What to Expect During a Hysterosalpingography

This examination is usually done on an outpatient basis.

You are positioned on your back on the exam table, with her knees bent or her feet held up with stirrups. A speculum is inserted into the vagina, the cervix is cleansed, and a catheter is then inserted into the cervix. You are carefully situated underneath a fluoroscopy machine.

Contrast material begins to fill the uterine cavity, fallopian tubes and peritoneal cavity through the catheter and fluoroscopic images are taken.

In some cases, if certain abnormalities are encountered, you will be asked to rest and wait up to 30 minutes so that a delayed image can be obtained. This delayed image may provide clues to a patient's condition that the original images with contrast material do not. On occasion, an X-ray will be taken the next day to ensure that there is no scarring surrounding the ovaries.

When the procedure is complete, the catheter and the speculum will be removed and you will be allowed to sit up.

When the examination is complete, you will be asked to wait until the radiologist determines that all the necessary images have been obtained.

Time Consideration

A hysterosalpingogram is usually completed within 30 minutes.

Other Factors

This exam should cause only minor discomfort.

There may be slight discomfort and cramping when the catheter is placed and the contrast material is injected, but it should not last long. There also may be slight irritation of the peritoneum, causing generalized lower abdominal pain, but this should be minimal and temporary. It is normal for women to experience vaginal spotting for a few days after the examination.

Limitations of Hysterosalpingography

Hysterosalpingography only sees the inside of the uterus and fallopian tubes. Abnormalities of the ovaries, wall of the uterus, and other pelvic structures may be evaluated with MRI or ultrasound. Infertility problems may be from causes not evaluated with hysterosalpingography, including, but not limited to, low or abnormal sperm count or the inability of a fertilized egg to implant in the uterus.