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A hysterosalpingogram is a fertility evaluation of the uterus and fallopian tubes

The Indianapolis fertility specialists at our clinic often utilize a hysterosalpingogram, or HSG, to assess the health of a patient’s uterus and fallopian tubes. This is a nonsurgical fertility evaluation that involves the specialist injecting special dye through the cervix into the uterus. The specialist then uses an X-ray machine to capture images that track the dye’s movement.

This evaluation can reveal blockages in the fallopian tubes and possible uterine abnormalities, such as adhesions, polyps and fibroids. The results of this evaluation often help the doctor make the right diagnosis and develop an effective fertility treatment plan.

Who can benefit from a hysterosalpingogram?

When the fertility doctor is unable to gain a comprehensive view of a patient’s fertility issues from a blood test, pelvic exam and ultrasound, they might suggest an HSG. Often, patients facing unexplained infertility or recurrent miscarriage are good candidates for this exam.

Some patients need additional testing after a hysterosalpingogram, such as a surgical evaluation of infertility.

How to prepare for an HSG

If the Indianapolis fertility specialists at our clinic determine that a patient could benefit from this fertility evaluation, the patient will need to take various steps to prepare for the exam.

  • Schedule the exam. On the first day of their period, the patient calls our office to schedule the fertility evaluation.
  • Discontinue certain medications. Two days before the procedure, patients taking Metformin, Glucophage, Glumetza or Fortamet will need to stop using these medications until two days after the exam.
  • Take antibiotics. The doctor prescribes antibiotics that the patient takes twice on the day of the procedure.
  • Utilize pain medications. We often recommend patients take either 600 mg of Ibuprofen or 1,000 mg of Acetaminophen 45 minutes before the procedure.
  • Register. 30 minutes before the procedure the patient registers at the outpatient desk at our surgery center.

Following these steps helps to ensure the patient has a positive experience and the fertility evaluation provides accurate results.

What happens during a hysterosalpingogram?

The Indianapolis fertility specialists at our clinic usually schedule an HSG between Day five and 10 of a patient’s menstrual cycle.

To begin the evaluation the doctor inserts a speculum into the vagina. He or she then guides a cannula, or small tube, through the cervix and into the uterus. They then inflate a small balloon that keeps the tube in place.

Next, the doctor injects an iodine-based X-ray dye into the uterus. He or she observes the progress of the dye under fluoroscopy and uses an X-ray machine to capture images of the dye’s progress. These images allow the doctor to see the shape of the uterus, the openness of the fallopian tubes and whether there are any abnormalities. The procedure takes about 10 minutes.

Some patients experience cramping that typically subsides soon after the exam is complete. After the evaluation, the doctor often has a clearer idea of why the patient is having trouble conceiving. This helps identify the treatments that could help overcome infertility. Contact us for more information about our fertility services.

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