A “saline hysterogram” procedure, also referred to as a saline infused hystero-salpingogram, a saline infused sono-hysterosalpingogram or an HSG is performed by Dr Carmody at our Wesley clinic on Tuesday’s, Thursday's and Friday's.
This procedure can take up to one hour to perform. Occasionally, the appointment time might change due to emergency appointments that have to be scheduled to accommodate Dr Carmody’s availability on the day. We will call you one or two days before to confirm your appointment.
There is no preparation for this procedure. You do not need to have a full bladder. You will need to bring your referral to the appointment. This procedure is generally performed to check tubal patency, but it may also be used to assess uterine abnormalities.
Blocked fallopian tubes may be a cause of infertility. The saline hysterogram with ExEm foam will assess the appearance of the uterus, ovaries and whether the fallopian tubes are clear. The test can also be useful to unblock tubes that contain mucous or other material.
A soft plastic catheter is inserted through the cervical canal and into the uterus. Under ultrasound guidance 20mls – 60mls of sterile saline is injected via the catheter and this is followed with 20mls of ExEm foam.
The saline hysterogram also is performed to examin for abnormalities such as a bicornuate uterus, endometrial polyps, fibroids and a thickened uterine lining (hyperplasia). The procedure is the same as above, except the ExEm foam is not necessary.
If you are having regular cycles and there is a chance of pregnancy, the procedure should be performed in the first 10 days of the menstrual cycle, before ovulation. This avoids the chance of the procedure interfering with the implantation of an embryo.
If your periods are irregular, the test can be done at any time (including while you are having your period). If the appointment is not scheduled in the first 10 days following the start of your period you will need to speak with your doctor to organise a pregnancy test. Alternatively, you could choose to abstain from intercourse from the start of your period until after your appointment with us.
Most women experience some period-like pain during or shortly after the procedure. This may range from mild to severe. We recommend you take analgesics (paracetamol or ibuprofen) an hour before your appointment. You may consider bringing a support person who can drive you home in the event that your pain is severe.
Dr Carmody will explain the findings to you before you leave the rooms, and will answer any questions you have. Your doctor will receive a detailed report within two working days of the procedure.
If the test is being performed to assess tubal patency, the ExEm foam is always used. The ExEm foam component of the costing is not rebatable through Medicare, however you may wish to approach your private health fund regarding this item.