The Difference between a Hysterosalpingogram (HSG) and a Sono-Hysterogram

Hysterosalpingogram (HSG) and sonohysterograms are two very commonly used medical processes used by professionals in the field of medical diagnosis. Both of them are non-surgical ways of viewing the female’s internal reproductive system, especially during pregnancy. However, the two are distinct from each other and have some differences.


Hysterosalpingogram (hysteron = uterus; salpingo = fallopian tube) involves viewing the uterus, fallopian tube and the other organs that surround them through the use of x-ray. A radiographic contrast dye is given which is injected into the uterine cavity via the vagina and cervix. Then, a series of X-ray pictures are taken and then submitted for official reading.  It is more invasive than sonohysterogram. X-rays are teratogenic, or harmful to the baby. Hence, it is important that HSG be taken two to five days after your menstrual period has ended to be sure you are not pregnant.


Sonohysterogram (hysteron = uterus; sono = sound), on the other hand, involves viewing the uterus through the use of an ultrasound unlike the HSG which uses X-ray. It uses high-frequency sound waves that travel at different speeds through body organs and tissues that bounce back to reflect and image. It can also be called hysterosonogram; transvaginal ultrasound is the most common method used. During this procedure, the uterus is flushed with fluid to evaluate the endometrial cavity or the inside of the uterus.

Differences in Usage

These two diagnostic procedures also differ in the purpose they serve. HSG is used in order to find faults or abnormalities in the structure your internal reproductive organs, especially the uterus and the fallopian tubes such as a blocked fallopian tube or a malformed uterus. And because this test is teratogenic, you are required to sign a consent that testifies that you understand the risks that comes with this test. Polyps and fibroids can also be seen in this test. In terms of pretest interventions, it is more complex. The doctor may ask you if you have had diabetes or a history of kidney problems. Such cases are contraindicated for the test.

Sonohysterogram can be done for a number of reasons. In contrast with HSG, this test is not teratogenic. Hence, it can be used to verify the presence of an implanted zygote that confirms pregnancy. Once pregnancy has been confirmed, this test can serve as a means to monitor the development of this implanted zygote. A test like this can also serve as a guide for doctors to remove eggs that they can use for assisted reproductive techniques such as embryo transfer if ever you need one. This test can also count the number of follicles that are developing in the ovaries.

These two diagnostic tests are often confusing especially since they both pertain to the viewing of the female reproductive organs. But keeping their differences in mind helps you when you have to undergo the above mentioned tests.

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