How Should the Infertility Tube Test (HSG) Be Conducted?

The Hysterosalpingography (HSG) test is a vital procedure for assessing infertility in women, specifically evaluating the condition of the fallopian tubes and the uterine cavity. If you’re scheduled for an HSG, understanding the process can alleviate some of the anxiety and help you prepare better. Here’s a comprehensive guide on how the HSG test should be conducted, incorporating insights from Dr. Srinivas Prasad R.H., Founder of Nisarga Diagnostics, Sanjay Nagar, Bangalore.

What is an HSG Test?

HSG is an X-ray procedure used to visualize the interior of the uterus and fallopian tubes. It’s primarily performed to check for blockages or abnormalities that could affect fertility.

Patient Experience During HSG

As Dr. Srinivas Prasad R.H. explains, most patients undergo the HSG procedure with minimal discomfort. However, individual experiences can vary, and it’s important to be aware of what to expect:

Preparation: Before the procedure, patients are often prescribed medications to help minimize discomfort and prevent potential infections. These may include pain relievers and antibiotics.


Positioning: You will be asked to lie down on an X-ray table, similar to a gynecological exam position.

Inserting the Speculum: A speculum is inserted into the vagina to keep it open.

Cleaning and Insertion of Catheter: The cervix is cleaned, and a thin catheter is gently inserted through the cervix into the uterine cavity.

Injection of Contrast Dye: A contrast dye is injected through the catheter. This dye outlines the uterus and fallopian tubes on the X-ray images.

X-ray Imaging: X-ray images are taken as the dye flows through the reproductive structures. This helps in identifying any blockages or abnormalities.

Duration: The entire procedure typically takes about 15-30 minutes.

Sensations During HSG

Most women report mild to moderate discomfort during the HSG test. Some common sensations include:

Mild Pain or Cramping: Similar to menstrual cramps, usually when the dye is injected.

Pressure: A feeling of pressure as the uterus fills with the contrast dye.

Slight Bleeding: Some women may experience light spotting after the procedure.

Managing Discomfort

To manage any discomfort, appropriate medications are given before the procedure. These may include:

Pain Relievers: To minimize pain and cramping.

Antibiotics: To prevent any potential infections.

Rare Complications

While the HSG procedure is generally safe, Dr. Srinivas Prasad R.H. notes a few rare complications:

Alteration in Heartbeat or Pulse Rate: Some patients may experience slight changes in their heart rate.

Contrast Reaction: In very rare cases (approximately 1 in 100,000), there might be an adverse reaction to the contrast dye.

Post-Procedure Care

After the HSG test:

  • Rest: It’s advisable to rest for the remainder of the day.
  • Pain Management: Over-the-counter pain relievers can help with any residual discomfort.
  • Monitor for Symptoms: Watch for any signs of infection, such as fever or unusual discharge, and contact your healthcare provider if they occur.


The HSG test is a crucial diagnostic tool in evaluating female infertility. While the procedure can cause mild discomfort, it is generally well-tolerated with the aid of pre-procedure medications. Understanding the steps involved and knowing what to expect can help ease anxiety and ensure a smoother experience. Always discuss any concerns with your healthcare provider beforehand to be fully prepared.

Thank you for reading, and special thanks to Dr. Srinivas Prasad R.H. for providing valuable insights into the HSG procedure.

For more information or to schedule an appointment, please visit Nisarga Diagnostics or contact us at +91 88677 57594

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