HSG, Hysterosalpingogram

A hysterosalpingogram, or HSG, can provide valuable information about your fertility

The doctors at our Southern California fertility clinic use a hysterosalpingogram, or HSG, for a variety of reasons. This nonsurgical test is a female infertility evaluation that helps our team detect possible uterine abnormalities, such as intrauterine adhesions, scar tissue, endometrial polyps and uterine fibroids. They also use it to assess the fallopian tubes. Gaining this in-depth view of a patient’s reproductive system helps our doctors develop effective treatment plans.

Who needs an HSG?

Because it can sometimes be difficult to discover the cause of fertility challenges with only a blood test, a pelvic exam and an ultrasound, the doctors at our Southern California fertility clinic recommend a hysterosalpingogram for many patients. This female infertility evaluation is especially helpful for women who have unexplained infertility and those who have had two or more miscarriages.

If our fertility specialists recommend more extensive testing after the hysterosalpingogram, the patient might choose to receive a minimally invasive surgical evaluation of infertility. Laparoscopy and hysteroscopy are the two most common types.

How does a hysterosalpingogram work?

When a doctor at our Southern California fertility clinic believes a woman has uterine or fallopian tube abnormalities they can’t evaluate with an ultrasound, they might suggest an HSG. A radiologist can administer this test anytime between the end of a woman’s menstrual cycle and right before ovulation.

This simple female infertility evaluation involves placing a speculum in the patient’s vagina. Next, a radiologist guides a small catheter through the cervix into the uterus. From there, the radiologist injects a special dye, which is detectable by X-ray, through the catheter. The dye will go into the uterus and fallopian tubes if there is no blockage. An X-ray machine above the woman’s abdomen takes pictures as the dye moves through the body. One of our doctors then uses these images to assess the shape and structure of the uterus, determine the openness of the fallopian tubes, and see whether there is any scarring.

Some women experience mild cramping during the procedure and for a short time after it. Women sometimes take an over-the-counter pain medication before the procedure to reduce discomfort. The woman can resume normal activity after the HSG.

This evaluation is one of the many ways the fertility specialists at our clinic can make the right fertility diagnosis, create an effective treatment plan and give women the best chance of taking home a healthy baby. Contact us for more information about our fertility services.