What an HSG Test Says About Your Fertility

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A hysterosalpingogram, more commonly known as an HSG test, is an x-ray procedure women can use to determine whether the fallopian tubes are open.

When a fallopian tube is blocked, this inhibits the sperm from reaching the egg needed for fertilization during normal conception. An HSG can give us important information to detect blockage.

Blocked fallopian tubes are one of the most common reasons why many women cannot get pregnant. Blockage is often caused by scar tissue that can form inside of the pelvis and around the fallopian tubes due to endometriosis or abdominal or gynecological surgery.

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) can also lead to scarring and cause blocked tubes. These types of infections, such as Chlamydia or gonorrhea, can lead to pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) which in turn damages the cilia (tiny hairs lining the fallopian tubes) that help to transport the egg. Without normal cilia, the egg may not meet the sperm, or if an egg becomes fertilized, it may not be able to travel to the uterus. This can result in an ectopic pregnancy, which can further damage your tube.

An HSG test allows our fertility specialists to see if your tubes have any blockage that could be preventing pregnancy.

HSG tests are an outpatient procedure takes less than 10 minutes, can usually be performed at the time of your consult, and you will know your results immediately.

During an HSG procedure using C-Arm Fluoroscopic Imaging System, dye is injected into the uterus and tubes. As the dye is being passed into the uterus, x-ray pictures are taken. As the contrast dye enters the tubes, it outlines the length of the tubes and spills out their ends if they are open. Abnormalities inside the uterine cavity may also be detected by the doctor when the fluid movement is disrupted by the abnormality.

After the HSG, you can immediately return to normal activities, although you may experience mild or moderate uterine cramping for about 5-10 minutes. However, you may want to be prepared to have a family member or friend drive you home after the procedure in the event that you experience cramping.

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