Hysterosalpingography is a type of x-ray. It is used to look at the uterus and fallopian tubes. The uterus is the organ that holds an unborn baby during pregnancy. The fallopian tubes carry eggs from the ovary to the uterus.
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Reasons for Test
Hysterosalpingography is used to look at:
- Why a woman is not getting pregnant
- Abnormal bleeding
- Abnormal puberty
Problems are rare, but all procedures have some risk. The doctor will go over some problems that could happen, such as:
- Excess bleeding
- Problems from contrast dye
- Belly pain or cramping
All x-rays involve some radiation exposure. These levels are considered safe for most. The test is not advised for pregnant women. The radiation can harm the unborn baby.
What to Expect
Prior to Test
The care team may meet with you to talk about:
- Any allergies you may have
- Current medicines, herbs, and supplements that you take and whether you need to stop taking them before the procedure
- Fasting before the procedure, such as avoiding food or drink after midnight the night before
- Whether you need a ride to and from the procedure
- Cleaning out the colon
- Pain medicine
Description of Test
A device will be inserted to gently open the vagina. A tube will be passed through the cervix and into the uterus.
Contrast material will be passed through a tube into the uterus and fallopian tubes. This will help the doctor see the x-rays. X-rays will be taken. The tube will then be removed.
How Long Will It Take?
About 15 to 45 minutes
Will It Hurt?
There may be some discomfort and cramping during the test. If there is a blockage, it may cause worse pain. You may have some light cramps after the test. Medicine will help to ease discomfort.
Your doctor will talk to you about the results of the test.
Call Your Doctor
Call your doctor if you have:
- Pain that is not controlled with the medicine
- Heavy bleeding from the vagina
- Signs of infection, such as fever and chills
- Belly pain
- Nausea or vomiting
- Itching, hives, or rash
- Problems breathing and/or swallowing
Offiice on Women's Health—US Department of Health and Human Services
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada (SOGC)
Women's Health Matters
Abnormal uterine bleeding. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/approach-to/abnormal-uterine-bleeding. Accessed August 3, 2021.
Hysterosalpingography. Radiology Info—Radiological Society of North America website. Available at: https://www.radiologyinfo.org/en/info/hysterosalp. Accessed August 3, 2021.
Hysterosalpingography. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists website. Available at: https://www.acog.org/womens-health/faqs/hysterosalpingography. Accessed August 3, 2021.
Zafarani F, Ghaffari F, et al. Hysterosalpingography in the assessment of proximal tubal pathology: a review of congenital and acquired abnormalities. Br J Radiol. 2021;94(1122):20201386.
Last reviewed July 2021 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Daniel A. Ostrovsky, MD Last Updated: 8/3/2021