Hysterosalpingogram (HSG) Test for Blocked Fallopian Tubes

Hysterosalpingogram (HSG) Test for Blocked Fallopian Tubes
Hysterosalpingogram (HSG) Test for Blocked Fallopian Tubes

What is a hysterosalpingogram (HSG)Test for Blocked Fallopian Tubes?

A hysterosalpingogram HSG test for blocked fallpian tubes, or HSG is an important test of female fertility potential. The HSG test is a radiology procedure usually done in the radiology department of a hospital or daycare radiology facility. Hysterosalpingography (HSG) is an X-ray procedure that is used to view the inside of the uterus and fallopian tubes to get tubes information. It often is used to see if the fallopian tubes are partly or fully blocked and get proper information about it. It also can show if the inside of the uterus is a normal size and shape.

  • Radiographic contrast (dye) is injected into the uterine cavity through the vagina and cervix
  • The uterine cavity fills with dye and if the fallopian tubes are open, dye fills the tubes and spills into the abdominal cavity

This shows whether the fallopian tubes are open or blocked and whether a blockage is at the junction of the tube and uterus (proximal) or at the other end of the tube (distal).

Why is HSG Done ?

Scarring or abnormalities in the uterus or fallopian tubes can lead to infertility and pregnancy problems.

HSG also is used a few months after some tubal sterilization procedures to make sure that the fallopian tubes have been completely blocked.

When is HSG not Done?

  • are pregnant
  • have a pelvic infection
  • have uterine bleeding at the time of the procedure

What should i do prepare for Hysterosalpingogram HSG ?

Your obstetrician–gynecologist (ob-gyn) may recommend that you take an over-the-counter pain reliever an hour before the procedure. Discuss this decision with your ob-gyn. In some cases, you also may receive an antibiotic for you to take before HSG.

Most people can drive themselves home after having HSG. But you may not feel well after the procedure, so you may want to make arrangements for someone to drive you home.

How is Hysterosalpingogram (HSG) Done ?

Hysterosalpingogram (HSG) Test for Blocked Fallopian Tubes is done in a hospital, clinic, or the office of your ob-gyn. It is best to have HSG done in the first half of the menstrual cycle (days 1 to 14). This timing reduces the chance that you may be pregnant.

During HSG, a contrast agent is placed in the uterus and fallopian tubes. This is a fluid that contains a dye. The dye shows up in contrast to the body structures on an X-ray screen. The dye outlines the inner size and shape of the uterus and fallopian tubes. It also is possible to see how the dye moves through the body structures.

The procedure is done in the following way:

  1. You lie on your back with your feet placed as for a pelvic exam. A device called a speculum is inserted into the vagina. It holds the walls of the vagina apart to allow the cervix to be viewed. The cervix is cleaned.
  2. The end of the cervix may be injected with local anesthesia (pain relief). You may feel a slight pinch or tug as this is done.
  3. One of two methods may be used to insert the dye. In one method, the cervix is grasped with a device to hold it steady. An instrument called a cannula is then inserted into the cervix. In the other method, a thin plastic tube is passed into the cervical opening. The tube has a small balloon at the end that is inflated. The balloon keeps the tube in place in the uterus.
  4. The speculum is removed, and you are placed beneath an X-ray machine. The fluid is placed through the cannula or tube into the uterus and fallopian tubes. The fluid may cause cramping. If the tubes are blocked, the fluid will cause them to stretch.
  5. X-ray images are taken as the fluid fills the uterus and tubes. You may be asked to change position. If there is no blockage, the fluid will spill slowly out the far ends of the tubes. After it spills out, the fluid is absorbed by the body.
  6. After the images are taken, the speculum and cannula or tube is removed.

After HSG, you can expect to have sticky vaginal discharge as some of the fluid drains out of the uterus. The fluid may be tinged with blood. A pad can be used for the vaginal discharge. Do not use a tampon. You also may have the following symptoms:

  • Slight vaginal bleeding
  • Cramps
  • Feeling dizzy, faint, or sick to your stomach

What are the risks associated with Hysterosalpingogram (HSG) Test for Blocked Fallopian Tubes ?

Severe problems after an HSG are rare. They include an allergic reaction to the dye, injury to the uterus, or pelvic infection. Call your ob-gyn if you have any of these symptoms:

  • Foul-smelling vaginal discharge
  • Vomiting
  • Fainting
  • Severe abdominal pain or cramping
  • Heavy vaginal bleeding
  • Fever or chills
Hysterosalpingogram (HSG) Test for Blocked Fallopian Tubes

Role of fallopian tubes:

Fallopian tubes are an important part of the female reproductive system as they connect the ovaries to the uterus. At the time of ovulation, the egg released through the ovary travels through the fallopian tube to reach the uterus.For a successful pregnancy to occur, the sperm must travel through the uterus to the fallopian tube and fertilize an egg in the fallopian tube. The fertilized egg then travels through the fallopian tube to the uterus where it implants itself. Thus, fallopian tubes are extremely important as far as conception and pregnancy are concerned.

Blocking of fallopian tubes:

Obstruction or blockage of fallopian tubes is one of the leading causes of female infertility. Blockage of the fallopian tube does not allow the sperm to fertilize the egg or does not allow the fertilized egg to travel to the uterus for implantation, leading to infertility. There are various reasons which can lead to blockage of the fallopian tube like:

  • History of pelvic infection
  • Endometriosis
  • Sexually transmitted diseases like chlamydia
  • History of abdominal surgery
  • Other factors that may create a scar tissue
  • Fibroids

Does HSG Test increase chance of pregnancy?

Studies have shown that there is up to 30% increased pregnancy rates for the first 3 months after an HSG for couples with unexplained infertility. It is presumed that the dye itself flushes out debris (also known as “tubal goo”) and if that was all that was preventing pregnancy, you conceive within 3 months

What’s the next step after HSG test?

If the doctor confirms a blockage, steps can be taken to increase the chances of pregnancy. These steps include laparoscopic surgery to remove any blockages. In some cases, the patient will benefit from reproductive techniques like IVF

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