What is a Hysterosalpingogram?

A hysterosalpingogram (HSG) is an X-ray test performed under fluoroscopy that looks at the inside of the uterus and fallopian tubes.

Fluoroscopy enables a real-time view of contrast flow through the fallopian tubes. It often is performed as part of an infertility workup or to evaluate the uterus and fallopian tubes. It can also be used to verify surgical blockage of the tubes for women who do not want to become pregnant.

What to expect

Our technologist will obtain a detailed medical history. You be asked to disrobe from the waist down and empty your bladder, and you will be provided a gown or blanket. You will lie face up on an examination table. The radiologist will insert a speculum into your vagina to access the cervix. The cervix will be cleansed with an antiseptic soap, and a flexible catheter will be passed through the cervix into the uterus. Next, a contrast material is injected through the catheter. X-ray pictures will be taken and viewed live on a TV monitor. The uterus will be imaged, and the fallopian tubes will be evaluated. You may be asked to change positions if needed. After several pictures are obtained, the catheter is removed. You may experience cramping similar to menstrual cramps.

The exam takes approximately 30 minutes to complete.

How do I prepare for the test?

You should wear a loose fitting two-piece outfit. You may take 600 mg of ibuprofen one half hour prior to the exam. For an infertility workup, timing of the exam is critical. This test should be done approximately 6 to 12 days after the onset of menstruation.

When can I expect the results?

Our radiologist will discuss the results with you following your exam. In addition, he or she will analyze the images and send a signed report to your referring physician within 1 business day.

After the test

You may experience cramping and/or spotting for 24–48 hours following the exam.



* The safety of our patients and those who accompany them to our office is of the utmost importance to the physicians and staff at Iowa Radiology. Please make arrangements for someone to care for your child/children during your exam. Thank you for your cooperation.

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