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Hysterosalpingogram (HSG): What to Expect

Medical Contribution By Jason G. Bromer, M.D.


When beginning the infertility treatment process, diagnostic testing will be the first step you take before your clinical plan can be created. Infertility is diagnosed based on the results of three main tests: day 3 hormone bloodwork and a hysterosalpingogram (HSG) for the female partner, and a semen analysis for the male partner. Each test looks at a different component significant to conception:

  • Day 3 hormone bloodwork: FSH (Follicle-Stimulating Hormone) and AMH (Anti-Müllerian Hormone) provide insight about egg quantity, while estrogen and LH (Luteinizing Hormone) levels can indicate information about the maturation of follicles.
  • Hysterosalpingogram (HSG): Determines the condition of the fallopian tubes and uterus.
  • Semen analysis: Evaluates the quantity and quality of the male partner’s sperm, specifically looking at parameters such as sperm count, morphology (size and shape), and motility (the number moving in a forward progression).

Prior to starting diagnostic testing, many patients have already had their blood drawn and know what to expect regarding hormone evaluation. Most patients, though, have not experienced an Hysterosalpingogram. Fear of the unknown can make many patients nervous or apprehensive about this aspect of their diagnostic work-up. While many patients are surprised at how quick and painless an HSG is, understanding how the HSG is performed can help put your mind at easy when preparing for the test.

Why Do I Need a Hysterosalpingogram (HSG)?

After ovulation, a current in the body pushes the egg into the fallopian tubes where the sperm and egg will meet and fertilization can occur. Once an egg is fertilized, an embryo will develop and continue through the fallopian tubes until it reaches the uterus, where it will implant into the uterine lining. The hysterosalpingogram is performed routinely for patients having difficulty conceiving because it is an excellent test that not only can confirm that a woman’s fallopian tubes are open, but can also assess whether the uterus has a normal shape. It can also make sure the cavity is not affected by fibroids, polyps or scar tissue.

The HSG Procedure

HSG xrayPrior to starting the HSG, the patient must produce a urine sample. This is an important step as it allows the practitioner to be sure that the patient is not unknowingly pregnant prior to starting the HSG. Should a patient be pregnant, the dye used to fill the uterus can harm or displace the growing fetus, resulting in an increased risk of miscarriage.

At the start of the procedure, a speculum is inserted into the vagina in order to view the cervix, similar to a Pap smear. The cervix is cleaned with an antiseptic solution; then, a thin, plastic catheter, generally about the size of the tip of a pen, is placed inside the cervix. Once placed, a small amount of contrast dye, usually two to three teaspoons, is passed through the catheter into the cervix, filling the uterus and fallopian tubes.

While lying flat on the table, a special type of X-ray imaging technology called fluoroscopy is used to provide a “live” X-ray that allows the practitioner to watch as the dye fills the uterus and travels into the tubes. The tubes are considered open when the dye is able to move completely through the length of the tube, spilling the dye out on the other side. This indicates that the tubes are open and available to “pick up” an egg post-ovulation. Immediately following the HSG test, patients will receive preliminary results from their practitioner. The images taken throughout the procedure are then sent to the ordering physician, along with the practitioner’s findings.

Side Effects and Risks

There are several common side effects associated with HSG tests: some pain and/or discomfort, feeling crampy or achy, and vaginal spotting and/or watery discharge. When spotting or discharge occurs, we encourage patients to use sanitary napkins or pads as opposed to tampons.

While uncommon, a risk associated with HSG is infection. Patients that have a diagnosed or suspected problem with their fallopian tubes – such as a history of ectopic pregnancies or a hydrosalpinx – will likely be prescribed an antibiotic to be taken in advance. An HSG will not bring on menses, so if you experience a full menstrual flow, develop a fever, or continue to feel pain for more than a few days, you should speak with your physician. If it is after hours, you should call Shady Grove Fertility’s answering service.

Common Patient Questions

How long does an HSG take? While the actual procedure takes about five minutes, you should plan to arrive for your HSG 30 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment. You can also expect to be with us for 30-45 minutes after the scheduled HSG start time.

A friend of mine had an HSG and she said it was painful. Is that true? Many women feel some cramping for about two to three minutes when the dye is filling the uterus. Over-the-counter pain medicines such as ibuprofen can help relieve these feelings of pain or discomfort. Speak to your doctor about taking a pain medicine 30 to 60 minutes before the procedure to prevent or reduce potential pain, especially if you have any indicators – such as a history of ectopic pregnancies or a hydrosalpinx – that your HSG experience would be more uncomfortable than for the average patient.

Patients share their experiences:

  • “After reading all that horror stories on internet, I was so nervous! It was nothing at all. Like a regular OB exam, but a little bit longer.” – Tanya
  • “I had my HSG done a few months ago and I did have some pretty intense cramping during mine. I have endometriosis, so I’m used to intense cramps, but I was pretty uncomfortable through the procedure, but it was quick, and it wasn’t anything that I couldn’t bare.” – Stacy
  • “It was not at all painfully except for 2-4 seconds of our very known menstrual pain which occurred when they filled with the contrast dye.” – Ranuak
  • “My HSG went very smoothly. I only felt a little pinch when they inserted and inflated the catheter. When they injected the dye it just felt like a very dull menstrual cramp and then it was over before I knew it!” – Jennifer

Is it okay to drive home by myself after the test? The standard operating procedure for an HSG does not call for sedation. You are unlikely to have pain following the procedure, but you may feel crampy or achy. The majority of our patients are able to drive after an HSG and even immediately return to work.

When is the best time during my cycle to schedule the HSG? The test should be scheduled after your period ends, but before you expect to ovulate – usually between days 5 to 12 of your menstrual cycle. To figure out the days of your cycle, count day 1 as the day your period begins.

Where can HSGs be performed? HSGs can be completed in many healthcare environments, including hospitals, radiology labs, or other free-standing centers. Shady Grove Fertility has two free-standing HSG suites located in Rockville, MD and Towson, MD.

Do I have to complete my HSG at a Shady Grove Fertility facility? No, Shady Grove Fertility physicians routinely make diagnostic and treatment decisions based on HSGs performed at facilities other than our own. Occasionally, however, the information on an HSG done at an outside facility may be inconclusive or not provide all of the information needed for the best medical recommendation. In these situations, your Shady Grove Fertility physician may recommend repeating the HSG to obtain necessary information.

Who can administer an HSG? HSGs can be performed by infertility specialists, obstetrician-gynecologists, radiologists, physician assistants and other health care providers. Health care providers performing HSGs should be trained in performing pelvic exams and be technically proficient with the HSG technique. They should also be able to evaluate its findings and report them comprehensively.

Will I have insurance coverage for my HSG? Most – but not all – insurance policies will cover the expense of an HSG completed at Shady Grove Fertility. The choice to have the HSG performed at Shady Grove Fertility versus another facility is ultimately up to you. Patients whose insurance policy does not extend HSG benefits at Shady Grove Fertility will incur a charge for the procedure and will be responsible for its payment. The cost versus the benefits can be discussed with your primary Shady Grove Fertility physician, as well as other questions you may have about the HSG.

How soon after the HSG can I resume intercourse? Generally, we want patients to abstain from intercourse until after vaginal spotting or discharge stops, usually one to two days after the HSG.

So much of the infertility treatment process is about narrowing down the cause(s) of an individual’s infertility. The hysterosalpingogram, though not commonly-known, is another beneficial way that your physician can determine the best path to help you on your journey to reproductive success.

If you have questions about your fertility options or are ready to schedule an appointment with a physician at Shady Grove Fertility, please speak with one of our New Patient Liaisons at 877-971-7755.


