SHSG or I call it the Dye Test
What is it?
The test is a radiology procedure usually done in the radiology department of a hospital or outpatient radiology facility. Some Doctors may have the equipment to do it right at the office. The test includes an X-ray of the fallopian tubes and uterus. The x-rays allow doctors to see the inside of the uterus and fallopian tubes. The picture reveals any abnormalities in the uterus as well as other tubal defects or problems, such as blockage and dilation.
The test checks whether the fallopian tubes are blocked or open, when blocked, the woman cannot get pregnant because the egg can’t meet the sperm. The test also checks whether the shape of the uterus is normal. About 10% to 15% of women who have reoccurring pregnancy loss will usually have an abnormally shaped uterus.
What to Expect.
You will be asked to take off your clothes from the waist down, and then you will drape a gown around your waist. You will also need to empty your bladder. The test will only take about five minutes (not including the time required to fill out forms and register for the procedure). I would plan on at least an hour.
This is how the test is performed:
The woman lies on the table on her back and brings her feet up into a “frog leg” position. The X-ray machine is over your body so it can take the pictures. The doctor places a soft, thin catheter through the cervical opening into the uterine cavity. Then the Contrast (dye) is slowly injected through the catheter into the uterine cavity. An x-ray picture is taken as the uterine cavity is filling and then additional contrast is injected so that the tubes should fill and begin to spill into the abdominal cavity. More x-ray pictures are taken as this “fill and spill” occurs.
The procedure is now complete. The instruments are removed from the cervix and vagina. The woman usually remains on the table for a few minutes to recover from the cramping caused by the injection of the contrast.
They can usually tell you right away what they find. The x-rays can usually be reviewed a few minutes after the procedure.
Will the Test Be Painful?
The truth is that you may or may not experience pain, and here are some circumstances where you can experience some pain: Some women will experience cramping and a few of them will report severe cramping or may just have moderate or very mild cramping.
The insertion of dye injecting device may just remind you of how Pap smear is done. If you tend to feel pain often, during pelvic examinations, you are more likely to experience pain. When the dye is injected, you will feel some strange warming sensation. Pain may also be felt if one of the fallopian tubes is blocked.
Fear and anxiety about the test, can be a factor that may increase your perception of pain. It’s normal to feel nervous about the test, but it’s important to relax before the test. Often times relaxation or breathing techniques can help.