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Radiology (Xray)


Contact: RVI: (0191) 282 4330; Appointments: (0191) 282 4428

What is a hysterosalpingogram (HSG)?Show [+]Hide [-]

  • A hysterosalpingogram (HSG) is an x-ray of the womb and fallopian tubes. A soft catheter is passed through the cervix. Once in place a colourless and odourless liquid called contrast is passed along the tube flowing into the womb and the fallopian tubes to allow us to see if the fallopian tubes are open.  This is carried out in the X-ray Department, Level 3, New Victoria Wing at the RVI.

Why do I need a hysterosalpingogram (HSG)?Show [+]Hide [-]

  • To assess the fallopian tubes to see if they are patent (open) or occluded (blocked) to identify any barriers to your fertility.

Who performs the hysterosalpingogram (HSG)?Show [+]Hide [-]

  • It is usually a female nurse specialist who carries out the procedure, and there are usually two female staff members who are also in the room, one of which will be there to look after you whilst you undergo your procedure. A male consultant radiologist will be available for consultation if necessary. Please inform a member of staff as soon as possible if you have any objection to a male staff member being involved in your procedure.  Due to the IR(ME)R 2018 radiation protection guidelines we are unable to allow any family member/ friend to accompany you into the room during the procedure.

What do you advise before the procedure is carried out? Show [+]Hide [-]

  • It is very important that you are not pregnant.  We advise women to use a reliable contraceptive or not have sex until after the appointment.  You will be asked to sign a form to declare that, to the best of your knowledge, you are not currently pregnant.
  • The appointment will be arranged between seven and ten days from the first day of your last period. 
  • Sometimes we can do the procedure after the 10th day from the start of your last period. You will need a blood test or to completely refrain from intercourse to ensure that you are absolutely not pregnant.
  • We will not do the procedure until the result is known.  A urine pregnancy test is not reliable enough at the very early stages of pregnancy.
  • If you are in any doubt about this you will be asked to have a blood test at the place they were referred from - the GP, the Centre for Life (0191 2138213 Monday to Friday 8am-5pm) or the referring Hospital Consultant.
  • If you are still bleeding on the day of your appointment, please telephone the department for advice as the test may have to be postponed (0191 2829360 Monday to Friday 8.30am-5pm).
  • If you are on any medication please continue as usual.

What will happen on the day?Show [+]Hide [-]

  • One of the x-ray nurses will meet you and check your personal details.
  • We need to know;
  • the first day of your last period
  • your height and weight
  • any allergies or relevant medical condition
  • We will ask you to remove your lower garments and put on a gown.
  • The nurse carrying out the examination will explain the procedure and ask you to sign a consent form and a form that confirms you are not pregnant.
  • It is usually a female nurse who carries out the procedure.  A male consultant radiologist will be available for consultation if necessary.
  • You can ask questions at any time.

What does the procedure involve? How will it feel?Show [+]Hide [-]

  • The nurse carrying out the procedure will wear a surgical gown and sterile gloves, as this is a sterile procedure. The position for the procedure is similar to having a smear, knees bent up, ankles together and legs open. You will only be uncovered for a short time while the nurse cleans the vulva with warm sterile saline solution.
  • You will be asked to lie on the x-ray table; the camera will move over you but will not touch you. It takes a few minutes for the equipment to be prepared.
  • You will be covered with a sterile drape.
  • Next, a speculum is inserted into the vagina so we can see the cervix (neck of the womb).
  • A small catheter is inserted into the cervix, which is held in place with a small balloon, (you may feel some pressure at this time). Once this is in position you can make yourself more comfortable.
  • The dye (contrast) will be injected through the catheter while x-rays are taken. When the dye is injected you may get period type pains. This can sometimes be quite uncomfortable but will not last long.
  • The nurse may ask you to raise your hips or roll from side to side to allow the dye to flow into the tubes.
  • Your privacy and dignity will be maintained throughout the procedure. There are three members of staff needed in the room during the procedure (all usually female).  We sometimes have a medical or nursing student who would only stay with your permission.

How long will the procedure take?Show [+]Hide [-]

  • The procedure usually takes 15 to 40 minutes, but you may be in the department for up to one hour.

