Our aim was to investigate the use of a balloon catheter device in comparison with metal cannula for hysterosalpingography (HSG) in terms of patient comfort. A total of 168 patients were randomised for HSG either with a balloon catheter (n = 83) or metal cannula (n = 85). Scores of pelvic pain during insertion of the devices, injection of the contrast medium and 1 h after the procedure were evaluated using the Wong Baker Faces Pain Rating Scale; complications and reinsertion rates were also noted. The pain scores were significantly lower in the balloon catheter group (p < 0.001). The reinsertion rate of metal cannula was higher (8.2% vs 2.4%) as well as the incidence of nausea being the most common short-term adverse effect (14.1% vs 1.2%) in the metal cannula group (p = 0.002). Performing HSG with a balloon catheter is advantageous for decreasing the pain and side-effects related to the procedure, when compared with the use of a metal cannula.