HSG: The final (testing) frontier

Category: pregnancy Tags: conception

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This is an intense week of testing due to scheduling and where I am in my cycle. I had my last test today, the HSG, or hysterosalpingogram. (Say that five times fast.)

The HSG is simply an X-ray of most of your girl parts. The purpose is to make sure your fallopian tubes are open. Open tubes means your eggs can travel from your ovaries to your uterus without any problems. Closed tubes means your parts are closed for business.

It is a super quick test that they say feels almost like a pap smear. It does not. In reality, the speculum is the only part that is similar to a pap smear. During the test, they insert dye into the cervix. The X-ray machine is used to watch the dye as it travels through your system. Your tubes are open if the dye makes it to your ovaries.

Before going in, I thought the HSG was a big, long procedure. It is not. It literally takes 5 minutes. Seriously. Giving my urine sample took longer. (Then again, I didn’t really have to pee. Oops.)

If you are reading about the HSG, you have probably read that there could be some cramping and spotting. Your mileage may vary, but that was a big old yes for me to both.

Here were the “oh my” points of my visit. I don’t want to scare you, so skip ahead if you don’t want to know:

  • The speculum pinched. A lot. Then again, I was super tense. My advice: relax. (Easier said than done, right? I mean, telling someone to relax is probably the least effective way to actually get someone to relax. But seriously, relax.)
  • Dye made me cramp. It was about as bad as when I cramp for my period. I imagine that this was my body saying, “what on earth did you just put into me?!?” It went away within a couple of minutes. I did take an ibuprofen ahead of time. I like to think that helped.
  • I am definitely spotting. I have no idea if I’m spotting blood or dye, but something is coming out. The techs said it should stop by tomorrow.

I like ending with “yay” points, so here are a couple of those:

  • Everyone was super nice. I saw a total of 3 different people: the intake nurse and two technicians. Everyone explained everything that would happen and then again as it was happening.
  • The workflow was very efficient. I basically followed a path from initial chat to urine sample to undressing to test to redressing. There were pads and wet wipes at the end. It was one of the best doctor user experiences I have seen. (As a web developer, I appreciate good UX.)

Also, in case you were curious, all systems are go for me. May yours be as well.