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HSG Test : What is it, Benefits and Procedure

What is HSG (Hysterosalpingography) Test?

Hysterosalpingograms (HSGs) are an X-ray dye test to identify reproductive issues. An HSG involves filling your uterus and fallopian tubes with a specific dye and taking an X-ray of the results.

Your doctor can identify problems with your reproductive anatomy that might prevent you from conceiving using an HSG. Problems like this include a uterus with an inappropriate shape or size or a fallopian tube clogged.

Why is the HSG test done?

HSG allows your doctor to examine whether your fallopian tubes are open or obstructed. Your doctor will better assess any reproductive issues after seeing this data. Having open fallopian tubes makes pregnancy far more likely.  

Fertilization of an egg requires sperm to make their way via the fallopian tubes. A fertilized egg (embryo) moves from the ovary to the uterus, where it may develop into a full-term baby. 

It’s important to note that blocked fallopian tubes are a significant cause of infertility since they prohibit these processes from taking place. In addition, your doctor may be able to do the following with the use of an HSG:

  •  To determine whether a tubal ligation or tubal reversal was successful: A successful tubal ligation will result in the closure of the fallopian tubes, preventing pregnancy. An HSG may confirm this. It may also reveal whether or not the process was reversed successfully.

  • Additional imaging preparations: If your doctor notices any abnormalities in your uterus (fibroids, unusual shape), the healthcare provider may utilize an HSG’s results for scheduling further imaging procedures like sonohysterography and hysteroscopy.

While hysteroscopy may cure particular uterine diseases, sonohysterography can help better characterize the findings of an HSG and offer a definitive diagnosis.

How is the HSG test done?

As with a pelvic exam, you must wear a hospital gown for this test and lay on your back with your knees bent and your feet wide. At this point, the radiologist will introduce a speculum into your vagina. This is done to facilitate visual inspection of the cervix, which is situated at the vaginal rear. 

 A local anesthetic may be injected into the cervix by the radiologist after the cervix has been cleaned to alleviate any pain.

The injection may hurt a little. The speculum is then withdrawn, and the cannula is placed into the cervix. The radiologist will use the cannula to inject dye into your reproductive system, which will go to your uterus and fallopian tubes. 

The radiologist will position you beneath the X-ray machine and begin capturing images. As the radiologist seeks optimal images, you may be requested to switch positions many times.

As the dye travels through your fallopian tubes, you may experience some cramping and discomfort. The radiologist would take out the cannula once the X-rays have been obtained. After that, you’ll be given painkillers and antibiotics, if necessary.

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    Benefits of HSG Test

    The results of this test are sent to doctors in the form of an X-ray or film that details the patient’s uterine anatomy, including the presence or absence of scar tissue, the status of the fallopian tubes (open, closed, infected, etc.), and the presence of any potential lumps. This analysis is based on the results of said test.  

    Hydrosalpinx, or enlargement of the fallopian tubes, is also well-documented. This is a critical examination. Results show that if your other vitals continue to be normal, your chances of becoming pregnant after doing this test will rise by 20%.

    Conclusion

    Infertility-preventing abnormalities in the uterus or fallopian tubes may be detected using a hysterosalpingogram. Infertility is often caused by obstructed fallopian tubes. Your doctor may be able to narrow down the cause of your infertility after reviewing the findings of your HSG. 

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