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HYSTEROSALPINGOGRAM

Introduction:

Hysterosalpingography, also called uterosalpingography, is an x-ray examination of a womans uterus and fallopian tubes that uses a special form of x-ray called fluoroscopy and a contrast material. An x-ray (radiograph) is a noninvasive medical test that helps physicians diagnose and treat medical conditions. Imaging with x-rays involves exposing a part of the body to a small dose of ionizing radiation to produce pictures of the inside of the body. X-rays are the oldest and most frequently used form of medical imaging. Fluoroscopy is a special x-ray technique that makes it possible to see internal organs in motion. During a hysterosalpingogram, the uterus and fallopian tubes are filled with a water-soluble contrast material and the radiologist is able to use fluoroscopy to view and assess their anatomy and function.

Preparation:

The hysterosalpingography procedure is best performed one week after menstruation but before ovulation to make certain that you are not pregnant during the exam.

This procedure should not be performed if you have an active inflammatory condition. You should notify your physician or technologist if you have a chronic pelvic infection or an untreated sexually transmitted disease at the time of the procedure.

On the night before the procedure, you may be asked to take a laxative or an enema to empty your bowels, so that the uterus and surrounding structures can be seen clearly.

Prior to the procedure, you may be given a mild sedative or over-the- counter medication to minimize any potential discomfort. Some physicians prescribe an antibiotic prior to and/or after the procedure.

You should inform your physician of any medications being taken and if there are any allergies, especially to iodinated contrast materials. Also inform your doctor about recent illnesses or other medical conditions.

You may be asked to remove some or all of your clothes and to wear a gown during the exam. You may also be asked to remove jewelry, removable dental appliances, eye glasses and any metal objects or clothing that might interfere with the x-ray images.

Women should always inform their physician and x-ray technologist if there is any possibility that they are pregnant. Many imaging tests are not performed during pregnancy the fetus should not be exposed to radiation. If an x-ray is necessary, precautions will be taken to minimize radiation exposure to the baby. See the Safety page for more information about pregnancy and x-rays.