Hysterosalpingogram (HSG)

Rick thought it might be good to post about the HSG test. I had this test way back in September. An HSG is a common diagnostic test used to see if the fallopian tubes are open, and it also will possibly show any uterine defects. It also has a slight theraputic affect too. No one is 100% sure why, but one theory is that the contrast dye will push any slight tube blockages out of the way.

It is considered outpatient surgery. Why surgery as opposed to outpatient diagnostic lab or x-ray, I don’t know, but as far as the insurance was concerned, that’s what it was considered to be.

So what’s involved? A catheter is inserted into the uterus (this was described as a “little pinch”, but I tell you that was more than a pinch to me!) and a contrast dye is pushed through the catheter. While this is happening, an X-ray is being used to visualize where the dye is going. A normal HSG should show the contrast dye fill up the uterus (should be triangular or martini glass shaped), then flow through both tubes, and spill into the abdomen. The spillage will be reabsorbed by the body. This site has some photos of what normal and some abnormal HSG results should show. Afterwards, you can usually return to normal activities. I felt pretty yucky after mine, so I went home and watched Desparate Housewives in bed for the remainder of the afternoon. 🙂

They will tell you that the during the procedure you will feel period-like cramping, or they will tell you that it is “uncomfortable.” I will use the uncomfortable descriptor. It was pretty painful during, but the pain subsided afterwards. Fortunately, it wasn’t that long of a procedure. I did take 3 ibuprofen two hours before the procedure as instructed, so maybe that helped some with the pain. When I got home, I took some prescription Naproxen, and I was mostly uncrampy the rest of the night. The remainder of the day was very similar to period cramps, but I definitely would not describe during the procedure that way. I have heard that it is much more painful if you have blocked tubes. Fortunately, my HSG came back all clear.

Some doctors (mine included) will prescribe an antibiotic before the procedure. This is to fight off the very slim chance of infection from the procedure.

Oh and expect a lot of people in the room. Rick was thankfully allowed in there with me. Additionally there was a nurse, my RE, a radiologist, and a student. The student was positioned in a way she could just see the X-ray, and I had to consent to her being in there. I was ok with that though. I have heard of many places that won’t allow husbands in the room. I’m so glad he could come in there with me. Even though he was on the other side of the room, it was helpful knowing he was there.

6 thoughts on “Hysterosalpingogram (HSG)”

  1. Interesting photos on that site. This sort of stuff is always helpful to have your SO in the room too. I’ve had different things at different times in my life where there were way too many people in the room but unfortunately necessary for the diagnostic procedure. Doesn’t make it fun though.

  2. I was all alone for mine. The hospital wouldn’t allow anybody in there. It was scarry to be all by myself. It was made worse that it hurt like hell. I guess it only tends to hurt if there is a problem, and there was. Glad you made it out clear though!

  3. Yes, I was very fortunate to have Rick in the room. I think it was up to the radiologist on whether or not he could be in there, but maybe it was the RE. Either way, I know your OB did it and yours was at the other hospital, so any of those factors could be why they didn’t let him in yours. 🙁 I hate that yours was so painful. Mine was far from pleasant, but I wouldn’t describe it as horrible.

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