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What is a hysterosalpingogram?

A hysterosalpingogram is a procedure that uses X-rays and dye to examine your uterus and fallopian tubes. The uterus is the organ at the top of the vagina. Babies develop in the uterus, and menstrual blood comes from the uterus. The fallopian tubes lead from the ovaries to the uterus. The ovaries are glands on either side of the uterus in your lower belly. Before menopause the ovaries produce eggs.

When is it used?

This procedure is usually done to try to find the cause of:

  • Trouble getting pregnant
  • Heavy bleeding
  • Painful or missed menstrual periods

It may also be done to:

  • Check for problems with the cervix
  • Check for tumors or scar tissue in the uterus
  • Make sure that fallopian tubes have been completely blocked after tubal ligation surgery to prevent future pregnancy

How do I prepare for this procedure?

  • Your healthcare provider may tell you when to stop eating and drinking before the procedure.
  • You may or may not need to take your regular medicines the day of the procedure. Some medicines (like aspirin) may increase your risk of bleeding during or after the procedure. Tell your healthcare provider about all medicines and supplements that you take. Ask your provider if you need to avoid taking any medicine or supplements before the procedure.
  • Tell your healthcare provider if you have any food or medicine allergies.
  • Tell your provider if you have had kidney problems or an allergy to chemicals, such as contrast dye.
  • Sometimes you may need to take antibiotics before the test to prevent an infection.
  • Follow any other instructions your healthcare provider gives you.
  • Ask any questions you have before the procedure. You should understand what your healthcare provider is going to do. You have the right to make decisions about your healthcare and to give permission for any tests or procedures.

What happens during the procedure?

The procedure is done at a radiology office. Before the procedure you will be given medicine to help you relax, but you will be awake during the procedure.

Your healthcare provider will take an X-ray of your belly. You will lie on your back on the exam table with your knees bent and the heels of your feet in stirrup heel holders. You will be asked to slide your hips to the end of the table and let your knees tilt to each side so that your legs are spread apart.

Then your healthcare provider will gently put a thin, lubricated tool called a speculum into your vagina. The speculum holds open the walls of the vagina so your provider can see the cervix (the lower part of the uterus that opens into the vagina). Next your provider puts a thin tube into your vagina and through the cervix and injects dye into the uterus and fallopian tubes while X-rays are taken.

The procedure takes just a few minutes.

What happens after the procedure?

After the procedure you may stay in a recovery area for a short time and then you may go home.

You may have some nausea, dizziness, cramps, and bloody vaginal discharge for 1 or 2 days after the procedure.

Ask your healthcare provider:

  • How and when you will hear your test results
  • How long it will take to recover
  • If there are activities you should avoid and when you can return to your normal activities
  • How to take care of yourself at home
  • What symptoms or problems you should watch for and what to do if you have them

Make sure you know when you should come back for a checkup. Keep all appointments for provider visits or tests.

What are the risks of this procedure?

Every procedure or treatment has risks. Some possible risks of this procedure include:

  • You may have infection or bleeding.
  • Other parts of your body may be injured during the procedure.
  • In rare cases, you may have an allergic reaction to the dye.

Ask your healthcare provider how the risks apply to you. Be sure to discuss any other questions or concerns that you may have.

Developed by RelayHealth.
Adult Advisor 2015.1 published by RelayHealth.
Last modified: 2014-09-16
Last reviewed: 2014-09-17
This content is reviewed periodically and is subject to change as new health information becomes available. The information is intended to inform and educate and is not a replacement for medical evaluation, advice, diagnosis or treatment by a healthcare professional.
Copyright ©1986-2015 McKesson Corporation and/or one of its subsidiaries. All rights reserved.

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