Alternate Names : Hysterosalpingography, HSG
A hysterosalpingogram (HSG) is an imaging study, or x-ray test. It is used to view the inside of a woman's uterus, or womb, and fallopian tubes.
Who is a candidate for the test?
A hysterosalpingogram is usually done to try to determine why a woman is infertile, or unable to get pregnant. In some cases, this test may be used:
when a woman has had multiple miscarriages
when a woman has had pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), an infection of the female pelvic organs usually due to sexually transmitted disease (STD)
to check the appearance of the womb and tubes after surgery
when a woman has abnormal or painful periods
when a woman has abnormal uterine bleeding
How is the test performed?
A hysterosalpingogram is usually done in an x-ray department. The woman is first asked to change into a hospital gown and lie on a table. A plain x-ray picture of the pelvic area is taken. The woman is then asked to lie in the position normally used for a pelvic exam. The healthcare provider performing the test will then insert a speculum into the vagina. A speculum is a tool that allows the provider to see the cervix, which is the opening to the womb.
A metal clamp is gently attached to the cervix so that a thin plastic tube can be inserted into the womb. This tube is used to inject contrast material into the womb and tubes. Contrast material is used because it can be easily seen inside the body when an x-ray picture is taken. Though some women get cramps while the contrast material is injected, pain is unusual. After the contrast material is injected into the womb, pictures are taken of the womb and fallopian tubes.
Once pictures have been taken, the instruments are removed from the vagina. The contrast material is then allowed to drain out of the vagina. A final x-ray picture is taken, which ends the test. The woman is then free to get dressed and go home.