Hysterosalpingography is a state-of-the-art diagnostic procedure to diagnose causes of infertility and other gynecological issues. Dr. James Silberzweig is a leading researcher in hysterosalpingogram techniques in New York City, helping women at Cosmetic and Vascular Suite NYC get the most appropriate care for their needs.
Hysterosalpingography Q & A
What is hysterosalpingography?
Hysterosalpingography (HSG) is a minimally-invasive procedure performed to evaluate the uterus and fallopian tubes in women who are infertile or who have certain symptoms. The procedure uses a small amount of radiation to look at the structure of the uterus and to determine if the fallopian tubes are open and unobstructed. The images produced during an HSG procedure are called hysterosalpingograms.
How is an HSG performed?
HSG is performed in the office in a procedure that takes about a half hour. During the procedure, the patient will lie on her back on the exam table and a speculum will be inserted into the vagina to widen the vaginal canal. A thin tube called a cannula will be inserted through the vagina and the cervix (the opening of the uterus) to enable the uterus to be filled with a liquid contrast agent that makes the uterus and fallopian tubes easier to see on the x-ray image. Once the uterus is filled with liquid, the x-ray device (called a fluoroscope) is positioned over the uterus and a series of images is taken. The fluoroscope is mounted on an arm that enables the device to be repositioned without moving the patient. A low-dose option enables images to be made with the lowest possible radiation exposure for greater patient safety and far less radiation exposure compared to a traditional CT scan. The contrast agent enables the uterus and fallopian tubes to appear white on the images, making it easier to evaluate them. HSG images can show the size, location, and contours of these structures and they can also determine if the liquid is able to pass through the fallopian tubes (which indicates the tubes are open and able to release eggs). Once the procedure is complete, the patient can resume her normal activities right away.
Can HSG be used to evaluate the ovaries?
No, hysterosalpingography is designed to evaluate only the uterus and fallopian tubes; it cannot be used to evaluate the ovaries or to diagnose endometriosis or fibroids.
Is an HSG painful?
Patients may experience some uterine cramping during the procedure and some women may continue to experience cramping for a brief period once the procedure is complete. Taking over-the-counter pain medications prior to the procedure or afterward, can help.