Hysterosalpingogram or HSG

What Is It?

From hystero, referring to uterine cavity or uterus, and salping, referring to fallopian tubes. HSG is a test used primarily to determine if a woman's fallopian tubes are open or blocked. HSG also gives some idea as to the integrity (condition) of the endometrial cavity (uterine interior.) It is known as the most uncomfortable of diagnostic procedures for females.

Indications

Infertility or one-partner conception with

  • known history of sexually transmitted infection, ruptured appendix, previous abdominal surgery, or endometriosis
  • previous tubal ligation
  • previous tubal (ectopic) pregnancy
  • unexplained female infertility, with established functioning male fertility

Primarily useful for diagnosis of infertility due to

  • tubal-factor issues (inflammation, blockage, absent tube, etc.), or
  • when infertility cause is unexplained.

Also helpful in cases of

  • recurrent miscarriage
  • concerns about any structural problems of the uterus or tubes

How It Works

A woman's uterine cavity (uterus) is filled with a fluid that allows an xray image to be filmed of her uterus and fallopian tubes. Results are available immediately as the xray reveals whether or not fluid flows through the uterus and out of the fallopian tubes, indicating clear passage for an egg.

Results

Available immediately to the radiologist or other practitioner who is viewing the xray screen. Patient may also receive results immediately, if discussion occurs within the exam room, or later in an office appointment.

There is some evidence that spontaneous conception (occurring without treatment) rates are increased slightly for a period of up to three months following HSG in some patients. It is believed this may be the result of any very mild tubal blockage being cleared on a short-term basis by the actual movement of the dye through the tubes.