  1. Melissa C

    August 15, 2014 - 1:18 am

    Obviously Jason Bromer, M.D. has not had an HSG. This article is misleading; it doesn’t mention that a certain % of women find the HSG excruciating. I was one of those women. I was in more pain during my HSG than I was in labor (w/o an epidural). The nurse in radiology, whose job it was to restrain me (yes that is correct, they restrain you before the procedure even starts because some women find it so painful they try to remove the catheter) – was shocked and annoyed at Shady Grove because they don’t accurately and fully disclose to their patients all possible outcomes. She said some women cannot complete the procedure and some pass out. I later spoke with a friend, who is also a radiology nurse, and she confirmed this. It is true most women just experience mild to moderate cramping, but I wish Shady Grove would stop omitting that cramping is by no means the worst case scenario for a % of women. I followed all of the instructions, and I do not have endometriosis, but I was still in so much pain; I was unable to complete the procedure. After it was finished, I was bleeding heavily for several days – not spotting. I am a big girl; I can handle the truth. I would rather be prepared and a little nervous than conned into a state of calm that ends, as it did for me, in unexpected torture.

    • Angela G

      September 13, 2014 - 9:49 pm

      I had a similar experience with pain and the heavy bleeding. I am glad I am not the only woman to experience this. The techs made me feel as though I was sensitive and I left feeling as though I was ill equip for pain which has never been the case before. Thank you for posting.

      • Quala Austin

        July 28, 2015 - 10:55 pm

        I to just had my hsg which was horrible pain smh worser than period cramps…

      • E.

        September 10, 2015 - 9:16 pm

        I just had my HSG exam done today (September 10, 2015). It was smooth and easy. Took about 15 minutes. I had slight, very bearable cramping which lasted for a few minutes.
        I would say there is nothing to worry, stress about this procedure.

    • Kayla

      February 8, 2015 - 12:08 am

      I just had the HSG done yesterday and it was awful. Definitely not just a little pinch for me. Not to mention they were having issues with the tube folding up on itself and the catheter not inflating right. They were only able to get the dye to the left side and had to stop. So I dont know if there are blockages in the right. I had talked to several friends and they all reported how easy of a procedure it was. I thought I was just being a Sissy LaLa! Glad to know I’m not the only one that had a hard time tolerating this procedure.

    • Carly T

      March 21, 2015 - 11:19 pm

      I completely agree. I had never had so much pain in my life. One of my tubes was blocked and that was the reason the doctor told me it hurt but yes it didn’t give any accounts from the women who found it excruciating.

    • DLee

      July 6, 2015 - 5:25 pm

      I agree. While the procedure was described as “feeling a little mild cramping”, I to was in a lot of pain while the dye was being inserted. It was to the point that my husband was going to have them stop the procedure. I can honestly say that once the dye has all been pushed, the cramping instantly stopped for me. The nurse that was in the room with me described it best when she stated it feels just like labor pains. I know a lot of peoples tolerance for pain is different but without a doubt, mild cramping is not a true statement in my case. Glad I had this procedure completed though.

    • Anonymous

      July 9, 2015 - 12:08 am

      I had my HSG test Monday (not at this place) and experienced the worst pain EVER! I am a 10 year cancer survivor and 6 hrs of surgery, 4 days in the hospital with no morphine because I’m allergic and 7 months of chemo did not compare to this pain. Obviously I’m no stranger to pain, but man… I cried the whole time. Its Wednesday the same week and I’m still spotting with some light cramping. Is that normal? Glad I’m not the only one that had this amount of pain, couldn’t wait for it to be done.

      • Amy

        September 15, 2016 - 4:51 am

        Me too. It felt like someone was gutting me like a fish. I just it done two days ago.

    • Maria C.

      July 18, 2015 - 12:30 am

      I had this test done today. I too had the impression it was like a PAP and light cramping. These were the words from everyone I spoke to from the specialist down to the technician. Well, that wasn’t reality. Yes, we all have different tolerance for pain but, man was it painful. Just thinking of how to explain it hurts. I’d rather know it might hurt then comparing it to a PAP with light cramps. It was not a long procedure but painful and the 600mg Ib did not help. It would just be nice if they told you it is a painful procedure and the IBprof Well,it might not help. :) what we women have to go through sometimes.

    • Jamie

      August 13, 2015 - 7:44 pm

      My first HSG was excruciating. I went on to a different dr at Weill-Cornell in Manhattan. My new dr performed my 2nd HSG which had no more discomfort than a reg gyn exam. I told him my past experience. He said he injects the dye VERY slowly as to not cause pain & it isn’t acceptable for doctors to be causing a patient severe pain/disconfort during this procedure. So, seems some doctors are less compassionate about how hard & fast they inject the dye.

    • Nadraia

      August 31, 2015 - 8:12 am

      Yes, speak on it. Melissa I am so glad that you are setting the record straight. I myself found that the reviews everyone is giving are bogus and especially this one in particular by Shady Grove. I had one done two weeks ago and thought I was going to die literally. The pain was out of this world. I also experienced vomiting and fainted after the procedure. The test is beneficial as to finding out what our options are with concieving but we as patients deserve the truth. Accurate information on symptoms during and after the procedure should be in a claus given to patients and if not that faciliy should be held accountable. Thank God for you Ms. Melissa!

    • QSGE

      December 29, 2015 - 2:07 am

      I had my hsg procedure performed today and all I can say is what the what after the tech stated ok we’re done she walked out to leave the nurse with me whom later informed me that they weren’t able to complete the test due to me complaining of pain I was high upset

    • Deirdre C.

      October 12, 2016 - 8:20 pm

      Thank you SO much for posting this! I have endometriosis and had my first HSG performed about 9 years ago. There was only mild cramping and no blockages noted. So I was completely unprepared for what I experienced yesterday. The staff at SG (Rockville location) was very kind and allowed me to stay after awhile (until I could get myself together emotionally). I had taken Ibuprofen 800 mg 30 minutes prior to my appointment and assumed I would be okay. Well the cramping started immediately upon catheter insertion and they said that my uterus was cramping so much that it was preventing the dye from even entering. They removed that catheter for another and the pain was excruciating! My right tube was patent, but my left tube was blocked. I was in so much pain that I eventually blurted out that I wanted to stop. The technician stopped and informed me that she just really wanted to try to see if she could unblock the left tube and through tears I agreed and asked her to go slowly (I really wanted to be able to unblock it – I REALLY did). But the pain was so tremendous that I instantly became super hot and felt as if I was going to pass out. I was following all of the breathing directions they were giving me and trying not to just yank the catheter out myself. Upon checking my blood pressure, they decided that they needed to stop. I’ve been a crying mess ever since. I was sent home with doxycycline and my belly is quite distended (couldn’t fit my jeans today). I’ve got some abdominal pain and nausea – but I think this might be from the antibiotics. I really do wish that they would mention that having a blockage increases the risks of there being extreme, sustained pain throughout the procedure (if you can even allow it to continue without blacking out). Although it is scary to hear, it’s better to be prepared than to assume that you will just have mild cramping. As I’ve never been pregnant, I do not know what the contractions of labor feel like. However, I can only imagine that it cannot be much harder than what I experienced yesterday. I’m still pretty traumatized over it.

