From my perspective and experience, here's what they do when you have to get a dreaded HSG test to check to see if your tubes are blocked or if there are any other problems that could be inhibiting fertility. First off, this goes into the TMI category but in the spirit of full disclosure of my experiences, I guess this whole blog is TMI...
HSG Test1. Arrive with a full bladder, they will make you pee in a cup (not sure why??). Doesn't help to wait while nervous with a full bladder... Read the waiver form in the waiting room. Freak out because it says something about seafood allergies and the iodine being a risk. (Of course, I'm allergic to seafood...)
2. Meet the nurse and pee in a cup. (Nice to meet you!) Pass the test. :) Nurse tells me that I'll be fine with the iodine and that it's an outdated form but she'll let the technician know and she might use a different rinse. Nurse took my height, weight and blood pressure and explained the test procedure. Hands me a Kleenex as I get teary eyed from my nerves listening to the procedure and the googling I did earlier in the week... (The nurse was super friendly, especially for a 7am appointment, and you can really tell she has experience calming the nerves of many, many patients! She is so good at her job.)
3. Go into the xray room and go into the changing room to put on a gown over your sweater and booties on your feet. Recline on "bed."
4. Insert speculum and catheter and then slowly inject dye. Small, round x-ray machine is floating above your abdomen and captures the image in real time as the fluid goes up one tube, into the ovary and then out into the abdomen. Repeat towards the other side. Feels like uncomfortable pressure and general ickiness but not sharp pain at all if they do it correctly (which they did). I heard that it lasts 2-3 minutes but I think they were way faster than that.
|HSG results (not mine)|
5. Immediate results= all clear! You own doctor/nurse team will follow up with you later in the day.
6. Go to Panera next door to make it all feel better. Go home to stretch and do some yoga before work.
7. Wear a pad, no tampons allowed, as the brownish/orange dye will leak out and you may experience spotting and cramping (I did).
AftermathI went on the birth control pills after passing my day 3 ultrasound and before the hsg test. The original plan was to discontinue the pills after getting the hsg all clear. Because of my husband's need to get more blood work done (to prove he doesn't have hiv, etc), our timeline got put on hold again. With vacations and wedding festivities for friends, we have to delay further because I need to be in town for monitoring. It just feels sometimes like the roadblocks keep on coming but at the same time, we are so lucky to be living such full lives.
I kept cramping/spotting for almost two weeks after the hsg test which is abnormal. Not only was it uncomfortable for a long period of time, it was also incredibly inconvenient because I was on vacation at the beach. Horrible time to not feel well and not be able to use a tampon...
After a week of bleeding, I contacted my nurse from my vacation spot and after exchanging emails, she recommended that I go to the emergency room to get an ultrasound. I decided not to go because we were out of the country and would be returning to the US in a few days.
Upon returning home, the spotting ceased with just 3 birth control pills left before I will get a period again... but hopefully this time it will lead to something more positive and less stressful.