What is HSG Test? Understanding its Procedure, Benefits, and Risks

what is hsg test


Various factors come into play when we talk about infertility in women. Among these barriers to conceiving, blocked fallopian tubes are also a concern. Blocked fallopian tubes can prohibit women from achieving a successful pregnancy.

For those wondering what HSG’s full form is, it stands for Hysterosalpingogram. HSG test is a procedure that shows if there are any blockages in the uterus or fallopian tube. A hysterosalpingogram is an X-ray test that uses a dye that allows the doctors to see any kind of abnormalities and blockages in your uterus and fallopian tubes. It pinpoints issues like blockages or any other irregularities that are prohibiting you from achieving pregnancy.

Also Read: What are the causes of female infertility?

This blog will explore various points for getting an HSG test done, such as its purpose, procedure, and significance in diagnosing female infertility. From understanding when and how the test is conducted to examining its potential benefits and risks, this blog aims to provide clarity for women who cannot conceive and are wondering why.

hsg test for female infertility

Purpose of HSG Test

The HSG tube test for pregnancy helps detect abnormalities in the reproductive anatomy and provides information for treatment to assist individuals in becoming pregnant.

Preparation: When is the best time to do an HSG test, and how do you prepare for it?

  • People wonder when is the best time to do an HSG test. To clarify, the test is done between 7 to 10 days after your last menstrual period begins. 
  • The IVF specialist may prescribe a course of antibiotics If you have a history of pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) or dilated fallopian tubes.
  • You can eat or drink without any precautions on the test day. 
  • It is suggested that you take ibuprofen or any kind of painkiller (based on the doctor’s advice) before the HSG test, as it can become painful. 
  • Discuss any and all questions you might have about the test with your doctor ahead of the test. 
  • Ensure you have a ride back home, as the test can cause discomfort even after it ends.

Step-by-Step Guide to HSG Test

Here’s a detailed guide on how the HSG test is done.

  • Preparation: Consult your doctor regarding the procedure and explain your concerns. The doctor will explain everything to you, so your process will start easily. Also, wear comfortable clothes on the day of the test and do not wear any jewelry.
  • Lying down on your back and being comfortable: Before the test begins, you will be advised to empty your bladder. Also, inform the doctor of any allergy or prior health condition. 
  • Examining the Cervix: The radiologist will then gently insert a speculum into the vagina, clean the cervix, and carefully introduce a catheter into the uterus. Some women experience mild to medium level discomfort when this happens. If the discomfort grows, inform your doctor immediately. 
  • Contrast (Dye) Insertion: A dye is inserted into the uterus and fallopian tubes. This helps with the X-ray imaging as it shows whether there are any abnormalities in the uterus or fallopian tubes.
  • Adding the Contrast: A thin, flexible tube (catheter) is carefully inserted into the uterus. A special liquid called contrast material or dye is slowly released through the tube while pictures are taken. The dye helps with the diagnosis of whether there are any kind of abnormalities in the uterus or not. You can also be asked to change your position for better imaging.

Now let’s understand what to expect after your HSG test procedure is done:

  • Post-Procedure: Once the imaging is done, the catheter is removed, and you will be given a pad for any possible spotting or leakage. Some women also encounter some levels of cramping, so it is highly advised to rest and not get up quickly.
  • Result Discussion: If there is an abnormality in the shape of the uterus, the dye will highlight it. But if there are no abnormalities in the uterus or fallopian tubes, the dye spills into the pelvic cavity, where the body resorbs it. Based on the HSG Test Report, the doctor will highlight if there are any concerns, and further tests may be recommended based on the findings.
  • Aftercare: It’s normal to experience mild cramps and spotting for a day or two. But you can resume your normal day-to-day activities after consulting with your doctor. 

Benefits of the HSG Test 

  • Helps diagnose fertility problems: HSG can help diagnose fertility problems such as blocked fallopian tubes and an irregularly shaped uterus.
  • Help plan further imaging: HSG Test helps plan additional imaging or procedures, like a laparoscopy if required. Additionally, the test also helps in revealing uterine irregularities, which may aid in the planning of additional imaging.
  • Increases natural possibility of pregnancy: According to a study, women who underwent an HSG test had a higher chance of becoming pregnant within the first six months of trying than those who did not. The study also discovered that a woman’s chance of becoming pregnant increased if her blocked tube was cleared during the test.