    • Dawn

      January 30, 2017 - 2:11 am

      I too am someone who experienced a horrible Hsg! The doctor told me in the 5 years she had been doing The procedure she never had anyone react as negatively as I did. It felt like being gutted while you are still alive! No one prepared me for the amount of pain I would experience. Nobody told me it would be terrifying! They kept telling me to take deep breaths, and I wanted to punch them all! One of the techs came over and offered me her hand to squeeze. I think I broke all the bones in her hand from the immense amount of pain shooting through my uterus. Before this procedure started they asked me if I had any questions. I asked ” is this going to hurt?” And the doctor said ” it will just feel like minor period cramping.” I could handle that I thought to myself… that was before they shot the dye inside me. My face turned hot and my body started to tingle… I began to panic because the doctor clearly said ” it will feel like minor period cramping.” And there was nothing minor about it at all!!! After the horror was over, the doctor yanked the speculum out of me along with the tube without giving me a heads up, so I shrieked from the pain. They told me to hobble over to the bathroom to let the dye run out of me and then they would take another picture. I didn’t want to come out of the restroom, I was so shaken up by the whole experience. I NEVER want to go through something like that again. I was traumatized! I should mention I do have PCOS… but I honestly do not believe that’s why I was in pain. God help all the women who have to have this procedure!

    • Tyimease A.

      April 6, 2017 - 10:26 pm

      I had an Hsg done today . And that’s exactly what the nurses told me that I would have just a little bit of cramping and discomfort. But I was in excruciating pain so much pain that I asked them to stop at one point I think that if I had been warned that I would have been better equipped to handle the pain

  2. lauren c

    August 18, 2014 - 4:47 pm

    I too had a very painful experience….and the Dr restrained me as well. He held my ankles to keep me still. The pain was intense enough to make me feel as though I may pass out or get sick. Because my Dr said the procedure may cause “moderate” cramping I assumed it was me…that I couldn’t handle the pain. It wasn’t until I was chatting with a friend who went through IVF and shared her story with me that I realized my pain threshold wasn’t the issue. The information (or lack thereof) I was given was inaccurate. We rely on the information our medical providers give us. I think it’s really crappy that people are misled by what to expect and then left to feel as though there is something the matter with them for having, what turns out to be, a very normal reaction to a procedure.

  3. Mari Allena

    December 6, 2014 - 12:17 am

    I had my HSG test done today and thought I would share my experience. As many other women, I read the some horrendous experiences which scared me to death. Last night I couldn’t sleep because I was in such a panic. When I got the hospital my nerves settled a little because being there forced me to mentally prepare for what was about to happen. Yes it was a painful experience but not an unbearable pain and it really doesn’t last long. The worse part for me was the dye going in. I felt 3 sharp pains and that was it the test was over. For me, it wasn’t as scary as some made it sound but everybody is different. I wish I could tell everyone who is nervous about going not to be, but you will be. It wont be as bad as you build yourself up for. The anxiety leading up to it is worse then the test itself. Just relax and breathe. You will do great! :)

    • Agnes Jordan

      January 20, 2015 - 7:53 pm

      The truth is really what needs to be out there. The whole truth and nothing but the truth. I have had this procedure done on me twice first one in March 2010 the most recent one yesterday, January 19 2015. It is painful and it’s as simple as that. No need to down play it or hype it up.The level of tolerance may differ from person to person. There is no way to determine the level of pain for anyone the moment she is laying on that table with the dye being pushed through. Actually similar to menstrual and labor pains, what may feel like mild cramping for one person may make another feel like passing out. For me often when I receive such hyped information, I often find my actual experience to be flat and when the information it is down played, my experience winds up heightened. That providers typically recommend pain medicine prior to the procedure is an indication of impending pain. The literature and verbal information needs to be matter of fact so patients can be aware of the facts. This procedure is often a necessary means to an end and knowing that it may be painful is not likely to scare anyone away from going through with it. Therefore there is no need to butter it up or even hype it up when informing patients about it. It is what it is. Unless a person is under effective anesthesia any medical procedure being done to them may or may not hurt. The level of that discomfort is something only they truly know. No one can really tell another person what level of pain that other person will experience in a medical procedure. I hope this helps everyone especially patients, providers too.

  4. Jen

    January 15, 2015 - 9:44 pm

    I just had this done an hour ago and it was a piece of cake. I had a tiny bit of cramping when they were putting in the dye but it was nothing. I’ve had worse period cramps.

  5. brandy

    January 27, 2015 - 3:45 pm

    I wanted to write this for all of us who are SCARED because of what we read on the internet. My experience is that i scour the internet for answers, only to freak myself out in the process. For my HSG, i did the same and got myself all worried for NOTHING!! I went to the clinic (in Oradell NJ) and it was nothing as some women describe. I am personally very bad with pain and in this case, i have to say it was nothing more than the cramps i experience with a PAP smear. I have to say that for me, the experience was slightly uncomfortable and pleasantly quick! Maybe 1 minute of cramping at MOST. When the dr was done i said “is that it!?” I had two open tubes. I experienced light spotting for a day and that was about it. Please dont be scared and if you get the chance to stop after you read my review it will save you a lot of worry!! Shame on some people for writing frightening reviews! All that does is scare us when this is nothing more than a routine test.

    • Sharon

      September 5, 2015 - 6:08 am

      Totally agree! Had a HSG exam this morning and it was painless. Maybe a little uncomfortable with slight cramping when the dye went in. All you need to do is to breathe, relax and stay positive! I kept my smile and chatting with the Dr and his assistant the whole time, it really helped! Don’t let that fear in your brain scare you. And yes, don’t get frightened by dramatic stories you read on the internet!

      • no comment

        September 5, 2015 - 3:31 pm

        I had my hsg test done September 5 2015 and I tried not to get my self worked up about it I went in very positive that it may be “uncomfortable” and have some cramping. Well it was the worst pain I have ever felt in my entire life. So happy for the ladies that didn’t experience any pain and that it was just a breeze but SHAME on you for making the people who have a terrible experience feel like they are in the wrong for not wanting to fill some of these women’s heads with lollipop and gum drop thoughts. The fact of the matter is that everyone has a different reaction to this test and no one can tell you how it is going to fell mine personally was horrific and i will never do it again. Not everyone has this but to say that its easy and other people are not justified in their feelings and what they went through because they dont want someone to be blind sighted buy the pain they may experience is not wrong. I also noticed you said your tubes were open congrats on that but those whose tubes are closed don’t have such a nice relaxing experience it hurts and is almost pass out worthy

      • Laety

        October 7, 2015 - 3:18 pm

        I agree with “nocomment” lady..
        I am glad some ladies have a normal experience of it and dont feel the pain. Everyone is different as explained my gyneacologist.
        However PLEASE PLEASE dont undermine that are going through pain by saying just smile and be happy and it will go away!
        i was very positive and also chatting away to the doctor. I can take pain but this for me was hell, the pain excrutiating and i had to stop as almost passed out. So the dramatic stories as Sharon says are not to be focused on, of course, but it is good to be aware of it, it can be very very painful for some woman. The positive thing is it doesnt last long so if it gets painful, just deep breathing. Because for me it took me by surprise and i panicked even more.

        Good luck to all!

    • sarah

      September 25, 2015 - 8:07 pm

      Thank you for writing this. I cut and paste your review to save in my email and it will be the only one I read from now on. I agree people shouldn’t post these horrendous stories (but also that I shouldn’t read them!) Anyway, really appreciated your review and insight.

    • Tari

      October 19, 2017 - 7:44 am

      I don’t completely agree with Brandy’s comments.
      Try to be a little more sensitive to women who have gone through a rather excruciating experience like I also did. I usually have severe menstrual cramps but the worst cramps I’ve ever experienced was nothing compared to what I went through during HSG. I couldn’t leave my bed for 1 week or turn post HSG and I am not exaggerating.
      Some ladies may have felt light cramps possibly because their tubes are patent, but if a woman has blocked tubes and worse if they have hydrosalpinx, then expect the worst pain ever.
      So for all women out there, you just never know what to expect until you take the test. Just come psychologically and emotionally prepared.
      I simpathize with all the women like myself who have gone through such terrible excruciating pain and much more just because we want to have babies of our own.

