What to Expect During an HSG

A hysterosalpingogram (HSG) is an X-ray test used to examine your reproductive organs. HSG is used to detect problems with the fallopian tubes and uterus including blockages, scarring, abnormalities and growths. It can also be used to confirm the successful blockage of the fallopian tubes by a permanent birth control procedure such as Essure.

Risks with the procedure are rare but can include infection, bleeding, allergic reaction and damage to the uterus or fallopian tubes (very rare).

Before Your Exam

Your test must be done on or before day 10 of your menstrual cycle but after your menstruation ends. You must have a blood pregnancy test completed 24-48 hours before your exam. Please bring the test results with you if the test was not done at a Northern Nevada Medical Center facility. You may also have the pregnancy test completed on the day of your exam at the hospital. Please allow one hour for the results.

We encourage you to eat a light meal before you exam. You may also want to arrange for a ride home. Ask your physician about any medication restrictions for this exam.

Please take an Advil one hour prior to your test. Please arrive 30 minutes before your scheduled exam time and bring your written physician order.

During Your Exam

You will lie on an X-ray table with your knees bent. A speculum is inserted into the vagina to hold it open. The cervix may be numbed. A catheter is then guided through the cervix and into the uterus. The radiologist will position the X-ray machine over your abdomen and contrast dye is injected through the catheter. The dye may stretch the uterus and tubes, which could cause cramps or pain.

X-rays are taken as the dye flows through the uterus and tubes. The technologist may ask you to change positions and hold your breath at certain times

After Your Exam

Let the technologist know if you feel lightheaded or dizzy after your exam. A thick discharge is normal as the dye drains out of your uterus. Use pads, not tampons, until the discharge is gone. You may experience cramping for a few hours. Take an over-the-counter pain medication if your doctor approves.

Additional tests may be needed after your HSG. Your doctor will discuss your results with you and may recommend medication or surgery to help correct an issue. Contact your doctor if you experience severe pelvic pain, heavy vaginal bleeding, vomiting, a fever over 101°F or a foul-smelling or unusual vaginal discharge after your HSG exam.