A hysterosalpingogram is essentially an X-ray of the uterus and the fallopian tubes. It is performed in order to check whether the tubes are open and the uterine cavity is normal.
A special X-ray dye is injected into the uterus and, as it moves towards the fallopian tubes, its course shows whether the tubes are intact, obstructed or damaged in any way. This test can reveal the shape of the uterus and any uterine abnormalities (diaphragm, adhesions, fibroids) that may cause infertility or miscarriages. Salpingogram is not a suitable test to check the ovaries or to diagnose endometriosis.
The best time for a salpingogram is within the first 10 of the cycle (after the bleeding has stopped) in order to exclude any possibility of pregnancy.
After the salpingogram, the woman may return to her everyday life and activities. This test is well-tolerated but some women might experience cramps during the test or for some hours afterwards. In that case, a simple painkiller should be sufficient. At ‘gennima’, we suggest that you take a combination of painkillers (Ponstan, Buscopan) beforehand (1-2 hours prior to the salpingogram), which makes the experience as painless as possible for all women.
Following the salpingogram and for 1-2 days, the woman might have some bleeding. This is expected and you should not be alarmed, unless the bleeding is heavy (in that case, you must contact your doctor). As a precaution, the woman should take antibiotics after the salpingogram (Vibramycin or Rulid 2 times a day for 7 days).
The amount of radiation a woman receives during a salpingogram is very small and has been to cause no problems to embryos, even if the woman becomes pregnant right after the salpingogram (in the same month).
In rare cases, the X-ray dye might cause an allergic reaction to the woman. The patient should inform the doctor in case of a known allergy to X-ray dyes (e.g. from previous tests). If after the salpingogram the woman feels itchy, swollen or if she gets a rash (all signs of an allergic reaction), she should contact her doctor.
The salpingogram is a safe examination. However, in rare cases there might be complications, such as pelvic infection. This usually happens in case of previous infections of the fallopian tubes. If the woman feels pain 1 or 2 days after the salpingogram or if she has a fever, she should contact her doctor.