Wednesday, January 27, 2010


As you know, I had the "pleasure" of getting an HSG last week, and promised to share the wonderful experience with you. First, let me start by saying this is by NO means how all HSGs go (I tend to have the worst experience with it comes to these things), so please don't let this scare you out of getting one if your doctor recommends it. Despite the unpleasantness, it is relatively quick and will provide you with some very useful information.

So, to start, what is an HSG? Well, HSG stands for hysterosalpingogram, which is an X-ray used to examine your uterus and check for blockages in your fallopian tubes. The radiologist will insert a catheter through your cervix and inject dye. They will then take several X-rays of your uterus and tubes and check for blockages. If they can see the dye fill your ovaries and spill into your body, they can confirm that you do not have any blockages.

So, what makes this whole process so unpleasant? Well, let me tell you my experience. Upon my arrival, I was told that the room where they perform this test was currently occupied, but would be available shortly... 30 minutes later, it still isn't available, so the hospital decides to perform this test in a standard X-ray room. Now, I know that doesn't sound so bad, but let me tell you, without those handy dandy foot stirrups, its hard to get into the necessary position. But after lots of rearranging, and a couple pillows, I finally got into a manageable state and we were able to start the test.

That’s when the fun begins. When they insert the catheter, they have to inflate a small balloon to hold it in place while they inject the dye. Overall, it probably shouldn't have been too bad. I experienced some mild cramping, not much unlike menstrual cramps and very manageable. BUT (there's always a but) unfortunately for me, my balloon wouldn't stay inflated; therefore they had to remove, reinsert, and reinflate the balloon THREE TIMES. By the third time, I was almost in tears. This is likely because of the trouble they were having, and is in no way reminiscent of how this procedure always goes. The good news is that once they have the catheter in place, the procedure only too another minute or so. The dye was injected fairly quickly and was over before I knew it.

You'll also want to be prepared for what happens next. You should expect some spotting or light bleeding. In my case, it only lasted a couple hours, with some spotting the next morning. You should also expect some of the dye and beta carotene (used to clean your cervix before the procedure) to leak afterwards. They will likely provide you a pad to use afterwards, but be prepared and bring one with you just in case. Another thing I noticed afterwards was a change in my CM for several days following the procedure. My CM was thick/creamy, but also very stretchy (like over-powered EWCM), and goopy. TMI alert: Think cloudy/opaque rubber cement... I, of course, immediately got online and was comforted that this was normal and only lasted a couple days, which was true.

So that was my experience. Like I said in the beginning, no matter how unpleasant it was, my doctor recommended it for a reason, and I'm glad I went through with it. Luckily there were no blockages. I've also been told that many women who have an HSG have an increased rate of pregnancy in the next 1 to 3 cycles following the HSG, because it essentially flushes out your system. So fingers crossed there!

Lastly, here are some other links on HSGs. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to ask your doctor!

All About HSG

WedMD: Hysterosalpingogram

Picture: Normal HSG

Picture: Abnormal (Blocked) HSG

No comments:

Post a Comment