaction with the dye used in this test.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: March 12, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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