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  7. Saadia

    January 31, 2015 - 3:59 am

    I just got my HSG done today (01/30/2015) at rockville office and I too was super super nervous and read all the horrendous stories online but for me it was a piece of cake. The only thing I felt was the clamp going in which was for a second and after that nothing, yes nothing at all. I don’t know when they injected the dye in or the catheter. I must say the nurse I got, I think her name was Jennifer, she was amazing and so gentle. I felt no cramping during the dye was being injected or after. Of course everybody is different but that was my personal experience and was pleasantly surprised, especially after my friends and family had scared me to death.

    • tiffney

      May 18, 2015 - 9:20 pm

      I had my hsg performed today and i too was all worked up over what i has read on the Internet but my procedure was not painful it was like a pap smear…..like u said every woman is different…

  8. Melissa

    February 7, 2015 - 8:45 pm

    Had my Hsg 2/4 at innovative radiology. Didn’t want to drive 40nmiles to Rockville. They were super nice. I have a pretty high pain tolerance and I have to admit it hurt. The catheter hurt the dye hurt more. I had to remember to breathe the nurse was sweet to remind me. But thankfully it was over quickly. Cramping continued for a few hours but was over soon enough. More annoying than the test was the dye/discharge after then I had a great Friday or to find I am now bleeding today. 2/7 After several panicky Google searches it seems to be normal… So much for getting my groove on for my birthday.

  9. Becky

    February 19, 2015 - 7:47 pm

    I had my HSG today at Lautech hospital Osogbo. I was nervous at first but it was amazing that I can withstand the pain. Sincerely it was less painful than what I read on internet. Only that I still feel pain on my stomach at a whole.

    • lucky star

      September 8, 2015 - 1:03 pm

      yes Beck, i feel you on the abdominal pain.i just had my hsg this morning, and i felt the period cramps which went away after i took cataflam. but 2 hours after, i had abdominal discomfort, bloated and slight nausea which lasted for 20mins but not its stopped,i hope this is the last. i’m still spotting though. i pray this whole process is all worth it , because the procedure is so invasive, with people staring into you lady parts and probing instruments, and the discomfort…aghh. but the pain was just cramps. i had read some comments that scared the life out of me. but i had my Dr. sister with me through the procedure and she helped me relax, you feel less pain when you relax your muscles, and just breath.plus my tubes were open so maybe thats why i didnt feel pain till after.

      • Gift

        July 1, 2016 - 12:14 pm

        I had my HSG this morning July 1st 2016 at Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria. I read all the horrible experiences people had and I was scared going in for the procedure. But the procedure was not that painful compared to the way people were narrating it. Though, we all have different ways of handling pain. But mine was bearable.

  10. meleciag

    February 21, 2015 - 4:53 am

    My concern is more towards the comment that mentioned “he” i am not comfortable with male around. if there will be one around during my procedure….i will have to request for all females or i don[ go forth. My husband would definitely request for this above all! any way, it sounds as if it is more painful if you are blocked. majority of comments i read online were of women who were blocked. I get mind done on monday.

  11. Diane

    February 21, 2015 - 10:14 pm

    I had my HSG performed roughly 7 hours ago. I was given literature about the procedure roughly 2 weeks before I went to Shady Grove-Rockville. The literature clearly mentions that “Many women feel some cramping, especially when the dye is injected. Women who have a blocked fallopian tube may feel intense pain”. The literature, as well as my nurse and the front desk at Shady Grove-Annandale all said to take an ibuprofen an hour prior to my appointment (this was especially helpful since you are asked to arrive a half hour prior to your appointment.) I did as I was instructed. My uterus and fallopian tubes were not blocked. What I felt was minor cramping that I would associate with being similar to what I experience when I have my period. The cramping lasted 5 minutes.

    For me the whole procedure was very easy. I may have been at the facility for 45 minutes. I arrived at 9:30 for a 10 am appt. Spent 5 minutes reading a consent form. Roughly 10 minutes spent providing a urine sample, having my blood pressure taken, and documenting my height and weight. Then off to the room where they perform the HSG. Stripped from the waist down and waited maybe 7 minutes. Then Jennifer and Erica had me lay on the table and performed the HSG. That maybe took 8 minutes. Followed by 5 minutes of Jennifer explaining what the x-ray showed. I was then given the go ahead get dressed and was in my car at 10:10.

    I want to add that I too read all the previous comments about how painful an experience others had. What I also noticed of those who posted that they had experienced a lot of pain – none of them mentioned whether or not the HSG determined if their uterus or fallopian tubes were blocked. After reading all the posts here, I went to other sites and found women who were recommending the procedure because they felt that the HSG increased their fertility. That perhaps the dye cleared things out.

    As another poster wrote, everyone experiences pain differently. Maybe I have a high pain threshold or my pain was very minor.

    Obviously you will do what is right for you. Best of luck!

  12. meleciag

    February 24, 2015 - 12:28 am

    Ok so i posted an earlier comment about my concern being more about a male performing this procedure. well it was all women so that was good. and they were super great with me. I felt absolutely NOTHING! no cramps or anything! I did feel slight discomfort when she was cleaning with the q tip but that was it! It all felt like getting a pap smear! seriously guys, if you felt pain then that was your personal experience don’t post and terrify others as if it will be the same for them! It was a simple, easy and pain free process for ME. now i was clear, no blockage or anything, maybe that was the reason for my no pain experience? i dunno, but i didnt take any pain killers or anything plus it was over in 6 mins! So if you are reading comments online about how awful the pain is…keep in mind it is from some one’s own personal experience, we are all different. some one else’s pain or non pain may not be yours! stay calm, think about the reason you need to get this done! Good luck!

  13. heather casanova

    February 27, 2015 - 10:33 am

    I had my HSG done at 1 pm today. The procedure went smoothly and I only had a little mild cramping when the dye was being injected. However, I have had really intense cramps after for about 14 hours. Nothing seems to help. Has anyone else experienced this?

    • Sandy

      April 16, 2015 - 12:52 pm

      Heather, i had mine done today. About 8 hrs ago. My stomach is aching right up under my ribs… The whole thing. Maybe like full of wind feeling and cramping. Like ive pulled muscles all around to my back. I been trying to look up if this is normal and yours is the clisest to what im feeling i think. Procedure went fine…. No pain or probs at all. But this stomach ( not pelvic area) is giving me concern. Is this how you felt and for how long. Thanku

  14. smitty

    February 28, 2015 - 1:37 pm

    Gm, well I had my HSG test done yesterday and it went very smooth (no exception). The pain that I felt was the dye being released it was very mild cramp (but I also took 2 Aleves 1 hour prior to my scheduled time) and it was ok. What I can say you may feel the dye pushing what’s there out. I had a little pain on the left side right side painless! !!!!! Did not get the results yet cause my doctor office was closed, so I’m going assume everything was good. I plan to stay opened mined!

