Procedure, Preparation, Side Effects, Cost and Results of HSG Test

Submitted on March 27, 2012

The term fertility refers to the ability of the individual's body to perform the functions that lead to the development of a child. For men, this refers to the motility, quantity and quality of the sperm produced in the body. For women, fertility is far more complex. Their bodies have to provide the egg for fertilization and, subsequently, the environment to allow the baby to develop. This involves the proper health of the fallopian tubes and the uterus along with all the associated factors such as hormone levels.

Why Is HSG Test Conducted?

The HSG test is a test used to determine the fertility of a woman. The full form of the term HSG test is hysterosalpingogram. Many women suffer from blockages or abnormalities with their fallopian tubes. The HSG test is used to determine where and what type of blockage is present, if any. The HSG test is a radiology test. This involves the use of a scanning machine which is used to prepare the images of the uterus and fallopian tubes. In order to clearly mark out these areas, a contrast material needs to be filled into them. The contrast material is inserted through the vagina.

As the uterus fills, X-ray images are taken. The HSG test procedure continues as the doctor fills more and more fluid into the area. Fluid is normally supposed to pass out of the fallopian tubes. If this does not happen, the tubes are considered to be blocked.

Side Effects, Cost & Results

The HSG test for women usually takes just a few minutes. Some women do experience HSG test pain as they suffer from cramping in their abdomen during and immediately after the procedure. This HSG test pain is considered to be normal. There are very few HSG test side effects.

Most women can resume their normal lives within a few hours of the test once the pain has subsided. In extremely rare cases, the HSG test may cause an allergic reaction as the woman's body reacts to the contrast material. This is rare extremely rare. The risk of infection to the female reproductive system is one of the other HSG test side effects. However, this is equally rare when compared with the chance of an allergic reaction.

HSG test and pregnancy are therefore related to each other as the HSG test is useful as a diagnostic tool to understand why a woman is finding it difficult to successfully get pregnant. This procedure may be coupled with tests for the hormonal status of the woman to give a complete picture of the functioning of her reproductive system. Any woman would be very skeptical about this test and therefore it would be necessary to discuss all the aspects of the test, including the HSG test cost, preparation and side effects. The HSG test results are also something that you should allow your doctor to interpret.