Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Infertility Testing: The HSG

One of the first things your doctor will ask you to do if you are having difficulty getting pregnant is the HSG, the Hysterosalpingogram (you better believe I had to look that one up!).  It has to be done about 7-10 days after the first day of your cycle, when your lining is the thinnest.

The HSG is an x-ray test that is used to check the "plumbing."  The doctor injects dye into your tubes and then checks everything out on a screen to make sure there aren't any blockages and that everything is present.

I was totally freaked out about getting an HSG because I had heard some girls have major cramping during and after the test.  I put it off much longer than I should have.  I had forgotten that somewhere in my endless hours of Google research I had learned that the HSG can actually increase your chances of getting pregnant for the few months following the procedure.

Here's how it went: I got the test done at a place that only does radiography.  I checked in and paid my $300. (I will go over my insurance situation in another post.)  I wore a cotton skirt and shirt and was allowed to keep them on during the exam.  You have to put your legs up kind of like the OB/GYN stirrups, but under the knee and your whole leg is in the air.  There are two people in the room, just like during OB/GYN exams.  They insert something (like a speculum but don't remember exactly) then put a smaller tube through your cervix.  This part feels a bit weird.  For me it didn't hurt exactly, but it was not comfortable either.

KEY: Take 2 Ibuprofen before the appointment.  I did this and that might be why I had no problems.

After the dye is inserted it slowly makes it's way through your tubes and YOU GET TO WATCH!  It's totally weird but cool.  I had no idea that fallopian tubes are really long and look just like angel-hair pasta. They are super skinny and stringy.

I passed the test with no problem.  I had to wear a pad for a few hours for the dye, but honestly not much came out.  I had mild cramping but nothing too uncomfortable.

And...we got pregnant during the same cycle, so maybe it did clear something out?  Here's hoping it works the cycle after also!

Did anyone have a similar experience or was yours of the painful variety?


  1. Can I be honest and say that the idea of a HSG scares the crap out of me???

  2. I was too! But it really wasn't that bad...