  15. Jennifer

    March 13, 2015 - 11:51 pm

    I completely agree with the first poster’s point which is that people should be made aware of all possible outcomes of the procedure. Most women experience a little cramping and that is great for them- I hope you are all one of those women! However, we have a right to know all possibilities, and no one ever mentioned to me that this procedure would potentially be painful. So I went in thinking everything would be hunky dory and boy was I wrong! I really just wish I had been prepared for that possibility rather than being very surprised and confused at the same time as being in excruciating pain. I’m not trying to scare anyone, I just think it is better to be prepared for possible pain than to be blind sided when you are not expecting it. I did have one tube blocked which is likely a factor in my negative experience, but you have no way of knowing that until you get the test done! I’m not trying to discourage anyone from doing the test, I wouldn’t not do it if I could go back myself because it’s an important part of the process and I really want to have a child, but I just think we all have a right to be informed.

  16. maribel

    March 17, 2015 - 4:05 am

    Hi ladies..I’m so scared I’m having this procedure done tomorrow Tuesday 3/18/15. Hopefully it goes Well..I will post tomorrow how it went..wish me luck: (

  17. maribel

    March 17, 2015 - 2:06 pm

    Just got out mild cramp pain that’s all I was scared for Nothing lol

  18. Shabnam K

    March 20, 2015 - 4:47 am

    I just had mine done today. I took azithromycine but definitely should have taken pain killer at least 2 hours before the procedure.. It was super painful.. nothing like menstrual cramps.. I have never had baby but so don’t know how labor pain is like, but sure HSG pain , it is very bad … Net has so many info, soem of which are do misleading .. I read no one felt pain but only in this site I am hearing cases like mine.. Thanks all for sharing your stories !!

  19. D.N

    March 21, 2015 - 1:02 am

    I had mine done today…whole procedure lasted about 5 minutes and I had some moderate cramping for about 2 of those minutes. Afterwards I felt fine which could have been because I took Advil prior to procedure. The procedure was this morning and other than some mild cramping on and off throughout the day/night I feel fine. Experience definitely wasn’t as bad as I expected.

  20. P.guzman

    April 1, 2015 - 10:02 pm

    Ok, so I just had this procedure done a couple hours ago… and of course I freaked myself out a few days before reading all of the reviews and comments from other women. First off, I am a very anxious person and I have a pretty low to medium pain tolerance.
    I was lucky to have had a super sweet and friendly nurse in the room with me to answer any and all questions and walk me through everything. The doctor was also super sweet and friendly and I expressed to them I was scared and they did a good job of walking me through as they did each thing. They also said I could watch on the monitor the fluid going in. To be honest, the catheter going in makes you feel like you have lots of pressure in your pelvic area as well as menstrual cramps. But, what really hurt the most which felt like a stinging/cramping/full-feeling was when the liquid was being injected. I felt faint because I have a history of fainting with strong pain and I told the Dr. I was starting to feel faint and within 30 seconds it was over. Once they take the catheter out, everything subsides. I came to work right after (ugh!) so I’ve been ok thankfully just feeling a tad crampy. I will rest tonight and take it easy and hopefully have everything go smoothly. I ended up having no blockage of my tubes praise God! :) Good luck ladies!!

  21. sandra

    April 8, 2015 - 5:48 pm

    I had my HSG today, and the pain was excruciating, unlike what I read from most sites online. The procedure lasted for more than 45mins, no heavy bleeding though, felt better after 3 hours.

    • nicole

      April 10, 2015 - 1:21 pm

      Did it feel like you pulled a muscle the next day? Because that’s how I feel and it feels like something is pulling

  22. nicole

    April 10, 2015 - 11:46 am

    I had my HSG done yesterday and yes it hurts really bad. They said mild cramping but that was no where near mild. I was fine after I had gotten off the table but when I was walking out to leave I kept feeling these extreme sharp shooting pains in my stomach and abdominal area. It was so bad that I couldn’t walk standing straight up and had a very uncomfortable ride home. When I did get home my pain was so bad that I couldn’t even use the bathroom because pushing made it worse. I tried to “sleep it off” and that was very difficult to do as well. Today I’m feeling a little better but yes the pain is still there.

  23. Dazzle

    April 15, 2015 - 8:17 pm

    I had my hsg two days ago. It was really painful, especially when the dye was being put. It’s been two days and I have mild cramps and spotting.

  24. Pilar

    April 17, 2015 - 5:26 am

    I had my first HSG test a month ago and mine was just as the first poster describer it… EXCRUCIATING! The thoughts that came into my head in trying to describe it afterward was cruel tests that nazi’s might have done to concentration camp victims. I can’t imagine childbirth being more painful. I yelled for the Dr. to stop as I couldn’t take anymore (he didn’t)… this was done in Mexico and I speak fluent Spanish – but I think that with his 40 years experience, he saw the blockage moving (unblocking) and kept going, telling me every time, “just one more”. I thought I was going to pass out. My instincts were to curl up in a ball but they told me don’t move, don’t move. At one point I was instructed to turn on my side and I yelled that I have no control and am doing my best to not move. So the second Dr. (a big tall guy) scooped me up and flipped me on my side on one fell swoop for the last X-ray. Several times I thought I was going to pass out from the pain – absolutely horrible, unbearable! I am thankful for the Dr. who kept forging ahead since the goal is to get pregnant, but I don’t think I could go through that again – I’d need to be put under for sure. Praying for a baby now and working hard these next 3 months! By the way, our insurance didn’t cover this $1400 test and since we take yearly trips to Mexico to visit my husband’s family, we arranged it with his family Dr. Our cost? $125!!

    • Tamiko

      November 12, 2015 - 6:07 pm

      Can you give me the information to where you went. i would love to go i can’t afford the 1,400 either please.

  25. Sneha

    April 25, 2015 - 1:50 pm

    Hi I just done by hsg. Its not much painful. And doctor is also told me that my both tubes are normal.so don’t. Worry. Its not so much painful

  26. Brandi

    April 25, 2015 - 3:40 pm

    I took the test two days ago and my anxiety and apprehension were way worse than the test. There was some cramping and then it was over. I was very relieved.

  27. Jordan

    April 28, 2015 - 2:35 am

    Mine was as the first poster, horrible. I’d like to add for the one woman, that I didn’t have any blockages. I had a normal HSG. It was painful but brief at the doctor. I thought I was in the clear, until an hour or so afterward. My whole abdominal cavity up to my stomach hurt. I ended up going to the emergency room, and they said some women are sensitive to the dye. I felt nausea, and a stinging/soreness all throughout my abdomen. Of course, these results are supposed to be non typical, so take that with a grain of salt. I’m currently in my bed trying to sleep it off.

  28. sarah

    May 1, 2015 - 2:43 am

    i went thro hsg yesterday.the process was ard 1 hour. Some pain when the dye was being injected.i left the clinic without pain but all of a sudden alot of pain in my abdomen.up to now the pain is still there but but not so sharp. All women r different.

  29. Carrie

    May 4, 2015 - 7:42 pm

    My hsg was about 2 hours ago and I was totally nervous of the unknown and had read lots of mixed reviews in terms of pain & discomfort. I even cried a little on the way there because we’ve been trying to conceive for a year and 1/2 and at this point I am so ready for good news , just like all of you. (Im 37 and my hubby is 47.) I took 2 motrin about 1/2 hour before my appt. I was prepped for everything with a nurse who was pretty imformative of what I was to expect. Once the Dr came in, it felt like I was getting a pap smear, but in a room with lots of equipment. They took an xray pic of my pelvis and then started the procedure. I was totally fine, watching the screen and watching my uterus fill up with dye. The doctor said my right tube was spilling out correctly. Then, after that, I had to look away from the monitor and focus on breathing because I felt cramping and a filling up feeling that was just more uncomfortable than anything. It kinda felt traumatizing for 1 minute but I just kept breathing through it like a bad menstraul cramp that I get every once in a while. The Dr had me tilt my pelvis to the left for about a minute & a half and then he said we were done and everything went well. I was relieved that it was over because nobody likes their insides being messed with, plain and simple. In a nutshell, you may feel, nothing, you may feel pain, you may pass out… But if it leads to a baby it is so worth it in the end. Also, if you can’t get through this, labor is going to be worse so if anything it probably preps us for all the things we will experience as moms. Try to just breathe and meditate by looking at the tiny specs in the ceiling until the uncomfortable stuff passes. Good luck!!!!

