What is Hystero-Salpingiography (HSG)?
Hysterosalpingography is a procedure where x rays are taken of a woman's reproductive tract after a dye is injected.Hystero means uterus and salpingo means tubes, so hysterosalpingography literally means to take pictures of the uterusand fallopian tubes. This procedure may also be called hysterography (or HSG).
As with other types of pelvic examinations, the woman will lie on her back on an examination table with her legssometimes raised in stirrups. The x-ray equipment is placed above the abdomen.
A speculum is inserted into the vagina and a catheter (a thin tube) is inserted into the uterus through the cervix (theopening to the uterus). A small balloon in the catheter is inflated to hold it in place. A liquid water-based or oil-based dyeis then injected through the catheter into the uterus. This process can cause cramping, pain, and uterine spasms.
As the dye spreads through the reproductive tract, the doctor may watch for blockages or abnormalities on an x-raymonitor. Several x rays will also be taken. The procedure takes approximately 15-30 minutes. The x rays will bedeveloped while the patient waits, but the final reading and interpretation of the x rays by a radiologist (a doctor whospecializes in x rays) may not be available for a few days.
Interestingly, sometimes the hysterosalpingography procedure itself can be considered a treatment. The dye used cansometimes open up small blockages in the fallopian tubes. The need for additional test procedures or surgical treatmentsto deal with infertility should be discussed with the doctor.