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.
HSG is a quick, 5- minute procedure performed in the office. 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. HSG images can shoe 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). Once the procedure is complete, the patient can resume her normal activities right away.
No, hysterosalpingography is designed to evaluate only the uterine cavity and fallopian tubes; it cannot be used to evaluate the ovaries or to diagnose endometriosis or fibroids.
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.
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