Hysterosalpingography is a special x-ray using dye to look at the womb (uterus) and fallopian tubes.
This test is done in a radiology department. You will lie on a table beneath an x-ray machine. You will place your feet in stirrups, like you do during a pelvic exam. A tool called a speculum is placed into the vagina.
After the cervix is cleaned, the health care provider places a thin tube (catheter) through the cervix. Dye, called contrast, flows through this tube, filling the womb and fallopian tubes. X-rays are taken. The dye makes these areas easier to see on x-rays.
Your provider may give you antibiotics to take before and after the test. This helps prevent infections. You may also be given medicines to take the day of the procedure to help you relax.
The best time for this test is in the first half of the menstrual cycle. Doing it at this time enables the health care provider to see uterine cavity and tubes more clearly. It also reduces the risk for infection, and ensures that you are not pregnant.
Tell your provider if you have had an allergic reaction to contrast dye before.
You can eat and drink normally before the test.
You may have some discomfort when the speculum is inserted into the vagina. This is similar to a pelvic exam with a Pap test.
Some women have cramps during or after the test, like those you may get during your period.
You may have some pain if the dye leaks out of the tubes, or if the tubes are blocked.
This test is done to check for blockages in your fallopian tubes or other problems in the womb and tubes. It is often done as part of an infertility exam. It may also be done after you have your tubes tied to confirm that the tubes are fully blocked after you have had a hysteroscopic tubal occlusion procedure to prevent pregnancy.
A normal result means everything looks normal. There are no defects.
Note: Normal value ranges may vary slightly among different laboratories. Talk to your doctor about the meaning of your specific test results.
Abnormal results may be due to:
Risks may include:
This test should not be performed if you have pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) or have unexplained vaginal bleeding.
After the test, tell your provider right away if you have any signs or symptoms of infection. These include foul-smelling vaginal discharge, pain, or fever. You may need to take antibiotics if this occurs.
Reviewed By: John D. Jacobson, MD, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Loma Linda University School of Medicine, Loma Linda Center for Fertility, Loma Linda, CA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.