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Test tubes: The HSG test

An HSG test (wisely abbreviated from hysterosalpingogram) is an X-ray exam used to determine if the fallopian tubes are blocked and if the shape of the inside of the uterus is normal. So what's such a test, often part of a fertility workup, actually like?

Here's what one woman, Toni in Chicago, said of her experience. "You'll go into the X-ray room by yourself -- but you might want to bring your husband along. They ask you to get undressed and lie on the table. You may be getting nervous at this point, but don't -- it's not bad at all. They take a picture of your pelvis pre-dye and then they put a speculum in. They then put the catheter in your cervix -- this hurts, but only for a minute. (Imagine a really bad cramp for about two seconds.)

"The rest is like cramps on your bad day -- not horrible, but not comfortable. They inject the dye (that's when you get the cramps) and take X-rays. You can actually SEE your uterus -- very cool. After that, they take the catheter out, and the dye leaks out. BRING A PAD -- they might give you one, but I'd bring one anyway. You'll leak a bit, but only a little and only for a short time."

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