Here comes the HSG

Next step on our IVF journey was having a HSG ( Hysterosalpingography ).

Who knew that there would be so many tests! A friend of mine asked me if I had had one of these done before and I said no, she then asked if I knew what was involved and I replied that it’s just an X-ray of my uterus right? Boy was I mistaken.

So here goes…….

I’m prescribed an antibiotic and some painkillers, the antibiotic is to ensure there is no infection and is preventative and the painkillers are to be taken an hour before the procedure as it can be uncomfortable and I can feel pain straight after, similar to period cramps.

We arrive for my appointment for the HSG and I’m led into a room with a bed, screen (for the medical staff to stand behind) and the X-ray machine, I’m led ito a side room and asked to get underessed and put a gown on and of course I oblige. I’m then led to the bed and asked to lie on it, the nurse that was with me was absolutely lovely, cracking jokes and being really reassuring.

I was then asked to put the soles of my feet together and drop my knees towards the table, kind of like having a smear test done, this is where the fun begins.

Next comes the speculum, it’s a plastic object shaped like a duck beak and it is inserted and then opened, again like having a smear test done, not painful at all just a little uncomfortable, this enables the doctor to be able to see the cervix more clearly.

So far so good, so next comes the ‘cleaning’ where my insides are cleaned in preparation for the procedure, after I’m all cleaned the doctor tell me she will be inserting a cannula into my cervix and this can be quite uncomfortable as it’s inserted but I’m not to worry, to be honest it wasn’t uncomfortable at all and it was done very quickly.

The X-ray machine is then positioned in the correct place and the doctor tells me she will be injecting the iodine solution into my uterus and I am to stay still, if it becomes to uncomfortable then to let her know and she will stop, now I’m getting a little nervous, how uncomfortable will this be?

Let me tell you, the solution is slowly inhected through the cannula, it’s a little uncomfortable and I think to myself ‘this isn’t too bad, I can deal with this’ then the pain begins! The feeling is like nothing I have felt before, kind of like having really bad period cramps while being filled to the point of bursting, I honestly felt like my uterus was going to explode! By now I’m crying out in pain, tears are streaming down my face, the doctor then asks me if I want her to stop. Inside I am screaming for it to stop but I tell her to carry on. In my mind I’m thinking that if I don’t have this test done properly I may not be able to progress with the IVF or I would have to go through this all again!

After what feels like hours of torture ( but is probably only about two minutes) the doctor states she is done and the nurse comes round to my head while all the bits are being removed she wipes the tears away from my face and reassures me, telling me I done great and its all done now (this nurse deserves a medal for her kindness).

I’m told I can now sit up and the doctor explains the X-ray to me, apparently my right Fallopian tube is blocked but is nothing to worry about as the left one looks great and sometimes this procedure can ‘unblock’ the tube.

I’m then led back into the side room and given a sanitary towel and told I can use the shower as I am likely to leak the solution out, I decide I would rather get out and get home. I quickly dress and go back into the doctor, she advises me to take it easy for the rest of the day and wishes me luck.

I go outside to the waiting area and find Jonathan, he gets up and hugs me straight away, he knows that I’m not great with pain and asks me to explain what happened, after telling him, he tells me that he heard some really weird noises, not knowing what they were at first and then realised it was me making the noises! Apparently I sounded like a dying cow!

For the next two days I was in quite a bit of pain, nothing to worry about but it wasn’t a great time. No one prepares you for the pain that comes with this test, but then again individuals deal with pain differently, unfortunately I am one of the individuals with no pain threshold, I fall over and want to cry! I hope I never have to go through this procedure again but I’m glad it’s done as it means we are one step closer on our IVF journey.

Ultrasound

Finally after a wait of a couple of weeks my appointment came through for my transvaginal ultrasound.

As I’ve never been through anything like this before I assumed that the ultrasound would be similar to the one you have when you are pregnant, you know the one, gel on the belly, then the wand swiped over your tummy and the picture on a little screen……

But nope, here is how it went…

First I was shown into a darkened room and asked to strip my clothing off from the lower half of my body (cue the confused look).

