You have to have a hysterosalpingogram and you are wondering about the procedure? Ohmymag reveals the essentials of what you need to know.
1. Preparation: Hysterosalpingography is a radiograph of the uterine cavity and fallopian tubes. It is part of the classic infertility assessment, but can also be proposed after several miscarriages or frequent genital infections.
It is not necessary to fast before the procedure. On the other hand, a preventative antibiotic treatment is generally prescribed to limit the risks of infections related to the examination. Know also that hysterosalpingography can be a little painful (temporary cramps similar to those of premenstrual syndrome): normally, nothing prevents you from taking an antispasmodic prevention, do not hesitate to talk to your doctor.
If you are allergic to iodine products, report it as soon as possible: antihistamines or corticosteroids can be taken the day before and on the day of the test. Lastly, you must never have a hysterosalpingography if you think you are pregnant.
2. Procedure of the examination: Hysterosalpingography takes place within the first 10 days after the onset of menstruation. You will be invited to undress and lie on your back or side. The examination is conducted without anesthesia. The radiologist usually takes a first x-ray, then introduces a speculum and a small cannula to slowly inject the contrast medium.
They will then take several x-rays in different positions to check that the contrast material is rising properly in the uterus and the fallopian tubes. In all, hysterosalpingography usually takes about thirty minutes.
At the end of the examination, it is recommended to use sanitary protection, because there can be small flows for 1 or 2 days. Finally, do not hesitate to take an antispasmodic if you have not done it yet.
3. Results and cost: Normally, the radiologist gives you a quick report before sending your results to your doctor. Often, the examination reveals no particular disorder, or at least nothing serious (examples: uterine polyps, benign tumours). More rarely, it may reveal a more severe disorder such as an obstruction of the fallopian tubes or a congenital uterine malformation.
A private hysterosalpingography usually costs over £100: the price can vary according to the practitioners and the region. This examination can be done on the NHS but waiting times are likely to be longer than they would be privately.