Hysterosalpingography (HSG) is a type of imaging of a women’s pelvis and reproductive organs. In this procedure, the uterine cavity and fallopian tubes are imaged with the help of a contrast agent and an X-ray called fluoroscopy. A hysterosalpingography is used to examine the structure and function of the uterus and fallopian tubes. This imaging is often recommended to identify and evaluate infertility problems and recurrent miscarriages. An HSG is one of the necessary tests for women before starting infertility treatment.
The hysterosalpingography allows the specialist to examine the shape and structure of the uterus, the opening of the fallopian tubes, and the presence of any sores or cavities in the uterus. In addition, this photo helps to identify the causes of recurrent miscarriage due to congenital or acquired abnormalities in the uterus. In general, the applications of HSG are:
The HSG is used only to examine the inside of the uterus and the fallopian tubes. Ovarian problems and other parts of the pelvis can be checked with other methods, such as ultrasound, vaginal ultrasound, or MRI.
Taking hysterosalpingography takes an average of 10 to 30 minutes. To do hysterosalpingography, the person lies on a gynecological examination bed. The radiologist holds the cervix open with a speculum. In this case, the iodine-containing contrast agent is injected into the uterus through a thin tube called a cannula. After the uterus and fallopian tubes are filled with contrast material, by irradiating X-rays to the contrast material that is placed in the uterus; Contrast is indicated by white dots on the monitor screen, which indicate the condition of the uterus and fallopian tubes. The radiologist takes several pictures of the uterus and fallopian tubes in different positions and sends them to a specialist doctor. Normally, the contrast agent should evenly fill the uterus and fallopian tubes. If the contrast material does not fill part of the uterus and fallopian tubes, it may indicate an obstruction or some uterine abnormality.
Before doing hysterosalpingography, if the patient feels anxious, a sedative is prescribed at the doctor’s discretion. In addition, analgesics are recommended to reduce possible pain. Antibiotics are also prescribed before and after an HSG to prevent infection. Since hysterosalpingography can cause harm to the fetus, it is important to make sure that you are not pregnant before doing so.
The best time to do an HSG test is one week after your menstruation and before ovulation because there is no chance of pregnancy at this time. In addition, the amount of false abnormalities that occur as a result of increasing the thickness of the uterine wall is less at this time. Because metal parts interfere with the operation of the radiology device, no metal device such as jewelry should be accompanied when doing hysterosalpingography.
Uterine contractions during a hysterosalpingography exam, especially when injecting a contrast agent, can cause mild pain.
This pain may be worse if the fallopian tubes are blocked. To reduce the pain, a painkiller is prescribed before doing HSG.
Because hysterosalpingography is associated with more pain and discomfort in some women, and some people are afraid to do it while awake, in some imaging centers, the hysterosalpingography test is performed under anesthesia or light anesthesia. There are benefits to having hysterosalpingography under anesthesia. This reduces pelvic floor muscle contraction and resistance to the imaging device being placed inside the vagina. As a result, the radiologist can perform the necessary procedures for imaging without feeling pain in the patient and ensure the quality of the images.
People usually do not have any annoying symptoms after doing hysterosalpingography and can resume their normal daily activities. Some of the mild symptoms that can occur after taking a color photo are:
It should be noted that if you notice symptoms such as severe and prolonged abdominal and vaginal pain, unusual bleeding, persistent spotting for more than 24 hours, foul-smelling vaginal discharge, prolonged vomiting, fever, and fainting, you should see a doctor immediately.
HSG is one of the methods of imaging the uterus and fallopian tubes that has many advantages. One of the most important advantages of this method is that it does not require surgery and is less invasive. Other benefits of hysterosalpingography include:
In some cases, doing a hysterosalpingography exam is not recommended. If any of the following are present or likely to occur, be sure to tell your doctor before doing the HSG test:
If the cause of infertility is obstruction of the fallopian tubes, the obstruction may be removed by injection of a contrast agent. Contrast injections can clear the fallopian tubes by clearing and flushing the fallopian tubes and increasing the chances of an egg reaching the uterus and becoming pregnant. According to scientific studies, the probability of pregnancy up to 3 months after hysterosalpingography (HSG) in people with tubal obstruction increases by about 30%. In addition, hysterosalpingography (HSG) helps to examine uterine problems such as adhesions, lumps, fibroids, tubal obstruction, causes of recurrent miscarriage, etc. by providing clear images of the uterus and fallopian tubes. Therefore, hysterosalpingography (HSG) results can help the specialist in choosing the best method of infertility treatment like IVF and increase the chances of pregnancy.