Objective: A hysterosalpingogram is an integral part of the evaluation of infertility but is often painful. Intrauterine anesthesia may help to alleviate the discomfort associated with this procedure.
Methods: We conducted a randomized, double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial of intrauterine lidocaine in women undergoing hysterosalpingography (HSG). All women were instructed to take a nonsteroidal analgesic before the hysterosalpingogram. Patients received 3 mL of buffered 2% lidocaine solution or 0.9% normal saline instilled into the uterus before HSG. The primary outcome was the degree of pain experienced documented via 10-cm visual analogue pain scales. Systematic assessments of discomfort were also collected by the attending physician, radiology technician, and radiology physician.
Results: Sixty-four patients were randomly assigned to placebo and 63 women were randomly assigned to the lidocaine group. There were no differences in mean age, race, parity, or history of dysmenorrhea or chronic pelvic pain. There were no differences in the pain scores at baseline, during, or after the study procedure between the 2 groups. Peak pain scale scores associated with the procedure were 5.3 +/- 0.4 in both the placebo and study groups. In addition, assessments of patient discomfort revealed no significant differences between the 2 groups.
Conclusion: We found no difference in pain between the intrauterine-lidocaine and placebo groups. Intrauterine lidocaine does not appear to be effective in decreasing pain in women undergoing HSG.
Level of evidence: I