Today I had an HSG. I took the day off work because the nurse who scheduled it said to take the morning off in case of a reaction or delays - I opted to take the entire day off. That means that I get a 5 day weekend!
Thursday, November 12, 2009
To everyone who told me to "enjoy my holiday" (which, by the way includes my dear Hubby) I responded with "any day that begins with the insertion of a catheter is never a holiday!"
So, what is an HSG you ask? Well, in my non-medical terms, basically, under a live X-ray, a doctor inserts a catheter into your cervix and injects radioactive dye. Then they watch the dye on the X-ray monitor to see where it goes. In an ideal world the dye should fill up your uterus and then go through each fallopian tube before spilling out into your abdomen. An HSG is used to determine if you have any blockages in your fallopian tubes and to see if the uterus is a normal shape.
Curious about what it looks like? Here is a link (don't worry - it's a view of the X-ray monitor).
Here's how my day went. First off, I didn't sleep well. I was actually more nervous about this non-surgical procedure than I was about going in for knee surgery 15 years ago. I got up @ 5:30 'cause I wanted to have a shower first (I wanted to be all spic and span).
I was told to be at the hospital by 7:30 am. Of course I arrived by 7:15 (I'm never late - including for AF!). As I looked around the waiting room I watched the other women arrive. Of the 8 women, there was only 3 husbands that came. Truth be told, I think that if Hubby had come with me I would have been less stressed, but realistically it didn't make sense for him to take time off work to be there.
At 8 am they took all 8 women into the changing area. We were told to undress from the waist down and to put on a lovely gown. Then we proceeded to another waiting area. Imagine a big waiting room with 8 women in blue gowns, some in boots, some in socks and shoes, each with a purse all waiting quietly. No one spoke to each other. After I got home I thought that I should have put down my iPod and struck up a conversation or two. These are my infertility sisters after all. Why were we all so shy to make friends?
I was the second one called in for the procedure (an advantage to arriving early). There were 2 doctors and a nurse there. The younger doctor actually performed the procedure. She warned me that the speculum was not warmed up. However, she failed to mention that she was not using any lubricant! Umm, hello? You're a woman. How do you think that feels?
When she inserted the tube through my cervix I felt immediate cramping. It was just like menstrual cramps - not pleasant. The procedure overall lasted about 3 minutes. The older doctor told me that everything was clear. I still asked to see the X-ray. He showed me the screen (in hindsight I should have taken a photo with my cell phone - but 3 strangers had just looked up my bits and I was a little out of sorts).
When I looked at the screen I couldn't tell much. There was a dark circle slightly off to the side and a couple of squiggles on each side. The squiggles were the fallopian tubes, the circle is my uterus. It didn't look anything like you see in a health class diagram.
After the procedure the nurse hands me a pad to put on as there is often leakage. The pad was close in size to what I imagine an adult diaper must look like. I'm grateful that I had a panty liner in my purse! The liner was necessary as I have had some definite spotting since the procedure.
Anyway - all of our fertility testing is done. So far all of our results have been good. So why are we on cycle #20 of TTC? That will be the first question that I ask the RE at our next appointment.
Sometimes women are more fertile after the completion of an HSG. The dye sort of "clears out the cobwebs". Let's hope that we are included in the "more fertile" category.