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What you should know about hysterosalpingography

Updated: 2023-01-17


The fallopian tubes are one of the most important components of the female reproductive system, playing the significant role of transporting sperm and fertilized eggs to the uterine cavity.

Fallopian tube problems account for 30 percent of female infertility, therefore people should take hysterosalpingography, also known as HSG, into consideration.

HSG procedures are as follows: A doctor will inject the contrast agent into the uterine cavity and fallopian tubes through the catheter, perform an X-ray fluoroscopy and take pictures. The doctor will then check the shape of the uterine cavity according to the development condition of the contrast agent in the fallopian tubes and pelvic cavity. The doctor will also check whether or not the fallopian tubes are obstructed.

1. What is the difference between (X-ray) HSG and uterine fallopian tube ultrasound contrast?

(X-ray) HSG Uterine fallopian tube ultrasound contrast
Evaluation of tubal patency More reliable Relatively reliable
X-ray radiation ? Yes No
How long after the examination can you prepare for pregnancy? Generally one month Generally one month
Evaluation of uterus and ovaries Limited Better
Cost Relatively low Relatively high

2. Is the contrast examination necessary after hydrotubation?

If the results of hydrotubation are unobstructed, you can consider HSG if you have not conceived after a period of time. For patients with abnormal hydrotubation results, further contrast examination can be performed to confirm the diagnosis after one month.

3. When can women get HSG, how long will it last, and will it hurt?

There are four common factors for infertility: (1) sperm; (2) ovulation; (3) the endometrium; (4) the fallopian tubes. After the first three infertility factors have been excluded and pregnancy has not occurred, an HSG examination should be considered.

The HSG examination should be completed within 3-7 days after the menstrual period, and intercourse is prohibited during this time. The examination is generally completed within half an hour, during which the doctor will inject the contrast agent into the uterine cavity. Most patients may only feel swelling in the lower abdomen, which leaves only a mild discomfort.

The Radiology Department of the Chongqing Health Center for Women and Children (Women and Children's Hospital of Chongqing Medical University), or CQHCWC, adopts the sheath tube method for HSG, injecting medicine into the cervix, which does not use cervical forceps and is painless.

4. How long does it take to have a baby after HSG?

Many people worry that the contrast agent used will remain in the body for a long time. Don't worry, with the continuous advancement of science and technology, drugs are also updated. At present, the contrast agent used in clinical practice contains iodine and is water-soluble. The contrast agent is easily absorbed and does not harm the body.

It is highlighted that during the menstrual cycle when HSG is taken, couples need to use contraception.

In addition, some people worry that X-ray radiation will affect embryonic development. In fact, the X-ray radiation dose of an HSG is very small and will not cause any harm. Therefore, in the next menstrual cycle after the completion of HSG, you can begin trying to conceive.


X-ray HSG also has a certain therapeutic effect. For patients with mild obstruction or adhesion of fallopian tubes, the impact of pushing the contrast agent during the examination has a certain dredging effect on the fallopian tubes. Therefore, in the next few months, the chances of pregnancy will increase. Patients can actively prepare for pregnancy in the next menstrual cycle after an HSG examination.