Hysterosalpingography is an x-ray of the uterus and fallopian tubes that involves the injection of contrast (dye) through the cervix.
How is this test performed?
The exam takes place in a radiology department using an overhead x-ray machine. You will lie on a table beneath the x-ray machine and place your feet in stirrups, like during a pelvic exam. A speculum is placed into the vagina, and the cervix is cleaned.
A thin tube (catheter) is placed in the cervix. Contrast passes through this tube, filling the uterus and fallopian tubes. The contrast makes the structures visible when the x-rays are taken.
How will the test feel?
The test feels much like a vaginal examination associated with a Pap smear. You may have menstrual-type cramping during or after the test. You may have some pain if the contrast leaks into your abdominal cavity or if the tubes are blocked.
How is this test used?
This test allows the health care provider to see the structures of the uterus and fallopian tubes, and to determine if there are any blockages or other problems. The test is usually done as part of an infertility examination. It may also be done after a permanent sterilization procedure to confirm that the tubes are fully blocked.
Normally, all genital structures are there and are normal, without defects of any kind. Contrast can normally be seen leaking out the fallopian tubes into the abdominal cavity.
Abnormal results may indicate any of the following:
- Developmental disorders of the structures of the uterus or fallopian tubes
- Intrauterine adhesion
- Obstruction of the fallopian tubes
- Presence of foreign bodies
- Tubal adhesions
- Uterine tumors or polyps
Risks of this test include:
- Allergic reaction to the contrast
- Endometrial infection (endometritisendometritis)
- Fallopian tube infection (salpingitissalpingitis)
- Perforation of (poking a hole through) the uterus
This test should not be performed if you have pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) or are experiencing unexplained vaginal bleedingvaginal bleeding.
After the test, report any signs or symptoms of infection to your health care provider immediately. These include foul-smelling vaginal dischargevaginal discharge, pain, or fever.
Reference: National Library of Medicine