Information for adult patients - hystero-salpingogram

What is a hystero-salpingogram? A hystero-salpingogram is a special radiological examination of the uterus and Fallopian tubes. It involves introducing a contrast agent (a colourless fluid which is visible on X-rays) via a tube, which has been passed through the neck of the womb. The tube is held in place by a small balloon placed in the neck of the womb. A radiologist with the help of a radiographer and an assistant will carry out the examination.

Please rest assured that you privacy will be respected and protected whilst you are in our department.

Are there any risks?

There are the usual remote risks associated with the small dose of radiation that is used and also a tiny risk of a reaction to the contrast agent. Likewise infection is very rare and a few women may feel a little faint as the tube is passed into the cervix. Doctors and nurses in our department are well trained to recognise problems and to treat them.

After the procedure slight bleeding similar to a light period is normal and you may experience mild cramps similar to period pains for an hour or two.

Does it hurt?

The discomfort from this examination is usually minor and is similar to that during an internal examination with a speculum.

Most important:

This examination can only be done between the 7th to the 14th day of your menstrual cycle.

Please telephone the x-ray department at the Southampton General 023 8120 6081 or the Royal South Hampshire 023 8082 5016 (please check your appointment details for hospital) between 8.30am to 4.30pm, Monday to Friday, on the day your period starts for an appointment.
You must refrain from intercourse even if using protection - i.e. condom, from the day your period starts, until after the test.

Note: This procedure cannot be performed if there is any chance that you could be pregnant or during your period.

May I bring a relative or friend?

Yes but for safety reasons they will usually be asked to wait outside the room in which the examination takes place. If you are very concerned that you should have them with you during the examination then we would be grateful if you would inform our department beforehand.

What should I bring?

For your personal comfort you may bring your own dressing gown, slippers and reading material.

How long will it take?

Usually the examination will be completed within 15 minutes but allow half an hour as often a delayed x-ray is needed.

What happens after the test?

You may leave as soon as you wish and there is no reason why you should not be able to drive home. You should eat and drink normally and return to normal activities.

When will the report be ready?

The report will be issued by the radiologist that performed the examination and will usually be with the doctor that referred you within seven days.

A CT (computed tomography) scanner is a special X-ray machine which produces an image of a cross-section, or slice, of the body.