HSG (Hysterosalpingogram)

Before I tell you about my HSG, I’d like to tell you what it is.   A Hysterosalpingogram is an Xray that looks at the uterus and fallopian tubes.  This is done by inserting a catheter into the uterus and inserting dye.  Xray’s are taken as the dye passes from the uterus through the fallopian tubes.

Let me preface this by saying I had my HSG done in January 2014 at my local hospital.  I live in a very small town and the doctor that could do the HSG was only in our hospital once a week.   He was a doctor that didn’t only do HSG’s, he did many procedures that included Xray.  If I have to do it all over again, I’ll definitely go to my RE (reproductive endocrinologist) to get the HSG done next time.

HSG diagnostic Test

I took the day off for my HSG.   I was told ahead of time to take Advil or ibuprofen because it would be uncomfortable and give me cramps.  I was also told that I may bleed afterwards and there would be dye leaking out of me so I should bring a pad with me.  This was the best advice I received.

I went to the hospital at the appointed time and was taken back to the Xray room.  My husband was not allowed to come with me.   I got undressed and put on a gown.  They had me climb up on a metal table with a pillow on it.

The doctor walked in and greeted me.  He had a heavy accent which made it hard to understand him.   He told me to come to the edge of the table and used a speculum.   I was on that table for 20 minutes while he tried to get the speculum in place.   It was so uncomfortable and I couldn’t understand what was taking so long.  I know my uterus is tilted so that ma have been it.  The doctor was getting impatient by this time and finally got it in.

He then took a paintbrush and painted my thighs and private areas with iodine.  He told me this was to make sure I didn’t get an infection.  He then took out a catheter and a syringe.   I started panicking at this point.  He told me not to worry, it wasn’t a shot, I’d be fine.   I had never had a catheter in me before and didn’t understand what was going on.

The tech started taking Xrays and the doctor put in the catheter.  It was uncomfortable but didn’t hurt.  When he inserted the dye it started to hurt.  It only lasted a minute but I had serious cramps during that time.  When it was over he took out the catheter and the speculum.  The nurse handed me a large white towel and pointed me to the bathroom to clean myself up.

That was it.  No instructions or anything.  I got off the table with iodine and dye running down my legs.  I was mortified.  I ran into the bathroom where I wet the towel and cleaned myself up the best I could.   I then put the pad on (they didn’t give me one) and left.   I was crampy for most of the day and I did spot all day long.

While it wasn’t a horrible experience, I could have saved myself the inexperience of the doctor by going to my RE but at this point in my journey I didn’t know any better.   In the future I will only go to the RE for this type of testing.



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