What is a Hysterosalpingogram?
Hysterosalpingogram is a procedure to evaluate the uterus and the fallopian tubes. It is usually performed in the radiologist office. The procedure is usually performed after menstruation but in the first half of the cycle, before ovulation to prevent the possibility of exposing a pregnancy to x-rays.
How is a Hysterosalpingogram Performed?
The procedure involves insertion of a speculum followed be injection of a die via a cannula placed in the cervix. The uterus is filled with iodine containing contrast media that is radio opaque, and obtaining x-rays as the dye outlines the shape of the uterus is seen. Also, the length of the fallopian tubes is noted. This is followed usually by the spillage of dye from the fallopian tubes this indicates patency of the tubes.
Possible pathology noted on HSG includes: the presence of uterine polyps, fibroids, scare tissue, or any structural anomalies of the uterus. The fallopian tubes are evaluated noting: scarring or swelling of the tubes, and patency is seen from the procedure.
Are there any side effects?
Some patients experience cramping with the procedure, this can usually be relieved by analgesics. Patients are able to resume normal activity the same day. Complications are not common but include infection, exposure to x-rays, and allergic reaction to iodine contrast.
What is a Sonohysterogram?
Sonohysterogram does not need to be done in a radiologic facility. The procedure provides the same information as the HSG regarding the uterus however the fallopian tube information is limited.
What is the difference between a Hysterosalpingogram & sonohysterogram ?
A major difference is that in a sonohysterogram no x-ray is used, rather an ultrasound is utilized to visualize the uterus. Also rather then dye, saline is used to fill the uterine cavity. It can provide superior images of the uterine cavity, and detailed measurements of abnormalities.
In the case of blocked or damaged tubes. A surgical procedure can repair the tubes or they can be bypassed by in vitro fertilization.
Uterine abnormalities can be repaired surgically or through hysteroscopy.
The physician usually explains to the patients the different options together with risks and rewards of each procedure