Expert pelvic imaging

Hysterosalpingogram at Beverly Hospital

If you are having trouble becoming pregnant, your gynecologist may recommend you undergo a hysterosalpingogram (HSG). An HSG is a radiology test that uses contrast material and X-rays to look at the uterus and fallopian tubes.

Conditions an HSG Can Diagnose

Your gynecologist can use an HSG to diagnose a wide range of gynecologic issues that could be preventing you from becoming pregnant, including:

  • Abnormal female anatomy.
  • Blockage that’s preventing sperm from fertilizing an egg.
  • Conditions that prevent a fertilized egg from attaching or implanting to the uterine wall.

Learn More About HSG

Get more details on what to expect and how to prepare for an HSG.

What Happens During an HSG

Your provider passes a thin, soft tube into the vagina and then secures it in the cervix. They then slowly inject the contrast material through this tube and into the uterus and fallopian tubes. At the same time, we will use targeted X-rays beams to take images. (These highly targeted beams limit total body radiation exposure.) In some cases, your gynecologist may be able to use the HSG to break through a blockage, which can increase your chances of getting pregnant.

Preparing for an HSG

Ideally, you should undergo the test two to five days after the end of your menstrual period to be sure you are not pregnant. There’s a chance you may experience leakage from the contrast dye or slight bleeding for up to 24 hours after the procedure. You may want to bring a sanitary napkin with you.

Before the test, 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. In rare cases, the dye used in this test can cause kidney damage in people with poor kidney function. If you have kidney problems, your doctor may order blood tests to make sure your kidneys are working well enough to receive the dye safely.
What to Expect During an HSG

This test usually takes about 30 minutes to perform. It is similar to a pelvic exam at a gynecologist’s office. You will be asked to lie on your back with your feet up in a “frog leg” position.

Your doctor will place a speculum in the vagina to view the cervix. Then, they’ll place a thin catheter into the cervical opening. Once the catheter is placed, your doctor will slowly insert the contrast through the catheter as they take X-rays. After the procedure, your doctor will immediately print the images for you to take to your next doctor’s appointment.

Services & Specialties

When necessary, your gynecologist will work with other subspecialty providers at Beverly Hospital to ensure you have the care you need to feel your very best.