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What is an HSG test?

My boyfriend and I have been consulting with a fertility doctor who recommended that I get an HSG test. What is an HSG test exactly, and how can it help with my fertility problems? Are they painful? What kind of results does a person typically get from an HSG test?
Infertility, the inability to conceive after twelve months of unprotected intercourse, is a very frustrating condition that approximately 10% of women face. Part of the work up for infertility can include the HSG test. An HSG test stands for hysterosalpingogram which is an x-ray test to look at the inside of the uterus and fallopian tubes. During the test, a dye is put through a thin tube that is inserted into the vagina and uterus. The pictures can pinpoint a problem such as a blockage or abnormal structure within the uterus or fallopian tubes. The test should be performed 2-5 days after your period has ended to ensure that you are not pregnant. The test may cause some cramping, but usually causes minimal discomfort. To ease this cramping, take ibuprofen thirty minutes before the test. You may also experience some leakage of the dye from your vagina as well as mild bleeding. Of course, every patient is different and it is only after evaluating your personal medial history, that the proper work up can be decided upon. As such, it is recommended that you visit your ob/gyn to further evaluate and decide upon the most appropriate work up for your infertility.
This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.
If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment. Medical professionals who provide responses to health-related questions are intended third party beneficiaries with certain rights under Zocdoc’s Terms of Service.

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