For a successful pregnancy, different body parts have to work properly. The ovaries must create eggs every month, the uterus must be in good shape, and the fallopian tubes must be open. If any of these parts has some issues, the person may not get pregnant. And to confirm this, the fertility doctor may conduct a tubal assessment or hysterosalpingogram.
About the test
Hysterosalpingogram, or HSG, is a test where the uterus and fallopian tubes are diagnosed using an x-ray. It generally takes 10 to 40 minutes, and the patients can go home the same day. The test will be done after the period but before the patient's ovulation.
The HSG test has some risks. The patients may experience discomfort, pain, infection or vaginal bleeding or spotting after the test. However, the chances of developing an infection are less than 1%. Another common risk is fainting. Some patients may develop iodine allergy. But this is very rare. The patients should consult a doctor to know everything about the possible risks of the test.
Preparing for the test
Some women may find this test painful, so their doctors may use sedatives. One needs to take the medicine one to two hours before the procedure. To prevent any possible infection, the patient may need to take antibiotics after or before the test. The doctor may ask the patients to visit the clinic on an empty stomach. The patients should talk to the doctor to learn more about test preparation.
How is the hysterosalpingogram done?
The doctor will do the test in a radiology lab, which can take around 10 to 40 minutes. During the test, the doctor will carefully insert a speculum into the vagina and then place a thin tube inside the cervix that will lead to the fallopian tubes. The doctor will apply a dye that will fill the uterus and the fallopian tube. Some x-rays will be taken to examine the fallopian tubes and uterus. During the test, the patients may feel mild pain or discomfort.
After the test, the doctor will deliver the results. The results will help check whether the fallopian tubes are open or whether there is any presence of uterine abnormalities. The test can also show polyps and fibroids affecting the embryo's growth and implanting. If the results show the uterus is abnormal or the dye doesn't move freely from the fallopian tubes, then there are some issues. However, the patients should remember that more than 15% of women get false positive results. If it happens, the doctor may suggest conducting the test again, or some other tests may be carried out.
When to see a doctor?
The patients can consult a doctor after the results to know the reasons behind their failed pregnancy. Besides, they should consult the doctor if they develop symptoms such as vomiting, chills, fever, severe abdominal cramping, vaginal discharge and heavy vaginal bleeding. The patients can request an appointment at Apollo Fertility, Karapakkam, Tamil Nadu or call 1860-500-4424 to book an appointment.
An HSG test can help the doctor to detect abnormalities in the fallopian tubes and uterus. And this, in turn, can increase the chance of getting pregnant. The patients should speak to the doctor about how the test results can shape their next steps.
The patients should avoid sexual intercourse a day or two before the HSG test. They should also stop using any vaginal medication and douching. The doctor may ask not to eat or drink for around two to three hours before the test.
A patient may experience vaginal spotting for around two to three days post-HSG. However, if they experience heavy bleeding with pain after the test, they should speak to the doctor immediately.
The doctor may prescribe an antibiotic to prevent uterine infection. The patients may need to take it twice a day, before the HSG and after the test, for around four days.
An HSG test may take up to 30 minutes, and the patients can go home after the test. If no sedation is used, the patients can drive themselves home. Otherwise, they may need to stay at the hospital until the effect of sedation is over.
Many women feel some pain or cramping during the insertion of the dye. However, women with blocked fallopian tubes may experience intense pain. However, the pain can be managed by medication prescribed by the doctor.