Saturday, January 19, 2013

Hysterosalpingogram - as fun as it sounds

That last cycle was a bust. Surprise! No, actually it was. I didn't ovulate at all. I got what might have been a positive OPK but no temperature shift. I really figured that 100mg of clomid would work. Apparently, nope.

I did end up ovulating the cycle before that, though it was fairly late. My OB doubted it actually was the clomid that had caused it, just that I happened to ovulate that cycle. Which seems to be my pattern anyways. I will ovulate one month and then not the next and then ovulate two in a row, though when in each cycle is surely anyone's guess.

With clomid being a bust I called my OB and admitted defeat. I asked for a referral for a RE. She said sure, she only does two cycles of clomid anyways, three if it's working, but it isn't working. She said however, the RE won't see me without first checking if my fallopian tubes are clear.

That's where the word hysterosalpingogram comes into place. On our trip to discover what is causing our, my, whatever, secondary infertility, I went on Monday and had the x-ray taken. Apparently it must be done between days 7-10 of your cycle so I had called her just in time on day 5.

Before I went I looked it up, which was only semi helpful, but almost all the accounts were from medical places and did not fully go over the whole scope of the experience. So I thought I would share my experience in case your OB or RE informs you, you need a hysterosalpingogram or an x-ray to check if your fallopian tubes are open.

After arriving to x-ray and filling out insurance papers (my test will be covered by my insurance, Priority Health covers diagnostic procedures only for IF), I was called back to a changing room. The very nice, fairly young, x-ray tech asked if I knew what test I was getting and I said, "yup, my OB is gonna shoot some dye up in there and it's going to be awesome" to which she smiled and said, "oh good, someone did tell you".

After changing out of everything but my bra and shoes, which wow, what a fashion statement, I changed into two cloth gowns, wearing one like a robe. I then walked with the tech down a hallway to the x-ray room. I was glad I had taken the time to shave my legs, not that anyone would have cared, but hairless legs made me feel slightly more confident while walking pantieless down a busy hospital hallway.

Once in the x-ray room I quick used the bathroom that was connected to it and then carefully, so as not expose my girly bits to the two nice x-ray tech girls, got on the x-ray table. They took one before shot of my bladder and apparently it looked normal because after that they paged my OB who was the one on the OB floor that day.

My OB, who I adore and have seen for the last decade, came in and knowing me like she does, said she was sure I had looked this up but explained briefly she was going to first put in a speculum, then a catheter and then the die. She then explained each step of the way.

Now let me tell you, being in an x-ray room with two techs while your OB is sticking a speculum up there is about as socially comfortable as one can imagine. I had to scoot my body down to the end of the x-ray table, which does not have stir-ups, plant my feet, still wearing my shoes, on either side of the table, while relaxing my body so she could get the speculum up there.

That part was no different than a normal exam and felt just as comfortable. My OB explained that the part that was different is unlike a normal pap smear, the speculum was staying up there for at least the next 15 minutes. Awesome.

She then cleaned off my cervix with iodine, which didn't tickle or hurt like I expected, instead it just felt like pressure. She then inserted a catheter through my cervix. This also didn't hurt and I attribute that to my OB who rocks at her job. It did pinch for a quick second but honestly was not that bad.

Then with all that hardware in here, I had to then scoot my body back up the x-ray table. The techs then got the machine ready and turned on a screen so I could see the pictures being taken, which I thought was actually pretty awesome.

At this point they then called for the head of radiology to come in. A dude. We waited about 5 minutes, all of us making awkward chit chat while we waited. He briefly and awkwardly said hi and then quickly turned his attention to my OB. He asked what we were looking for and she said secondary infertility was my diagnosis but that she expected my tubes to be open as I had had one birth before.

He nodded and then my OB told me he was going to take pictures as she pushed the dye through. Now, I'm sure you're wondering, does a hysterosalpingogram hurt? Hell yes!

This part did hurt. Holy shit hurt. It was the most intense cramp I have ever had in my whole life and reminded me of early labor pains. I had to breathe and close my eyes to focus. It thankfully, unlike early labor pains, was short lived, less than a minute.

After the x-rays were done, he dismissed himself and my OB announced happily that yes, my tubes are wide open. She then showed me the pictures and explained that my uterus looked fantastic and so did my tubes. She seemed quite happy with this and excited to show me. I smiled and nodded.

Happy news... my tubes are clear. Crappy news... still no idea why I'm not getting pregnant.

She then removed all the hardware and explained that I would have bleeding, like a light flow, for at least a day or two. She said on-line it always says spotting but she finds that's not true because "well your cervix doesn't like having things crammed up it". Seems legit.

I carefully got down from the x-ray table and used the bathroom to clean up. I was crampy for at least 3 days afterwards and did end up bleeding and then spotting for at least 4 days total. It wasn't anything so uncomfortable it kept me from doing anything, right after I schlepped myself back to work, popped a few advil and was fine.

My appointment with the RE is this February, right before Valentine's Day. Awesome. I'm not temping or peeing on anything this month. I'm tired.

And now you know way more than you wanted to know about hysterosalpingograms and my girly bits. Your welcome.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I just had one performed yesterday. Fortunately, it didn't hurt at all. No cramping, nothing. Don't read this forums, they will just make you anxious :) If you are thinking about being pregnant and having a baby, (which is likely because you plan on having this test done) this is nothing in comparison. [Wo]man up.