  30. lolo kaka

    May 7, 2015 - 6:55 am

    i had a hsg done it was very painful for real it is a sad experience though i do not know the reasons and unfortunately one of my fallopian tubes was blocked

  31. Sarah

    May 15, 2015 - 3:16 pm

    I had an HSG yesterday and wanted to see if others had the same experience I had so I did a google search for “after HSG” – this was the first active thread to come up so I thought I would add my experience even though I’m in Boston. (Thanks to Shady Grove Fertility for allowing these comments, it was very helpful for me to read others experiences.)

    Every woman’s pain tolerance, comfort level and body is different. I thought I would share my experience in case it’s helpful to someone else. I am a very relaxed person and usually have no issues with doctors appointments or procedures. The procedure itself wasn’t scary or painful (for me). It was about as uncomfortable as a normal pap smear but with some extra pressure and prodding. My doctor used a local anesthetic injected into my cervix. I am wondering if that’s the main difference for women experiencing a lot of discomfort with this procedure. I didn’t feel the injection at all (I was afraid I would – I’ve never had a shot ‘below the belt’ before!) and after that I mostly only felt the speculum. I had small amount of cramping but it was mostly just the usual weirdness of a gyno exam. One issue we had was that the tube that administers the dye slipped out! So I had to have the speculum and insertion twice – not fun.

    It was after the procedure that I felt poorly. Immediately after, I took a very long walk and didn’t feel much pain other than some light cramping. When I got home and sat down, I felt VERY uncomfortable. I felt ‘full’ and crampy and achey. It was like menstrual cramps and gas cramps at once with bloating. Ibuprofen helped a little, as did standing. (I’m guessing my long walk after the HSG helped stave off the pain but as soon as I stopped and sat down, the pain started.) It wasn’t unbearable but it wasn’t nice either.

    Now it’s the next day and I am bloated! I still have the fullness feeling but no real pain. My abdomen muscles feel a little sore and tired, probably from the cramping but mostly I’m just puffy and full-feeling. I’m on an antibiotic (I’ve read that’s standard for after HSG) and will continue to monitor how I feel. I generally feel calm about it but any strange feeling when you don’t know how to remedy it can be frustrating and a little scary.

    I hope hearing my experience helps others out there googling “feeling weird after HSG” or “massively bloated after HSG” or other feelings. :)

    Good luck to everyone out there going through this strange but hopefully helpful procedure.

    • Sarah

      May 15, 2015 - 3:22 pm

      I will also add that my results were just okay. I was diagnosed with a hydrosalpinx on one side (unilateral). Hopefully that other tube and ovary can do the job.
      Best of luck, ladies.

  32. dawndivaisit@live.com

    May 15, 2015 - 6:33 pm

    The procedure to me was not painful. I did fill a little cramping but for the most part the techs were very nice and explained all possibilities to me but the test didn’t last long. You can fill when the dye is going in but it wasn’t painful. I spotted after the rest of the day but not like your period bleeding. I did not have my test performed at this location I had mine done at Kaiser in Downey and no complaints here. If you really want kids and want to know if there is anything wrong possibly then I suggest taking this test.

  33. Samantha

    May 15, 2015 - 9:00 pm

    Had My HSG Test today@ 11:00 luckily only 1 min of cramping during procedure and not any residual pain thus far I was worried sick and thankfully it wasn’t as bad as I imagined thankfully.

  34. Ihuoma

    May 19, 2015 - 11:53 am

    Please what matters most in Life is the end result of Everything, no Gold without going through fire, Gold goes through the fire before it becomes useful.
    You can only go for what you cherish most. Painful But Prize Full.
    Full of expectations from God.
    Best of Luck!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  35. Pat

    May 29, 2015 - 10:36 am

    well I did the HSG test and it wasn’t that painful as some say. it was more like period pains and it did not last long. I guess that pain wasn’t too much for me because am used to period pains

  36. Yinka

    June 6, 2015 - 10:20 pm

    Here is my hsg story,i went in there on 3/6/15 with fear 4rm all I have read on d internet,a lady went in,came after 30mins n started crying wen I saw dis I cudn’t imagine dat a woman like me wud cry like a baby so I joined n started crying also.it got 2 my turn,i went in layed on d bed n wen I saw all d instrument dat was 2 b used I jumped off d bed but I later summoned courage n went on wit it. I closed my eyes n allowed dem do whatever n 2 my greatest surprise I didn’t feel anything.

  37. Khristen Bossette

    June 23, 2015 - 3:10 am

    I had my Hsg done today and it was totally painless.My tubes were blocked d/t mucus plug .The blockage was addressed and now my tubes are unblocked and patent.

  38. Marisa C.

    July 11, 2015 - 6:57 pm

    I had my HSG test on July 6th. Everything went okay but on Wed, more Thursday I started to sense a foul odor and cramping. The smell is not evident unless close enough to my privates. No significant discharge. I am at ovulation point so not sure if this cramping is from that or if I’ve caught an infection. I have to go do my HSN on Monday morning at which point they can check. ANY ADVICE?

  39. Jennifer

    July 20, 2015 - 1:47 am

    I had my HSG on friday (July 16, 2015). It was very painful when they clamped my cervix. And I was crampy while they injected the dye. I had NO blockages though. I was fine until a about an hour later while I was driving home. I had to pull over because I felt funny. I called my mom and told her I felt weird and where I was on the side of the road. I didn’t even get out the rest of my sentence and I passed out cold for 30 seconds to a minute. Thank god I was pulled over and didn’t have my daughter with me. My mom rushed me back to emerg to be monitored. I spent another 2 hours there in observation. The emergency doctor told me it wasn’t anything to do with the procedure, it was my body protecting itself from trauma but he did no exam other than feel and listen to my belly. I was given a anti-imflamitory and a pain medication. Then was sent home. It is now the Sunday after. I’m still bleeding and crampy. The things we put our bodies through just to have a baby lol! My fiance and I have decided though for me not to go through any more procedures. We will just be trying the old fashioned way and it will happen when it happens :)

  40. Nicolette

    July 22, 2015 - 5:26 pm

    Had an HSG done yesterday and honestly I only felt some discomfort. I took 400mg of ibuprofen about and hour before. The procedure was quick and I had a doctor who talked to me the whole time. He also worked slowly, which I think made a difference in me not experiencing pain. I had done research and was scared because so many women expressed how painful it was. I’ve had pap smears and colposcopies that were much worse than the HSG. I guess everyone is different.

