The hysterosalpingogram (HSG) is an X-ray exam used to figure out whether the fallopian tubes are open or if the inside of the uterus is normal. At least one tube must be open to allow the sperm to travel to the egg and for the fertilized egg to travel to the uterus. The inside of the uterus must also be normal for the fertilized egg to implant and develop normally.

How the Exam Is Performed

This exam is done by inserting a small tube through the cervix. X-ray dye is then sent through this tube into the uterus. The X-ray will show the dye as it travels through the uterus and fallopian tubes. If the dye stops flowing, it would mean there is likely a blockage.

Before Your Exam

  • You may eat or drink as normal.

  • Bring your insurance card with you.

  • You should arrive 45 minutes before your scheduled procedure time.

  • You will be given 5mg of medicine orally to prevent tubal spasm when you arrive. It needs to be given 30minutes before the test.

  • Your provider may suggest that you avoid sex for two weeks before the exam and that you take a urine pregnancy test the day of the exam.

During the HSG

For the exam, the provider will insert a speculum into your vagina in order to place a small tube into your cervix. Then, they will insert the dye through this tube into the uterus. X-ray films will be taken as the dye flows through the uterus and fallopian tubes. The image is displayed on the screen during the exam. You may be able to watch the screen. The tube and speculum will be removed once all the needed images have been taken. The entire procedure should take no more than 10-15 minutes. You may have more images taken up to 20 minutes later.

Side Effects

  • Cramping and pelvic pain

  • Shoulder pain

  • Light-headedness and/or nausea (this is rare and should resolve within a few minutes). If this occurs, you will be asked to remain lying down for15-20 minutes after the procedure.

After the HSG

You should feel well enough to drive yourself home or back to work. You may resume normal activities right away. Expect to have some vaginal spotting. A small amount of the clear dye may leak out as well.


You will receive a summary of your results at the time of your test but will not be able to offer a complete review of your results. After a normal HSB, there is an increased chance of pregnancy. We sometimes suggest that no further testing be done during this time. If you would like to discuss your test results or treatment plan in more detail, please call the office to schedule a follow-up visit.


The dye used during the HSG contains iodine. Rarely, this can cause an allergic reaction. Please let us know if you have an allergy to either iodine, other X-ray contrast dye, or shellfish.

Scheduling Your Exam

Call the clinic on the first day of your menstrual cycle to schedule your HSG. This exam needs to take place during the early part of your menstrual cycle. For most women this can be scheduled between cycle days 4 and 12. A nurse will help you schedule your exam.

When to Call

  • Fever over 100.5° F

  • Unusual pain

  • Heavy vaginal bleeding

Who to Call

Generations Fertility Care

2365 Deming Way

Middleton, WI 53562

Monday-Friday, 7:00 am-4:30 pm

(608) 824-6160

If you are a patient receiving care at UnityPoint – Meriter, Swedish American or a health system outside of UW Health, please use the phone numbers provided in your discharge instructions for any questions or concerns.