The hysterosalpingogram (HSG) is a common aspect of the infertility testing process. The test allows doctors to see inside your fallopian tubes and uterus, looking for blockages or abnormal shapes/contours that can hinder pregnancy or lead to miscarriages. Here you will learn how an HSG test works.
How Does an HSG Work?
HSGs are one of the diagnostic tests that can assist us to figure out what’s causing female infertility. If your fertility expert doesn’t perform an HSG for your initial fertility testing, he or she should request one if you’ve had problems conceiving or have had numerous miscarriages.
HSGs are used to diagnose the following conditions:
- Blocked fallopian tubes
- Endometrial polyps
- Fibroid tumors
- Uterine scarring
Because HSGs is an x-ray technique, they must be performed in a radiology lab. They are outpatient and it only takes about 30 minutes to complete.
A little thin tube is inserted into the vaginal canal, via the cervix, and up into your uterus and fallopian tubes by your doctor. After the implant is in place, an iodine-based contrast dye is used to fill up the gaps. When the dye fills these cavities, the doctor uses an x-ray to see where the dye goes — and where it can’t. From there, your diagnosis will be made.
What Happens And What Does It Feel Like?
To obtain the finest images, HSGs are conducted after your period but before you ovulate. This usually suggests it’ll happen between Days 7 and 12 of your cycle. There is no need to prepare other than arriving on time for your appointment. There is no need to fast, and there is no need for anesthesia.
You’ll lay down on a table identical to the one at your OB/office GYN’s and put your feet in the stirrups once you’ve undressed from the waist down. A speculum will be inserted by the nurse or doctor, and the HSG procedure will continue from there.
Is the HSG procedure painful?
Many women have cramps, particularly after the dye has been injected. Women with blocked fallopian tubes may experience terrible aches. Ibuprofen and other over-the-counter pain relievers can help alleviate this discomfort.
To avoid or lessen pain during the test, talk to your doctor about taking pain medication 30 to 60 minutes before the procedure. Many women experience minimal pain following the HSG treatment, although you may feel crampy or achy, so having someone else drive you home is a good idea.
Is an HSG test covered by insurance?
It is possible; however, it is dependent on your policy. Fertility diagnostics and treatment are covered by many insurance plans; however, coverage varies.
If you have any questions regarding your coverage, contact your insurance company to find out what they will cover.