The one with the HSG test

Ok, so I actually got the HSG done a few months ago (November, black Friday actually), but I remember searching for people’s experiences about it and didn’t find much, so I wanted to put mine out there.  This was before I found this wonderful little community though.  Guess you gotta know where to look!

So.  It started with a pregnancy test.  I had to go to the lab on Tuesday afternoon after work.  I called my OB-GYN’s office (this was before we had started anything with the RE) on Wednesday afternoon to get the results and they confirmed a BFN.  I had to start an antibiotic Thursday morning if I remember correctly.  I believe it was 6 pills, one in the am and one in the pm, 3 before the procedure and 3 after.  Thursday was Thanksgiving, so I tried to just enjoy that even though I was nervous about the next day.

Friday morning, I got up and got ready in yoga pants because I had read (and my Dr probably told me) that there can be cramping and discomfort so I didn’t want to wear jeans or anything.  I had the whole day off from work because I could.  DH took the day off as well.  My Dr said that people sometimes do this on a break from work, but I figured since my work allows some of us to take that day off no problem, I might as well take advantage of that (and after having it done, the women who do this on their lunch break must be either A-crazy, or B-related to Wonderwoman).  So we went to the hospital and checked in at the outpatient surgical part.  We had to wait awhile, about 45 minutes after my test was supposed to be.  I still have no idea why, but since my Dr delivers babies, I always just assume that’s why there are delays.  It makes me happier than any other possibility.

Finally a nurse came and took me to the area where I could change into the gown.  It’s beautiful, I feel like a princess! … Wait…. Nope, just a nervous, sweating girl with a scratchy gown that kept breezing open on me.  I sat on DH’s lap (no one else was back there) to keep my gown from opening, and to get some reassuring hugging in.  The nurse came back and explained what was going to happen:

I’m going to go in, there’s a table to lie on, like when you get your PAP (anyone else hate that term?  I always just call it ‘my annual appointment’).  Dr. E will put the tube inside me and push in the dye that the x-ray machine can see.  I may experience some cramping.  Then he’ll take it out and I can clean up.  There will be some wetness, but my body will absorb most of the dye.  There shouldn’t be much bleeding, but I shouldn’t worry if I see a little, but if it’s a lot, I should call the Dr.

I asked if DH could come in with me for it.  She said that they don’t usually do that, but she could ask the Dr when he came in.  So she went to get the room ready and called me in a bit later.  They had me get into position on the table and then Dr. E came in.  The nurse then remembered about DH coming in and asked me if I still wanted her to ask.  Since she checked again, I kind of felt like I must be being a baby about it, so I told her I’d be ok without him.  Only to regret that decision later.  Nothing crazy happened, I just wanted his hand to squeeze when I was in pain instead of the nurse that I had never met before.

So, up the tube went.  It was uncomfortable, but not painful.  One of the nurses was right next to me, telling me what was happening as it was happening, and rubbing my shoulder.  In the dye went.   … You know how you have a thought so much faster than you can speak that thought?  As I sucked in my breath in pain, I was thinking things like “OH MY GOD, where’s my husband?  This SUCKS. Labor and delivery has got to be worse than this, by a lot, and I don’t think I could survive hours of this!  How do women do this for hours??  We need to look into adoption! I can’t do this! I suck!  I’m such a baby! We’ll adopt, it’ll be fine!” And plenty more, but it only takes a split second to think all that.  Dr. E was talking as he was doing his thing and he was able to see on the machine next to him that there were no blockages or anything.  I thought he’d be looking at images after the fact, but apparently it was like a monitor he could view as he did the dye.  So he was saying “ok, everything looks good here, nothing to worry about, everything’s fine” in his slow, reassuring tone, and I was thinking “ok then, get this stuff OUT of me now then!! Suck it back into that tube!”  The nurse was really nice, squeezing my shoulder, saying “I know, you’re cramping, it’s ok, it’s almost done, it doesn’t last like this.  You’re doing great, almost done now.”

After what seemed like forever, but could’ve been all of 5 minutes, start to finish, Dr. E was done and out and the nurse helped me sit up and had me stay there a minute because I was sitting on an absorbent padding.  I cleaned up and then they let me go change and sent me home with my husband.  I was still in pain, but nothing like when it was happening.  Just uncomfortable-ness.  I wished we had known better where we were going so we could’ve parked closer.  Soon after we were in the car, I realized that I should’ve had a liner, or even a light pad.  I felt like I was leaking out all the dye, or bleeding or something.  DH stopped at his mom’s about 15 minutes away so I could use the bathroom.  It turned out to be nothing really.  It just felt funny.

We went home and relaxed and watched a Christmas movie because I was still a little uncomfortable.  Later that night though, I had DH put our tree up and then I decorated it and I was fine moving around and stuff.  I was still crampy, and thankful for yoga pants, but it wasn’t anything major at all.  If I could do anything differently, I would remember to take a pain killer before the procedure, and I would have a heating pad or ice pack (I don’t know which would be more beneficial for this, ask a Dr…) ready in the car.  And I would’ve said, yes, please do ask the Dr to allow DH to come in and hold my hand.  I was fine, but the comfort of my supportive husband would’ve been nice.

How were your experiences with an HSG?  I know everybody’s different, they say it’s not bad for most people, but the few experiences I’ve read on blogs since seems to tell a different story…

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7 thoughts on “The one with the HSG test

    1. I thought of that when reading one of your posts. You said something about your cervix and I cringed thinking of the ‘extra’ pain you must’ve had during an HSG. Not that I want anyone to experience pain, but I’m glad I’m not the only one who thought it was painful! Leading up to it, everyone (nurses and stuff at the offices) was saying ‘oh it’s not that bad, you’ll have a little cramping’…. Umm, no. It was flat out painful. Thanks for commiserating!

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  1. Oh man, my HSG was horrible!… The pain was much more than I was expecting (and I was expecting bad). And even though it does only last a matter of minutes, it still feels like eternity in the midst of it. I also had the exact same thought as you though! – “Labor has got to hurt a lot worse than this, so suck it up!” 🙂 Plus. while still on the darn table, I got the news that I would need surgery – not fun at all. I wouldn’t wish that experience on anyone.

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  2. I had my HSG test and decided I was a big girl and told my husband to stay at work. (They do allow your partner to come in the room during the procedure but I figure “How bad can it be”. It was horrible and when I get adrenaline rushes I tend to pass out. Yup. As I was walking away from the table I told my nurse, I don’t feel right and POW! Face first on the floor. I woke up to the doctor and the nurse rubbing a cold cloth around my face and then getting a stretcher being brought in so I could lie down. Lovely. An hour later I got dressed, walked to the car with a sore nose and a scrap on my forehead.
    So glad I do not need to go through THAT again.

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    1. Oh jeez! That sure adds an unnecessary complication! The two times I’ve donated blood (or really, the one time, and then the attempt at a second), I’ve thrown up. So I’m worried that’ll happen if and when I give birth from the blood loss. No fun! hahaha

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