An HSG can provide valuable information about a woman’s fertility
Our Tennessee fertility doctors often recommend a hysterosalpingogram, or HSG, when they suspect that a woman might have blockages in the fallopian tubes or uterine abnormalities. This is a nonsurgical female fertility evaluation that helps our doctors make the right infertility diagnosis and develop an effective treatment plan.
When is an HSG the best way to diagnose a woman’s fertility issues?
Sometimes, fertility evaluations like a blood test, pelvic exam and ultrasound do not provide our Tennessee fertility doctors with enough information to make a diagnosis. When this happens, they might recommend an HSG.
In some cases, a woman might need more extensive testing after a hysterosalpingogram. Often, a surgical evaluation of infertility, like a laparoscopy or a hysteroscopy, is the next step if a hysterosalpingogram does not reveal the potential cause of a woman’s fertility challenges.
How a fertility specialist performs a hysterosalpingogram
If our Tennessee fertility doctors need to further assess a woman’s fertility, they often suggest an HSG. This female fertility evaluation involves a series of simple steps that can result in an accurate diagnosis.
Timing. We typically schedule this test to take place between days five and 11 of a woman’s menstrual cycle.
Preparing the vagina and cervix. The first step of this evaluation involves the woman getting into the same position she would during a pelvic exam. Next, the doctor places a speculum into the patient’s vagina and guides a small catheter through the cervix and into the uterus. The doctor then inflates a small balloon that keeps the catheter in place.
Injecting the radio-opaque dye. With the catheter in place, the doctor injects a radio-opaque dye into the uterus. An X-ray machine above the woman captures images as the dye moves through the body. If there is no blockage, the dye should move through the fallopian tubes.
Assessing the images. After the exam, the doctor uses the images to assess the shape and structure of the uterus as well as the openness of the fallopian tubes.
Managing discomfort. Many women take over-the-counter pain medication before the procedure to reduce the mild cramping that sometimes occurs after the insertion of the dye.
Women can typically resume normal activity right after this female fertility evaluation, and the results can help them take the next step to have a healthy baby. Contact us for more information about our fertility services.