Many women struggle with infertility. Some have issues that cause infertility while others have unexplained infertility meaning there is no explanation why she is experiencing difficulties getting pregnant. One of the most common procedures that your gynecologist or infertility specialist may do is administering an infertility HSG test. This article will give you the specifics on what the procedure is, how it is done, how to prepare for the test, what doctors look for while performing the test, risk factors, and general information about HSG and the effect it has on fertility.
What is it and why is it done?
When you begin exploring your options for trying to conceive with infertility issues, there are many basic tests your doctor will do before doing an infertility HSG test. Usually these tests are comprised of diagnostic testing and several different types of blood tests. This could include blood work for testing your hormone levels and ultrasounds to scan for problems with the uterus, cervix, fallopian tubes, and ovaries. Once these basic tests have been done the next step is getting the infertility HSG test. This is one of the few fertility tests where you can get results immediately.
The infertility HSG test is used to look for fibroids, blocked fallopian tubes and any abnormalities with your uterus. The test itself is usually done at an outpatient surgery center although most clinics that specialize in fertility testing will have the necessary equipment on hand. This is a relatively quick procedure that lasts approximately 15 minutes from beginning to end.
How is it done?
During the infertility HSG test procedure you will be required to lie on your back with your legs raised. Your doctor will then insert a contrast dye through your cervical opening into the uterus while taking x-rays at the same time. This contrast dye spreads throughout your uterus and fallopian tubes showing any blockages or abnormalities in the fallopian tubes.
When is HSG performed?
An infertility hysterosalpingogram test is typically done when a couple is having difficulty getting pregnant using conventional conception methods. Most doctors will opt to run a series of blood tests to check hormone levels such as estrogen, progesterone, FSH, and hcG. Also, an ultrasound may also be done before getting an infertility HSG test to make sure there are no easily visible problems with the ovaries, uterus and fallopian tubes. While these tests are usually the first ones the doctor will administer to rule out any obvious causes of infertility. If more advanced testing needs to be done, this is when an infertility HSG test is done.
How will I feel during and after the procedure?
During the infertility HSG test there are many different things that you could feel depending on your situation. During this HSG test you may feel some discomfort or slight pain. If your fallopian tubes are blocked you may experience more pain than someone who has no signs of blockage in the fallopian tubes. Your doctor will usually prescribe Tylenol to take for the pain. If you know that you are going to have problems managing the uncertainties of the procedure you could ask your doctor if you could take medication before the procedure or even a sedative.
Some women could experience some cramping for several hours after having infertility HSG test. This is completely normal and is not cause for alarm. Wear a panty liner if you notice that some of the dye is starting to leak out of your cervix. Aside from mild pain and discomfort there are no risks associated with this procedure.
Any risks involved taking this test?
As with any procedure, there are always risks involved. None of these risks are life-threatening and it can be more of an inconvenience than anything. Preparation for the test is minimal and fairly easy. Since you don't have to change your habits, lifestyle or diet for this test preparing for it is very simple. At the time your doctor schedules your HSG test he or she will go over the procedure, what will be done, what they will be looking for, and any risks involved with the procedure. They will also go over how this infertility HSG test will affect you after the test has been done. The most severe risks involved include pain or possible infection depending on your situation.
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