Close Close


Women's Imaging


A hysterosalpingogram or "HSG" is a radiology test using dye or contrast material as well as x-rays in order to evaluate the uterus and fallopian tubes. This test is most commonly used in women who are experiencing difficulty becoming pregnant.

How is it performed:

A thin soft tube is passed into the vagina and secured in the cervix. The contrast material can then be slowly injected through this tube into the uterus and fallopian tubes while highly targeted x-rays beams, which limit total body radiation exposure, take images.

Why is it performed:

HSG's can confirm normal female anatomy or can identify potential blockages that may be preventing sperm from fertilizing an egg. An HSG can also detect uterine conditions that may be preventing a fertilized egg from attaching or implanting successfully to the uterine wall. On occasion, an HSG can even push through a blockage, reopening the normal channel, and thereby correcting the infertility problem.

How do I prepare:

Ideally, the test should be done 2 to 5 days after your menstrual period has ended to be sure you are not pregnant. You may want to bring a sanitary napkin as there is leakage from the contrast dye, as well as a chance of some slight bleeding over the next 24 hours following the procedure. Sanitary napkins will be provided in the department.

First, you will need to tell your doctor if:

  • You might be pregnant
  • You are allergic to iodine dye or any medications, have experienced any serious allergic reactions, or have asthma
  • You are taking any blood thinning medication or have bleeding problems
  • You have a history of kidney problems or diabetes, especially if you are taking Metformin to control your diabetes. The dye used during this test can rarely cause kidney damage in people with underlying poor kidney function. If you have kidney problems, blood tests may be done to check that your kidneys are working well enough to receive the dye safely.

What you should expect:

This test usually takes about 15 minutes to perform. It is similar to a pelvic exam at a gynecologist's office. You will be asked to lie on a table on your back with your feet up in a "frog leg" position. The doctor will place a speculum in the vagina in order to view the cervix, and then place a thin catheter in the cervical opening. The contrast will be slowly inserted through the catheter as X-rays are being taken. The images will be printed immediately following the procedure for you to take to your next doctor's appointment.