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Hysterosalpingography

What is hysterosalpingography?

Hysterosalpingography is an x-ray examination used to help diagnose a suspected tumor, mass or abnormality of the uterus. It can also be used to see if the fallopian tubes are blocked by injecting contrast dye through the cervix and into the uterus so that these organs can be seen on an x-ray.

When is it used?

This procedure is usually done to discover the cause of:

  • infertility (checks if the fallopian tubes are blocked)
  • confirm tubal and uterine abnormalities
  • multiple miscarriages
  • painful menstrual periods
  • follow up to some surgical procedures such as making sure the Essure device is blocking the tubes appropriately

How do I prepare for hysterosalpingography?

  • Eat a light meal such as soup or salad the night before the procedure. Do not eat or drink anything the morning before the procedure.
  • You may be asked to take a laxative the night before the procedure.
  • empty your bladder just before the test.
  • tell the provider performing the procedure if you have had an allergic reaction to contrast dye or seafood.
  • An hour or two before the procedure your provider may give you a suppository or enema
  • You may also be given a pain medication and a drug to relax your muscles.
  • Some people may need to take antibiotics before the test.

What happens during the procedure?

This procedure may be done in a hospital or in the office of a radiologist. The procedure is quick, usually about 5 minutes long. An x-ray is taken of your abdomen before the procedure begins. A speculum is inserted into the vagina and the cervix is grasped with a tenaculum. The cervix and vagina is cleansed with an antiseptic. A slender tube is placed into the vagina and then through the cervix. A dye is injected into the uterus and fallopian tubes while x-rays are taken.

What happens after the procedure?

Someone should drive you home after the procedure. You may feel nauseated or dizzy and have some cramps for 1 or 2 days. You may also have some bloody vaginal discharge. You may receive a mild pain medicine to take home with you.

What are the benefits of this procedure?

This procedure will not cure the problem, but it may help your provider discover if you have any problems in the uterus or fallopian tubes and how to treat the problem. It may help reveal any abnormality in the shape/size of the uterine cavity, tumors such as fibroids, polyps, and check to see if the fallopian tubes are blocked.

What are the risks associated with this procedure?

Your abdominal cavity may be irritated, causing cramps or a fever. You may have an allergic reaction to the dye. The symptoms of an allergic reaction are:

  • low blood pressure
  • swelling of the skin
  • hives
  • itching
  • nausea
  • fainting
  • shortness of breath

There is a risk that the uterus could be injured during the procedure or you could develop an infection inside the uterus.

When should I call the office?

Call immediately if:

  • You develop a fever over 100°F (37.8°C).
  • You have an allergic reaction to the dye.