The sonogropher then asked me to take a seat on the chair (it’s a weird looking chair with stirrups), the chair was then leaned back, my legs put into the stirrups and a cover put over my lower half.

Now comes the fun part…….

The sonogropher pulled over the screen and the from the side pulled out what I can only describe as an alien probe. It’s a wand like thing and it’s around a foot long and quite thin. Below is a photo similar to the one used on me.

When I saw that I nearly passed out!

The sonogroher then explained how the ultrasound works. After checking that I understood, she asked me to relax (which is a little difficult with your legs suspended and all your bits on show) and began.

So the probe is lubricated and inserted, a little uncomfortable but manageable, then she moves the probe around a little to try and get a clear picture on the screen, she checked the left side and then the right, after what felt like hours (but was only minutes) the sonogropher said she was having a little difficulty seeing a clear image, she then asked me to put my hands flat on my stomach and push, I did this and she said she had a much clearer image.

After a little more probing the wand was removed and I was told I could get dressed. Once dressed the sonogropher asked me to sit down (in a normal chair this time) and explained that my ultrasound was normal from what she could see and everything was fine, the results would be sent to my GP. I would need to book a new appointment with my GP and take it from there.

Next was the HSG….

Tests tests tests

In 2016 we decided that it was the right time for us to go ahead with IVF.

The first thing to do when starting IVF is to have loads of tests done to try and determine where/if a problem exists.

Jonathan had to do a sperm test to check the count and motility.

I had to have numerous blood tests, the first was done straight away, then the next was done on day four of my cycle and day 21. All of this was to test my hormone levels.

After a short wait we went to the GP to get the results, my blood tests showed that everything was within normal parameters which was good news, next was Jonathan’s sperm test results, these showed that he had a low sperm count and motility was less than three percent ( we were told that less than five percent motility was very low ). This would explain why we were having trouble getting pregnant.

We were then advised by the GP that a couple more things needed to be done before our referral to the fertility clinic, I would need to undergo an transvaginal ultrasound and a HSG (hysterosalpingogram). As this is done via the NHS there would be a short wait for these appointments to come through.

So we wait……..

Our journey so far……..

Hello, my name is Devika and this is my blog about mine and my husbands journey through IVF and beyond.

Let me start by telling you a little about myself…….

As I mentioned my name is Devika and my husband is Jonathan, we have been together since 2003 and married since 2009.

We met in sixth form at school and hit it off straight away. Very early on we both knew we wanted to be parents but we’re too young. After a few years we decided to get started on the journey through parenthood so in 2009 we came to the decision that it was the right time for both of us and this is where our story begins…..

So during my teenage years I was on contraception, the Depo Provera injection and when we were ready to start a family I quickly stopped the contraception. We knew that it would take time for my body to adjust back to normal so we just got on with practicing!!!! After about two years we were wondering why nothing was happening and decided to go and see the GP but we came across a problem, I was still registered with my GP where I used to live and Jonathan was registered where he lived (although we were living together).

When I went to see my GP she was happy to run some tests but advised me that it would be a lot easier if we were both registered at the same doctors surgery. I was sent to have some blood tests done and Jonathan was sent (by his GP) to have a sperm test done. My blood tests all came back normal but Jonathan’s sperm test came back as having low motility and low count. We thought about it and decided that we would just keep trying the regular way.

As most people know, life always gets in the way when making plans. Jonathan and I moved home, which meant we were registering at the same GP. Unfortunately Jonathan’s health had started to deteriorate so our plans for starting a family were put on hold, we were only 25 at the time so we thought we had loads of time….

Jonathan has a condition called syringomyelia, which he had to have surgery for, so far he has had four surgeries to try and relieve the symptoms but unfortunately they have not worked, he is slowly becoming less and less mobile which is terrible for him.

Even though Jonathan is getting worse we came to the decision that we wanted to start the fertility journey again, this was two years ago and this is where my blog begins. Stay tuned for the first blog post of the beginning of our treatment!