Risks and HSG Test Side Effects 

  • Radiation Risk: The hysterosalpingogram, or HSG Test uses X-ray imaging with minimal radiation. The procedure is safe, and the benefits outweigh the risks. 
  • Infection: While uncommon, there is still a slight risk of infection with HSG. Although proper sterilization is done on the equipment, it is still advised to self-observe for any sign of post-procedure infection. If anything occurs, immediately consult your doctor. 
  • Uterine Injury and Allergic Reaction: The possibility of uterine injury can be the reason for bleeding after the HSG test and allergic reactions to the dye solution. Though infrequent, these complications underscore the importance of medical professionals monitoring patients closely during and after the test for prompt intervention if needed.

Also Read: Unlocking A 7-Step Guide for Overcoming Blocked Fallopian Tubes

Signs that mean you must call your doctor immediately:

If you encounter any of the following signs or symptoms after the HSG test, it’s time to call your doctor:.

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Fainting
  • Vomiting
  • Heavy vaginal bleeding
  • Foul-smelling vaginal discharge
  • Severe cramping in your abdomen

Understanding the Results 

Based on your results, the next step after HSG test is as follows:

  • If HSG shows blockages, your doctor will suggest additional procedures like laparoscopy to learn more about the problem and form the right treatment plan.   
  • Otherwise, they can suggest alternate fertility treatments that don’t require your fallopian tubes to be clear, such as IVF treatment.

Also read in Hindi: HSG Test in Hindi – एचएसजी टेस्ट किसे कहते है?

A note from Crysta IVF

The HSG test may feel like more complications, but it’s another way to help you achieve a successful pregnancy. Crysta IVF is the best fertility clinic in Delhi, and our experienced doctors and embryologists prioritize your comfort and work on removing all the roadblocks in your path to parenthood.

A clear HSG result is like an open door that allows you to explore various fertility options, all leading to making your dream come true. Even if there are blockages, our doctors will curate a personalized treatment plan to remove them or suggest alternative treatments.


When in doubt, don’t hesitate to reach out. We are here to answer your questions, address your concerns, and support you every step of the way.


Q. Can a hysterosalpingogram increase the chance of pregnancy?

Ans. Inserting dye into the uterus is called “Tubal Flushing.” Some studies have shown that this process improves fertility as the dye, an oil-soluble contrast, clears out blockages. 

Q. What are the signs of blocked fallopian tubes?

Ans. Strong to moderate abdominal pain, fever, painful periods, strange-looking or smelly vaginal discharge, or pain during sex or urination are some possible symptoms, depending on the individual.

Q. How can I clear out my Fallopian Tubes naturally? 

Ans. Here are some foods that can help clear out Fallopian Tubes naturally: 

  • Turmeric
  • Vitamin C-rich food
  • Ginger
  • Garlic
  • Castor Oil
  • Fertility Massage

Q. Is the HSG test painful?

Pain is the most common side effect of HSG. Thankfully, it is brief, but 72% to 80% of patients report mild to moderate pain during the procedure.

Read more blogs:

What Are The Various IVF Tests Performed Before Undergoing IVF?

What Is IVF? Process, Cost, & Preparation

Fallopian Tube in Hindi – फैलोपियन ट्यूब क्या है?

Test Tube Baby: A Complete Guide To The Need, Process, Requirements, Side-Effects, and More

  Verified by Crysta IVF Fertility Experts

Milan Mahapatra

Milan is an enthusiastic content strategist and storyteller with attention to detail. As a Lead Content Writer for Crysta IVF, he creates engaging stories that enlighten and motivate patients as they prepare for fatherhood. Having a thorough awareness of the fertility environment, Milan uses his writing abilities to empower and inform those considering treatment. He is committed to providing factual, engaging, and interesting content that speaks to the audience of Crysta IVF.

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