Hysterosalpingogram Fertility Testing

The hysterosalpingogram, or HSG, is a basic fertility test that evaluates the uterine cavity and determines if the fallopian tubes are open. This test is usually conducted in an infertility clinic or a radiology department. A fertility specialist will interpret the results.

The procedure itself usually takes less than 5 minutes.  A catheter tube is placed into the cervix and X-ray dye is slowly injected into the uterus. The dye then travels through the fallopian tubes into the abdomen. The dye is radio-opaque, meaning it can be detected by an X-ray so during the procedure, several X-rays are taken.

The test is performed between Cycle Days 6-10, with Cycle Day 1 being the first day of the period. If there is usually light spotting before a period, then Cycle Day 1 is the first day of full flow.

Patients undergoing this procedure will be encouraged to take 800 milligrams of ibuprofen or another over-the-counter pain medicine one hour before the procedure as cramping may be experienced when the HSG dye is injected. An antibiotic, doxycycline (100 mg), may also be prescribed to prevent a uterine infection. Doxycycline will be taken twice daily, starting the day before the HSG, and continue for a total of three days—the day before, the day of, and the day after the HSG.

Patients who are allergic to doxycycline, iodine, or X-ray dye should notify us before the HSG is scheduled. Patients who are allergic to the iodine-containing X-ray dye must take a special course of immune/allergy suppressing drugs before the HSG can be performed.