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.