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Is Pregnancy After an HSG More Likely?


Updated May 20, 2014

Woman holding a pregnancy test device
Daniel Allan/Photographer's Choice RF/Getty Images

You might have heard that there is an increased chance of pregnancy after an HSG. An HSG, or hysterosalpingogram, is a special kind of x-ray that involves administering an iodine dye via the cervix, into the uterus and fallopian tubes, and then taking x-ray pictures.

So, Is it true?

Perhaps. Whether or not an HSG can improve fertility is controversial. Some studies show a slightly increased chance of getting pregnant in the three months after the test, but the reason for the increased fertility isn't clear.

One theory is that the dye flushes out the fallopian tubes, clearing partial, minor blocks in some women. Another possibility is that the dye solution enhances the endometrium (the lining of the uterus) in some way, making it easier for an embryo to implant successfully. And yet another theory is that the dye solution somehow affects the area surrounding the ovaries, enhancing ovulation.

However, it's important to know that the increased chance of pregnancy after an HSG isn't that great. Doctors order an HSG for diagnostic reasons, and it's rarely used as a treatment itself.

More about the HSG test:

More about fertility testing:

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Hysterosalpingogram (HSG): Patient Fact Sheet. American Society of Reproductive Medicine. Accessed November 13, 2008. http://asrm.org/uploadedFiles/ASRM_Content/Resources/Patient_Resources/Fact_Sheets_and_Info_Booklets/hsg.pdf

Luttjeboer F, Harada T, Hughes E, Johnson N, Lilford R, Mol BW. "Tubal flushing for subfertility." Cochrane Database Systematic Reviews. 2007 Jul 18; (3):CD003718.


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