  41. Ella

    July 25, 2015 - 6:34 am

    Pardon me people about your concern about the procedure I had it done 7-21-15 it didn’t hurt me and it went smoothly, obviously cramps is expected imagine placing a foreign stuff in your vagina and introducing this dye and pumped it up then you have a blockage for example of course it will sore its like it gets infiltrated or let say since the tube going to ovary is just a tiny one it will make you sore because when the dye was introduced it expand but other people exsagerate the pain and story and, you have to understand people have different pain level, maybe sore for some people because you yourself don’t know how to breath normally when this thing inserted, the procedure was so easy and fast so people who need this test don’t get scared just do it so it can get a great result okay

  42. Samah

    August 26, 2015 - 2:41 pm

    Hi I don’t no if anyone will reply but I done my hsg today and thank god my tubes were fine but what I noticed and the person that was doing it noticed that my left tube let the dye out quicker then my right tube .. My right tube took a while .. What can it mean .. Would I of have abit of gunk stuck in there and it was pushing it out ?? I hope that’s the reason why I am not falling pregnant .. I heard a lot of ladies have had fallen pregnant after this procedure . Please get back to me asap

  43. Childers

    September 1, 2015 - 10:30 pm

    I just had my HSG done today. I wish I read these comments before. My doctor told me it was gonna be slight discomfort and mild cramping. The pain was torturous. I’m in the Army and have a high pain tolerance. In this procedure I was trying not to yell in agony and almost pulled out my hair and couldn’t stop crying. I’ve had a miscarriage 6years ago and that pain wasn’t half as bad as the HSG I got today. When I drove off I had to pull over for a minute and let all my tears out as if I was traumatized by the pain. Women should know how much it hurts so they can be prepared mentally.

  44. Edeline C

    September 14, 2015 - 7:46 pm

    I just finished my HSG and agree it was painful but not debilitating. I’ve had paps where it felt like 1000 sharp knives and I cried until the dr said, we’re done here you’re a difficult pap don’t come back. So needless to say, i was SHAKING when I was in the waiting room for the HSG.

    Well…here are my survival tips (I’m still alive and can walk):
    – take two Ibuprofens one hr before the exam
    – you will naturally “clam up” if you are in terrified state like me so here’s advice: tense up and then do a long exhale like in yoga and tell yourself ok, don’t tense cuz it’s only going to hurt more
    – hold the assistant’s hand if there is one and keep exhaling
    – the speculum hurts, but it isn’t like writhing sharp knives. Just think a super long Q tip is down there after they open you up.
    – they ask you to turn on your side to get pics and it’s super uncomfortable as you feel th tube or whatever else is digging. Just do it super slowly and remember, no turning = no good pics = can’t diagnose if your tubes are blocked

    In sum. I did not have to get carted out. I wasn’t bent over and crying. Just try your darnedest to breathe and fight the urge to tense up and the painkillers help with that. If I can live through it, you can too!!

  45. Laurel

    September 15, 2015 - 2:19 pm

    I had my hsg yesterday. I’m glad I read most of these comments to realized everyone is different and reacts differently to the procedure; It helped me to prepare for the worse. I didn’t experience any pain( although my doctor proscribed me pain meds) but I did feel a little odd toward the end. I had my annual Pap smear a month ago and that felt more uncomfortable then because of the pressure when putting her fingers inside.
    I read someone’s comments some were that they thought the people with blockage felt more pain because the dye had no where to go, and I don’t think that’s something anyone would put there hope in. I was blocked on one side and only a little bit was spilling out on the other. So far I havent even had any discharge.

  46. Mmills

    September 16, 2015 - 4:00 pm

    I, too, am in a lot of pain after my HSG. I’ve had ruptured ovarian cysts that have left me hospitalized and I normally have bad menstrual cramps with diarrhea and vomiting. I was told that HSG wouldn’t be a big deal and maybe done slight cramping during and shortly after. It was NOT slight cramping for me. It was excruciating for 3-5 minutes but part of it could be because she said my cervix was really tight (forgot the term) so getting the catheter in was painful. As soon as they took things out there was some relief but I almost puked during and felt lightheaded. I usually have a high pain tolerance. It is now 3 hours post HSG and I’ve had diarrhea, nausea, and I feel like I did when I had food poisoning. More then just menstrual cramps, my stomach feels sick too. She said one tube is blocked. I hope I don’t have to do that again.

  47. Iddy

    September 18, 2015 - 5:48 pm

    Just had mine 2day n it was so so painful dat i shouted Jesus n His blood. My dear sisters just be calm dats all. But i must confess it was lyk d end cos at a point i was feelin dizzy whyl stil on it. Just have it in mind dat its 4 ur boundle of joy. Baby dust to us all

  48. KWeav

    October 13, 2015 - 6:46 am

    I was quite nervous about going to have the test done – especially after reading about all of the people who have had such a horrible experience! But for me, it really wasn’t that bad. I took an ibuprofen before I went. I felt the needle but it didn’t really hurt and I had no cramping whatsoever. From what I’ve read online, it seems that people’s experiences vary a lot!

  49. Marine

    October 13, 2015 - 6:48 pm

    I just had an HSG done yesterday and it wasn’t bad at all. I read all the horror stories and worked myself up for no reason. Granted every body is different and everyone’s experiences are different. I did take some Tylenol an hour before the test so that helped a lot. I did (and still am) experience some cramping after the procedure but nothing I cant handle. My advice would be to go in with a open mind, try to relax and remember your going through this for a great reason! Good luck!!

  50. ryte

    October 19, 2015 - 1:25 pm

    u are so lucky cuz mine was so painful that I have been in d pain for 3days now. find it so difficult to sit lie down or walk.

  51. ryte

    October 19, 2015 - 1:46 pm

    pls this test does it enhance chances of getting pregnancy. bcuz after the test 3days ago, my result is out showing that my tubes are OK. my husband sperm count is OK and my prolatin and progesterone are also OK. so does this means that nothing is wrong with us. so why are we not able to conceive?

  52. Angie

    October 29, 2015 - 12:52 am

    I had my HSG test done today (10/28/15). I did not have a good experience. Whenever I get a pap done I find the pain very minimal, just a slight pinching/pressure. This was not the case with my HSG test. The speculum did not hurt, injecting the dye was only a little bit uncomfortable, but when the doctor inflated the balloon on the end of the catheter to keep it in place it was excruciating! I uncontrollably yelped and jumped of the table a little bit. On the bright side the excruciating pain only lasted for a short amount of time. I currently feel pretty sore and crampy in my whole lower abdomen. I have a saline test and an endometrial biopsy scheduled for later in the week, but I am going to cancel them and put a pause on my testing. This was just a bit to traumatic for me. My HSG test came back normal, both tubes were open.

  53. Laurel

    November 13, 2015 - 5:36 pm

    I had my hsg test 2 months ago without any pain or bleeding. My tubes are mostly blocked. The period a couple weeks after was so painful I thought I had a miscarage, but they told me that it could have been from the test. My last period hurt just as bad, was nauseous and other stomach issues. Now during my ovulation after sex I had the same pain. My doctor says I could have gotten an infection from the dye of the test getting in the blocked areas. When you go into your hsg test ask them about risk of infection so they can put you on antibiotics if they think your at risk so you don’t have to go through more pain.

  54. Carolynn

    December 27, 2015 - 11:30 pm

    I had the HSG test back in May of 2015 and because one of my tubes was not blocked (had fallopian implants for birth control) I have to have the test re-done and that is supposed to take place tomorrow. Because I just started my period yesterday, however, I am going to have to reschedule. My first HSG was horrible and traumatic. I was nervous about it and have experienced much more cervical sensitivity as I have gotten older but it was WAY worse than I imagined. The catheter going in was not pleasant and then I had to wait on the table with it in for what seemed like 20 minutes for the pompous radiologist to make his appearance. Injecting the dye, blowing up the balloon was all super painful and so much worse than any period cramping I had ever experienced. The radiologist was rude and short with me as I struggled to turn over and the Dr. continued to bump into the catheter not seeming to realize how painful that was to me. It was awful and traumatizing and I’m not sure I can handle it again. I’m a person who runs half marathons and has always been told I have a very high pain tolerance and this was AWFUL! I’m thinking we will just use condoms until I hit menopause…it was that bad although they did prescribe me two Norco to take this time. Maybe that will make it tolerable if I don’t have a heart attack before the procedure.

