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HSG for Fertility Testing

New Jersey IVF Center Diagnoses Reasons for Infertility

A hysterosalpingogram, also called an HSG X-ray, is an imaging technique that is commonly used in the diagnostic evaluation of infertility to determine whether fallopian tubes are open and the uterus is normal. New Jersey fertility doctor Jane Miller performs all her own HSG tests and reads and reviews the studies with her patients as soon as they are off the X-ray table!

Our New Jersey IVF center counsels patients about the HSG procedure and shows them sample HSG films from our library before the tests are even scheduled. That way patients know the purpose of the test, what we are expecting to learn from the fertility testing, and how patients will feel during the brief procedure.

HSG Looks at Pelvic Organs

HSG enables us to evaluate the hollow structures in the pelvis. In our New Jersey fertility center, Dr. Jane Miller reviews the structure with patients with the aid a pelvic organ map. Our patients learn that the cervix, uterus and fallopian tubes are all hollow. By injecting iodine-based dye or contrast through the cervix, our New Jersey fertility center can determine whether:

  • the cervix contains obstructing polyps or fibroids
  • the inside uterine cavity contains fibroids, polyps or adhesions
  • the uterine cavity is indeed distorted from the pressure of fibroids pushing in on it from the surrounding uterine muscle

Determining Blocked Fallopian Tubes

A well-performed HSG will outline the inside anatomy of the fallopian tube and let our New Jersey fertility doctor know if tubes are patent or open. If a fallopian tube is not seen in its entirety, or not at all, it may be blocked as a result of infection or muscular spasm. If a tube fills to its distal end but does not “spill,” it may indicate the presence of a hydrosalpinx, a tube that is closed and filled with its own secretions and, as a result, is non-functional.

HSG Uses Beyond Infertility

HSG is a technique that is used in the diagnosis and treatment planning of other gynecologic problems in addition to infertility. These include abnormal uterine bleeding, location of an intrauterine device and past exposure in utero to diethylstilbestrol (outdated miscarriage-prevention drug). Fertility doctor Jane Miller also performs HSGs after tubal surgery and myomectomy.

How HSG is Performed

HSG is a common procedure which can be done quickly and gently, generally in less than two minutes, to greatly minimize discomfort. HSGs are performed with the patient lying down with the back of the knees in stirrups on the X-ray table. A sterile speculum is inserted into the vagina, and Lidocaine is injected to lessen discomfort. Dr. Miller uses the minimal amount of contrast fluid needed to view the cervix, uterus and fallopian tubes. Less contrast injected means less cramping! She removes the speculum immediately after the first picture. She spends the greatest portion of her time reviewing the HSG films with the patient and, based upon these and other test results, making plans for treatment at our New Jersey fertility center.