What happens after the procedure is finished?Show [+]Hide [-]

  • You will stay in the x-ray room and at this point you will be allowed to bring in your partner or family member should you wish. You will then be given your initial verbal results and then be allowed to get changed and go home.

Can I return to work/ drive home afterwards?Show [+]Hide [-]

  • Yes, if you feel well enough.

After care guidance:Show [+]Hide [-]

  • Some of the contrast used during the procedure is passed via the vagina; this can be a little blood stained and is nothing to worry about. Wear a panty liner until this has stopped. Some of the contrast will be absorbed into your bowel and passed within your urine. You will not notice any change in your urine. You may also experience some period type pains. Both the blood stained spotting and period type pains can vary and last for up to seven days, but usually just 1-3 days. We advise some simple pain killers such as paracetamol.
  • You can have sexual intercourse following the procedure as and when you feel comfortable with this.
  • Contact your GP urgently if you develop:
  • uncontrolled bleeding
  • offensive smelling discharge
  • severe pelvic pain
  • high temperature


What are the risks of this procedure?Show [+]Hide [-]

  • The risk of perforation of the cervix, uterus and fallopian tubes, is very small, less than 1 in 1000.
  • The risk of infection is less than 1%.
  • The risk of fainting is less than 1%.

What are the benefits of this procedure?Show [+]Hide [-]

  • This is a non-surgical test that is done without the use of either local or general anaesthetic.
  • You will attend hospital as an outpatient and only be in the x-ray department for approximately one hour.
  • There is a very low complication rate.
  • The results of this test will be used to determine the next stage of your treatment.

When will I get the results?Show [+]Hide [-]

  • The initial results are given to you verbally before you leave the department by the nurse specialist or consultant radiologist performing your procedure. The images from your procedure would be checked and verified by a consultant radiologist, who will then send a report back to the referring clinician. The referring clinician will organise a follow up appointment with you to discuss the results.

I need an ambulance/ transport. Do you arrange it?Show [+]Hide [-]

  • If you need an ambulance/ transport, you should ask your GP surgery to arrange it. You will need to give them three working days’ notice.  Please note that hospital transport is provided on medical need only.

What if I cannot attend for my appointment? Show [+]Hide [-]

  • If your appointment time is not convenient please contact the hospital department so that a more appropriate time can be arranged.  This will enable us to reallocate valuable scanning time to someone else:
  • RVI X-ray Appointments              0191 282 4330 (Monday to Friday 8.30am-5.00pm)

What if I have any questions, suggestions or complaints?Show [+]Hide [-]

  • Should you have any suggestions or concerns, please make these known to the person conducting your examination or by letter addressed to the hospital that you are attending your examination:
  • The Departmental Manager, X-ray Department, Level 3, Royal Victoria Infirmary, Queen Victoria Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 4LP
  • The Departmental Manager, Main X-ray Department, Freeman Hospital, High Heaton, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE7 7DN
  • Tel: 0191 282 1099
  • Monday to Friday 8.30am to 5.00pm
  • All Newcastle Hospitals: Switchboard tel: 0191 233 6161 (24 hours)
  • The Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) can offer on-the-spot advice and information about the NHS. You can contact them on freephone 0800 032 02 02 or email
  • Information produced by:
  • Joan Hood Specialist Nurse Radiology

Diagnostic Imaging DatasetShow [+]Hide [-]

  • Information from your diagnostic test will contribute to the Diagnostic Imaging Dataset. 
  • The Diagnostic Imaging Dataset (DID) is a database that holds information on the imaging tests and scans carried out on NHS patients. This will allow the Health and Social Care Information Centre to see how different tests are used across the country.
  • Nothing will ever be reported that identifies you.  All information is stored securely. It is only made available to appropriate staff, and is kept strictly confidential. However, if you do not want your information to be stored in the DID, please tell the people who are treating you. They will make sure your information is not copied into the DID.
  • You may, at a later date, still decide to opt out.  Please contact the Health and Social Care Information Centre directly, their contact details are:
  • Telephone: 0845 300 6016 
  • Email: 
  • Website:
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