Wed., 06-17/09 Hysterosalpinogram

Here’s one more for my Newbie Book of Infertility Treatment Steps:  my very first HSG.  It wasn’t loads of fun, like say the trip to Schlitterbahn, but it wasn’t as painful as the defensive driving class I had to take about 6 years ago.  (From then on, I vowed to just pay the darn ticket, but I never did get another one.)

A combination of Clomid side-effects and nervousness about the HSG this morning kept me up waaay too late last night.  I just couldn’t seem to wind down.  I watched the season premiere of True Blood (looove me some True Blood), watered the garden, watched an episode of HBO’s Big Love (still catching up on last season), baked a chocolate bundt cake, watched Monday’s episode of The Bachelorette, did 3 loads of laundry, hung a picture, suddenly remembered to turn off the water in the garden (oh, maybe 2-3 hours later), and finally just made myself go lie down around 2 am. 

Wide awake at 5:30.  I wasn’t worried too much about the procedure being painful.  I expected it to be similar to the mild discomfort of getting a PAP smear.  I think it was more the nagging worry that they’d find something really wrong with my works that kept me up. 

My appointment was at 8 am, and I made it in the door at 7:40 and started filling out paperwork.  Anna took me back to the room, which was a large room with a huge xray machine in the middle with a narrow metal bed attached to it.  She had me undress from the waist down and put on a gown open to the back.  While I was doing that, she laid a sheet down over the metal “bed.”  Even with the sheet, that sucker was COLD!  I could feel the cold seeping into my butt cheeks the whole time.  Fortunately she let me keep my socks on.

Anna had me scoot my bootay all the way down to the edge of the bed and assume the stirrup position.  She inserted the speculum, which was plastic (not cold, yay!), and was only mildly uncomfortable.  Next she inserted the catheter through the uterine opening.  At the moment she inserted it there was an “Oh!” moment of real discomfort, just a flash like a sudden, sharp, localized cramp that immediately dissipated into a sensation of mild overall cramping. 

Next she pulled the monitor close and began to inject the dye.  I expected to feel the dye being injected or to experience more intense cramping, but I didn’t feel a thing (although a mild cramping sensation persisted through the whole procedure).  It was so fastinating to watch the contrast fill up my uterus, which was small and triangular shaped.  My right fallopian tube showed up immediately after the uterus filled up, with spillage out the end of the tube (which is something they’re looking for).  The left tube took longer to appear, and I had a half a minute of worry that it was going to end up being blocked, but it finally made an appearance (also with spillage).

Anna had me bend my right knee and tilt my body slightly to the left, took another xray, then had me do the same on the other side.  I’ve read online that they do that when they are seeing a blockage, but maybe now it’s become standard during an HSG…?  I did see spillage out of the end of each fallopian tube, so I don’t think there are any blockages.  However, the HSG can also show abnormalities of the uterine cavity, like fibroids, adhesions, abnormal shapes and scarring that I wouldn’t have recognized on the monitor.

As soon as we were done she removed the catheter and that was it!  I cleaned up and got dressed.  She gave me a heavy pad to wear for the rest of the day.  Although the dye is clear, it is thick and sticky and it drains for the rest of the day.  I’m supposed to avoid sex, baths and pools for 24 hours to minimize the risk of infection. 

Now it’s mid-afternoon, and I wanna crash so bad!  I’m sooooo sleepy.  The mild cramps have persisted since the appointment, and have actually upgraded to moderate. 😦  I had to take a Darvocet to keep it mild.  But it could be a combination effect of the mild cramps + some Clomid ovarian ache.  It feels like the cramps go from my pelvic bone to just under my bellybutton.  They’re not bad, just persistent and annoying. 

I’ve also had some faint spotting, and what looks like flecks of sand on the pad/paper.  Maybe it’s debris that had built up and is now washing out?  Or maybe just bits of dried spotting.  Who knows?

I’m also known to be more whiny and dramatic when sleepy, so all this might be cured by a good, long night’s sleep.  Mom is coming to stay with us for the next two nights so she can help my brother with his two boys during the day.  He has them all summer but he has to go to a SWAT training thing this week.  When I talked to Mom on the phone after my appointment, she said she was planning to make chicken pot pie tonight.  Mmmm, comfort food.  The day’s lookin’ better already. 🙂

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8 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Kate
    Jun 18, 2009 @ 19:18:05

    Thanks SO much for walking us through your experience. That will be something Ill be doing very soon. I’m scared about it. On a pain level, how high was the pain?

    I HEART Big Love. Best show ever after LOST 🙂

    Reply

  2. iamstacey
    Jun 18, 2009 @ 20:08:32

    LOST rocks!! 🙂

    The procedure itself is only slightly more uncomfortable than a PAP smear, except for the moment they put in the catheter. And that moment was really quick. I have a feeling that getting the IUI will be a very similar experience.

    After the procedure I had mild cramps for about half a day, but by 2pm they had gotten up to moderate. They persisted all night and were really uncomfortable. The cramps were back to mild by morning and finally are gone now (evening). The nurse at the RE’s office called me today and I asked her about it, and she said that the cramps were normal, they were my body trying to expel the dye that spilled from my fallopian tubes into my body cavity.

    Reply

  3. Christy
    Jun 19, 2009 @ 18:23:33

    wow, thank you for sharing that. it’s funny you mention that you can keep your socks on-a great friend of mine has had ivf and she buys a new, fun pair of socks for every big procedure since it’s the only thing she can wear! I hope you are feeling less crampy and less sleepy!!

    Reply

    • iamstacey
      Jun 20, 2009 @ 01:41:17

      I dunno why I was so happy she let me keep my socks on. Maybe ’cause there’s something uniquely humbling about being tethered to a complete stranger by a tube thru the vag. Toe modestly was all the modesty I had left!

      Reply

  4. katery
    Jun 19, 2009 @ 19:40:30

    my hsg was pretty unpleasant. the sticky dye was super gross to.

    Reply

  5. myndful
    Jun 22, 2009 @ 15:36:51

    My HSG was very similar to yours though I didn’t look at the monitor much (but all came out peachy as I’m sure yours will!). The cramps afterwards were definitely worse than the procedure itself. Thank goodness they only make us go through it once!

    P.S. Thanks for viewing and posting on my blog! Adding you to my blogroll as well! Good luck in your “egg hunt”. 🙂

    Reply

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