Hysterosalpingogram or HSG is a test done with the help of X-ray machine. This test is mainly performed in cases of women’s infertility. This test can also be done in the cases of women observing difficulty in getting pregnant.
A series of X-ray is done in hysterosalpingogram procedure just to check whether uterus is bearing any abnormalities or any kind of blockages in the fallopian tubes. Results are to be obtained on a continuous flouoroscopy screen. The entire procedure is: a dye is to be injected through catheter via cervix and vagina.
Where dye is moving out, this can be seen as the result of HSG. If the fallopian tubes are blocked, this could be removed by the dye clearing the passage inside the tubes. Then this die spills out into the abdominal cavity. Any spilling can be seen in the X-ray machine.
That’s why HSG informally can be called as ‘fill and spill’ test. This test can be done in radiology center of any hospital or clinic. HSG is also known as ‘uterosalpingography’.
It has been found that infertile women after undergoing hysterosalpingogram reported fertility at great extent. This shows the effectiveness of this particular test and proves itself as a boon for infertile women as well as women suffering from not getting pregnant.
Objectives of hysterosalpingogram test
Hysterosalpingogram usually encircle problems such as location of blockage at the junction of uterus and fallopian tubes or at the end of fallopian tubes. This is done to get a good knowledge of possible infertility reasons. This test is preferred and specified in terms of diagnosing any uterine malfunction, Asher’s Syndrome, polyps, fibroid tumors or fallopian tubes occlusion.
Asherman’s Syndrome tends to happen when the back and front walls of uterus stuck together. This can be happened because of scarring or adherence. If fallopian tubes are blocked, this is known as ‘tubal infertility‘. By injecting a particular dye coined as contrast medium/dye in the uterus and fallopian tubes can open up the possible blockages.
This dye is injected inside with the help of catheters. If existing blockages are opened, dye used to spill out into the abdominal cavity confirming the opening of the blockages. This entails the increased chances of fertility and pregnancy.
Precautionary steps before undergoing hysterosalpingogram
Undergoing hysterosalpingography can be more effective if it is done with some important precautionary steps. Those steps are:
The dye injected inside contains iodine. Hence patients who are allergic to iodine or any other things must tell this to their doctor before undergoing hysterosalpingogram. If patient is having asthma. If patient is consuming medicines which dilutes the blood like Aspirin, having kidney problems or diabetes.
Best of all, patient should tell about undergoing any other medical treatment at present or in the past. This will help the doctor and ease the treatment making it more effective.
When hysterosalpingogram should be done?
Ideally, this test takes only about 5-10 minutes. The timing of diagnosis makes the test and its procedure more effective. The time of undergoing hysterosalpingogram is best after a week of last menstrual period. This is the time when the patient will have nominal chances of being pregnant. It is because X-ray may cause serious damage to the fetus inside.
Tips to get prepared for hysterosalpingogram
Preparing yourself just before this test is a wise step. This will leave you comfortable during the entire process. Talk to your doctor regarding the whole procedure of the test. This will keep you relaxed by knowing in advance what is going to be happened. Doctor’s any advice should be followed.
Work up from your side too. Get knowledge regarding the test as much as you can. Browse internet; get library help or anything that can help you. Keep your day (when your test is due) cleared out of other works. Some women feel pain after the test. So it would be advisable to set yourself and other tasks at rest.
Because of the possibility of pain occurence, do not drive the vehicle yourself. Ask your husband, friend or any other person to get you back home after the test being done.
The procedure of hysterosalpingogram
Radiologist often assisted by a gynecologist pairs up to perform this test. To start this test, the patient is said to be empty her urinary bladder. Also laxatives can be given to get rid of feces collected in the large intestine. This cleanliness is done in order to attain clear X-ray results. A mild sedative can also be given to the patient so that she cannot feel pain and hence fall into uneasiness.
Now the patient lies down on the examining table with legs in stirrup position. Now the contrast medium is injected using a catheter via vagina and cervix. The dye flows up into the fallopian tubes. If dye spills out into the abdominal cavity at one end, it shows that there is no blockage or blockage removed, if any.
This spilling may cause the secretion of the dye outside vagina on the second end and wetting patient’s legs. Hence, it is advised to get ready with an absorbing cloth to wipe out the spilled over dye. The results can be seen on continuous fluoroscopy screen with the help of X-ray machine located atop the examining table. X-ray machine observes any problem caused in between the procedure and doctor can take the required steps to go further.
During and after hysterosalpingogram
Usually patient does not feel much pain during the procedure. But mild pain can be felt like usual menstrual cramps. After this test, patient may find bleeding up to 3-4 days. If result comes out abnormal after undergoing hysterosalpingogram test, patient may go for the other options. Other options can easily be discussed with the doctor such as in-vitro fertilization (IVF) or any other surgical treatment can be taken as an option to improve fertility quotient.
Risk factors of hysterosalpingogram
Like everything is followed by its pros and cons, hysterosalpingogram is also not an exception. There are few risk factors in undergoing this test. These factors can be observed in between or after the test. Complications like: pelvic infection, fallopian tube or uterus puncture, endometritis, salpingitis or allergic reaction towards the dye may occur.
Radio exposure may also cause tissue degeneration. Another possible risk factor is the entrance of air bubbles accidentally into the uterus through the catheter. This can be corrected by using Tenzer Tilt. Tenzer tilt shows up the movement of air bubbles inside the uterus. This will help doctors to fix the problem.
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