  55. Jenn

    December 29, 2015 - 9:43 pm

    I went and got that hsg test back in June. It was not as bad as I expected, I just felt a little cramping during the procedure. In the end it was worth it, after a year of not being able to get pregnant and not knowing why it turns out that I may have had something blocking my tubes that came loose during the procedure. Iam currently 29 almost 30 weeks pregnant, in fact I had the test done on a Friday in June and the conception date is that weekend!

  56. Brandi

    February 21, 2016 - 5:12 pm

    Telling women what to expect is not fear mongering. I had this procedure done and it was the most intense pain I have ever experienced. That being said my tubes were completely blocked, but that is a possible outcome. We are after all getting the test for fertility reasons. The pain was horrible but it last only minutes and as soon as they removed the catheter it was gone. The test is worth it in my opinion regardless of pain but it would have been nice to know the possible side effects.

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  58. Matthew

    July 22, 2016 - 12:05 pm

    My Wife just had an HSG test and the doctor did not conduct a pregnancy test prior, let alone ask her when her last menstrual cycle was. Turns out two days later we found out she was pregnant, and based on her hormone levels she had been pregnant during the HSG test. Now we are uncertain if the pregnancy is normal, ectopic, or will lead to a miscarriage. Has anyone else had this kind of experience? We now have to wait at least 1 more week until the pregnancy will be visible in an ultrasound to figure out if it is normal or not…

  59. Maureen

    October 12, 2016 - 2:02 pm

    I had one done this week.. the comments here scared me, but I’m glad I read them and knew to take ibuprofen before I went. I took a couple of ibuprofen 2 hours before my procedure and another one about 30 minutes before I went and I was completely fine. I get TERRIBLE cramps during my period and have gotten crampy with pap smears before, so I was very nervous about it.

    I couldn’t feel the dye and didn’t have any pain. I didn’t even realize they had put the dye in until I looked back at the screen. My tubes were not blocked, so I don’t know if that affects the procedure at all, but it was painless.

  60. Deirdre C

    October 12, 2016 - 8:24 pm

    Thank you SO much for posting this! I have endometriosis and had my first HSG performed about 9 years ago. There was only mild cramping and no blockages noted. So I was completely unprepared for what I experienced yesterday. The staff at SG (Rockville location) was very kind and allowed me to stay after awhile (until I could get myself together emotionally). I had taken Ibuprofen 800 mg 30 minutes prior to my appointment and assumed I would be okay. Well the cramping started immediately upon catheter insertion and they said that my uterus was cramping so much that it was preventing the dye from even entering. They removed that catheter for another and the pain was excruciating! My right tube was patent, but my left tube was blocked. I was in so much pain that I eventually blurted out that I wanted to stop. The technician stopped and informed me that she just really wanted to try to see if she could unblock the left tube and through tears I agreed and asked her to go slowly (I really wanted to be able to unblock it – I REALLY did). But the pain was so tremendous that I instantly became super hot and felt as if I was going to pass out. I was following all of the breathing directions they were giving me and trying not to just yank the catheter out myself. Upon checking my blood pressure, they decided that they needed to stop. I’ve been a crying mess ever since. I was sent home with doxycycline and my belly is quite distended (couldn’t fit my jeans today). I’ve got some abdominal pain and nausea – but I think this might be from the antibiotics. I really do wish that they would mention that having a blockage increases the risks of there being extreme, sustained pain throughout the procedure (if you can even allow it to continue without blacking out). Although it is scary to hear, it’s better to be prepared than to assume that you will just have mild cramping. As I’ve never been pregnant, I do not know what the contractions of labor feel like. However, I can only imagine that it cannot be much harder than what I experienced yesterday. I’m still pretty traumatized over it.

  61. Edem

    January 17, 2017 - 5:38 pm

    Just had HSG done and it was so painful. What could be wrong?

  62. Jenn

    January 20, 2017 - 7:59 pm

    I had my HSG test done today. After reading some of these comments I was completely anxious and terrified that it would be a very painful experience. An hour before the test my RE recommended taking 800 mg Ibuprofen and a Valium. I felt absolutely no pain or discomfort. After the procedure I was able to go about my day normally without any cramps and very minimal spotting. I had already scheduled to have the rest of the day off but if I had known how easy it was going to be, I would have returned to work.

  63. Samantha

    May 19, 2017 - 1:23 am

    I had an HSG done in March 2017 and it was the most painful thing I’ve ever done. About an hour before the test I took 4 advil and they did nothing to dull the pain. There was spillage on my right side and they couldn’t determine anything for my left side as I told them to stop because they kept trying over and over (for far longer than 2 – 4 seconds) and weren’t able to determine a blockage or spillage on my left side and the pain was too much to bare.

    A couple of days ago I saw my first positive pregnancy test. I think the HSG cleared everything out of my system. Fingers crossed for a sticky bean!

  64. Ronda C

    May 31, 2017 - 6:23 am

    Reading comments come to find: everyone is different. For me, this test was excruciating. I was in massive amounts of pain, and I can tolerate pain very well. I even screamed out. I ended up not having any blockages. Unfortunately, you won’t know until you do it. Worth it though to know I’m all clear and good to go.

  65. Katie

    August 21, 2017 - 10:31 am

    I had an HSG today and have PCOS. I did not have a blockage.

    Pain-wise, I’ve had an IUD in the past so knew to expect a little bit of awfulness as they out the catheter through my cervix. And yep. Uncomfortably severe period-pain like. Then apparently they inflated a balloon and slowly injected the 1ml of dye? That hurt too.

    It was like 3-5min of constant, severe period pain. Not the end of the world but I definitely did not enjoy it. Got through it by thinking, ‘Well, at least it will be over soon.’

    There are a lot of horror stories commented here. It is not as bad as these comments seem. These are individual cases and it seems people have had some bad experiences. This does not mean that you will, if you are reading this for reassurance. Individuals have had bad experiences. I am another individual who did not have a bad experience. It was uncomfortable, very sore period pain. Like the worst period pain I’ve ever had. However the worst period pain is not the worst pain I’ve felt. I stood in a nail once. I’d say that was worse! So was getting a belly button piercing. You should be fine with an HSG.

  66. Susan

    September 8, 2017 - 9:44 pm

    I don’t know if I will ever be able to rid my memory of the horrible, creepy experience I had with an (almost) HSG at Shady Grove’s Rockville facility. I apologize–but cannot bring myself to share the most personal details.

    First off, I was assigned a nurse practitioner, not a doctor, to do the procedure. She poked around for I don’t know how long trying to find the right spot to insert the catheter. Second, there was no drape or other attempt to protect my privacy. Third, there was a hygiene issue concerning the technician who handled the instruments. The nurse eventually gave up and recommended that I return another day to have the procedure performed under anesthesia. I came to find out that, in her notes, she blamed ME for her own incompetence, including all kinds of made-up statements.

    I left Shady Grove and wound up at Washington Radiology for the HSG, which was performed by a doctor. They were wonderful there! Also, unlike at Shady Grove, my referring doctor gave me an advance prescription for an antibiotic.

    I’m writing this comment because it concerns me greatly to think that someone else could have a similar experience. For those who fared otherwise, good for you, but that does nothing to help those of us who didn’t. My own experience was chilling.


    September 19, 2017 - 7:42 am

    Hi Susan.I hope all is well with you at this moment and sorry for that experience.I also had HSG but in a kenyan hospital.Iwas not even prepared i thought it was a normal scanning but the pain was unbearable.It is my second day after the test and i feel they should prepare the patient psychologically before the test.

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