A hysterosalpinogram (HSG) is an x-ray examination of the fallopian tubes and uterus, which checks to see if the cavity of the uterus is normal and whether the tubes are open. It is normally performed between day 7 and 10 of your cycle and takes about 30 minutes to perform and does not usually require a general anaesthetic. Some hospitals suggest you take a painkiller before having the procedure.
You will be asked to undress and put on a gown. Take a sanitary towel with you, for use after the examination. You will be asked to lie on your back on an examination table. The doctor may perform a quick internal examination of your vagina to check the position of your cervix before inserting a speculum into your vagina. This is the same instrument that is used when you have a smear test and allows the doctor to see the cervix.
A small plastic tube is inserted into your vagina, through your cervix and into your womb. You may feel slightly uncomfortable as this happens. A colourless liquid, which shows up on x-rays is flushed into the fallopian tubes and then spills out into the abdominal cavity. X-ray pictures are taken while the dye is flowing through the organs. Some women feel a sharp pain, similar to period pains as the liquid travels into each fallopian tube.
You may be able to watch what is happening on a TV screen. The doctor may tell you the result of your HSG immediately, or you may have to wait for a follow up appointment. After the examination you may feel period like pains and have some discharge, which contains the dye and also some blood.
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