Hysterosalpingography is a type of x-ray
Reasons for Test
Hysterosalpingography is used to evaluate the following:
- Abnormal bleeding
- Abnormal pubertal development
- Traumatic injury
- The presence of foreign objects
What to Expect
Prior to Test
In the days leading up to the test:
- Schedule the test within the first 10 days after your period starts. This timing will decrease the chance of disturbing an unknown pregnancy.
Your doctor may ask you to:
- Take pain medicine or antibiotics.
- Take a laxative or enema.
- Have a light meal the night before. Do not eat or drink anything after midnight, unless told otherwise by your doctor.
- Plan to wear comfortable clothes.
- Arrange for a ride to and from the test.
Description of Test
You will lie on a special x-ray table with your feet in foot rests or pulled up to your chest. The doctor will do a pelvic exam to check the position of the uterus and check for tenderness or inflammation. A speculum will be inserted to gently open the vagina. A tube will be inserted. It will be attached to the opening into the uterus at the top of the vagina.
Once the tube is inserted, you will be repositioned. The contrast material will be slowly injected through the cervix and into the uterus and fallopian tubes. The x-ray machine will create images that the doctor can see. X-ray photos will also be taken many different times during the test. The table may be tilted, or you may be asked to roll from side to side for better views or pictures. When x-rays of all the areas have been completed, the instruments will be removed.
You will be observed for about 30 minutes after the test. The staff will look for signs of an allergic reaction and bleeding. You will then be able to leave.
After the test, be sure to follow your doctor's instructions . In general:
- Expect some bleeding for a few days after the test.
- Use over-the-counter pain medicine to relieve discomfort as needed.
- An antibiotic may be ordered to prevent infection. Take all of the pills that are given.
- Do not stop the medicine, unless told otherwise by your doctor.
- Do not douche, use tampons, or engage in sexual intercourse for 48 hours after the procedure.
- Baths and showers are OK.
How Long Will It Take?
About 15-45 minutes
Will It Hurt?
Most patients report some discomfort and cramping during this test. If there is a blockage, it may cause more intense pain. Your doctor may order pain or sedating medicines. The medicines are often taken one hour before the test.
A radiologist interprets the x-ray films and reports what was found to the doctor who ordered the exam. Your doctor will then make recommendations for treatment.
Call Your Doctor
After you leave the hospital, call your doctor if any of the following occurs:
- Increased pain
- Heavy vaginal bleeding
- Signs of infection, including fever and chills
- Abdominal pain
- Nausea or vomiting
- Itching, hives , or rash
- Difficulty breathing and/or swallowing
American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
National Women's Health Information Center
The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada (SOGC)
Women's Health Matters
Handbook of Diagnostic Tests . 2nd ed. Springhouse Publishing; 1999.
Procedures for Primary Care Physicians . Mosby-Year Book; 1994.
Last reviewed November 2009 by
Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.
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