In this test, doctors use an x-ray with dye to check for physical problems of the uterus and fallopian tubes. The special dye is injected through the vagina so that it can be seen on screen as it flows into the uterus and through the fallopian tubes. With these x-rays, doctors can usually find blockages that may be causing infertility. Blockages can prevent the egg from moving from the fallopian tube to the uterus or it can keep the sperm from reaching the egg. This test allows the radiologist to evaluate the shape and structure of the uterus, the openness of the fallopian tubes, and any scarring within the peritoneal cavity.

This procedure can be used to investigate repeated miscarriages that result from congential abnormalities of the uterus and to determine the presence and severity of these abnormalities, including:
o tumor masses or adhesions
o uterine fibroids

Hysterosalpingography is also used to monitor the effects of tubal surgery, including:
o tubal ligation
o the closure of the fallopian tubes in a sterilization procedure and a sterilization reversal
o the re-opening of the fallopian tubes following a sterilization or disease-related obstruction

The procedure

The test is done right after a menstrual period has ended to be sure that it is not done while you are pregnant.

Before injecting dye into your uterus and fallopian tubes, your provider takes an x-ray of your abdomen. Then you lie on an exam table and put your feet in stirrups, just as you would for a pelvic exam. The provider opens up the vagina using a tool called a speculum and cleans the cervix (the opening of the uterus). He or she puts a slender tube into your vagina and then into the cervix and injects dye into the uterus and fallopian tubes while x-rays are taken.

You may have crampy pain during the procedure. The amount of pain varies from woman to woman. Talk to your physician about pain medication.

Hysterosalpingography only sees the inside of the uterus and fallopian tubes. Abnormalities of the ovaries, wall of the uterus, and other pelvic structures may still be needed to evaluate with a MRI or ultrasound.


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Related Resources

Wikipedia.org: Hysterosalpingography
MedlinePlus: Hysterosalpingography
WebMD.com: Hysterosalpingography
ACOG.org: Hysterosalpingography


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