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Hysterosalpingography

What is it? A hysterosalpingography (hiss-ter-o-sal-ping-ah-gruh-fee) is also called an "HSG." This is a test using x-rays and fluoroscopy (flor-oss-kuh-p) to look inside the uterus (womb) and the fallopian tubes. Fluoroscopy is a type of x-ray that shows moving pictures. An HSG is done 2 to 5 days after your monthly period when you are not pregnant.

Why do you need it? You may need an HSG to help find out why you have not been able to get pregnant. An HSG will tell caregivers if your tubes are open or closed. The HSG will also tell caregivers if your uterus is normal. Painful monthly periods or heavy bleeding are other reasons to have an HSG. An HSG may be done after you have had surgery to repair the uterus or tubes.

How is an HSG done?

  • Your caregiver will carefully put a tool called a speculum (spek-u-lum) into your vagina. The speculum lets him see the inside of your vagina and your cervix (bottom part of uterus). A thin tube is put into your cervix, which may cause a pinching feeling. Dye is put through the tube to outline the uterus and the tubes when x-rays are taken.
  • X-rays are quickly taken. You may be asked to move in different positions while the pictures are taken. The x-ray table may also be carefully moved to get different views of your uterus and tubes. The test usually takes less than 1 hour.

Risks: Tell your caregiver if you are allergic to shellfish (lobster, crab, or shrimp). You may be allergic to the dye used if you are allergic to shellfish. Signs of a dye allergy are nausea (upset stomach), skin itching, hives, breathing problems, or low blood pressure.

Care Agreement

You have the right to help plan your care. To help with this plan you must learn about an HSG. You can then discuss the treatment options with caregivers. Work with them to decide what care will be used to treat your health problem. You always have the right to refuse treatment.

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