Medical Imaging

X-ray > Exams & Procedures > Hysterosalpingogram

This examination is used to determine the patency of the fallopian tubes. The fallopian tubes are the structures through which eggs travel from the ovaries to the uterus. By injecting a special X-ray dye into the uterus, we can see if the tubes are patent or blocked by studying the flow of the dye (or contrast).

Preparation

There is no preparation required for the hysterosalpingogram. It must be done at a certain point in the menstrual cycle, but your gynecologist has taken this into consideration when booking your appointment.

Contrast

The contrast used for this examination is specifically manufactured for this exam. It is a clear fluid that drains normally out of the uterus after the examination.

About the Procedure

The procedure takes about five to 10 minutes.

When you arrive the day of your examination, you will be escorted to an area where you can change your clothes. At this time you will be taken into the examination room where the procedure will take place. During the examination there will be three other people present: a technologist, your gynecologist and a radiologist. The technologist will ensure your comfort and safely throughout the procedure, and make sure that equipment functions properly. Your gynecologist will complete your procedure with the assistance of the technologist. The radiologist will control the X-ray camera (fluoroscope) and determine how the contrast flows during the exam.

St. Michael's Hospital is a teaching facility and there may be a radiology resident present for your examination. These students are highly trained and closely supervised to provide you with the best care while maximizing their education.

You may request that a female technologist be with you throughout your procedure.

Your gynecologist will insert a speculum into the vagina, just like having a pap smear test. The doctor will then place a small tip through the cervix and inject the contrast while the radiologist watches on the fluoroscope. Only a small amount of contrast is used, usually between 10 and 20 milliliters.

There may be a small amount of discomfort associated with the injection of contrast, or no feeling at all. Some patients have mentioned cramping much like their menstrual cramps. In most cases this is very short lived and within five minutes they feel fine.

At this point the speculum is removed and the exam is over. Your gynecologist will talk to you about the results immediately, and then you can change your clothing and go home.