Tuesday, March 31, 2009

HSG Hurts

No matter what they say, the HSG is uncomfortable. I think it is even more so for those who have not had children. It involves inserting a catheter into the cervix and using that catheter to instill dye into the uterus to visualize all of the reproductive structures. HSG stands for hysterosalphigography for anyone who is interested. As mush as I appreciate the down to earth nature of my doctor, I wish he had better prepared me for the test. My husband did not even come because he made it sound like such a quick and simple procedure - so I told him not to bother coming. That is not the case.

I highly recommend premedicating with something like Advil or Aleeve prior to the procedure that may help make your experience more comfortable. The insertion of the catheter feels like a deep internal pinch, once the catheter is in a balloon is inflated to hold it in place. The next painful piece is the injection of the dye. This feels like a constant cramping, similar to menstrual cramps. What made this worse for me was the fact that my tubes are completely blocked. This being the case, the doc actually tried to force them open with the dye and had me tilt onto both of my sides (none of which worked) in an effort to open them. I was in so much pain that water was coming to my eyes and I wanted to jump off the table. I so wished my husband was there.

In the middle of everything, the catheter slipped out, so I had to endure the pain of reinserting the catheter again. As I stated the end result is that both of my tubes are completely blocked. The next step is laparoscopic surgery to see what exactly is blocking the tubes and to what extent they are blocked. First the doc wants my husband to have a semen analysis incase we need to start looking at IVF options as well. This will also give me time to recover from the HSG and the emotions involved with that.

The journey begins.


  1. Oh my golly the HSG is hell. I just had my second last week. I will say that the second wasn't as bad as the first (my catheter popped out too that time!) because the PA from the fertility clinic was much more skilled than my obgyn. But with one blocked tube, she put so much pressure on that dye to try and get it through. Yowza!

  2. Uggh...sorry. I would have warned you to take 4 (200) Advils an hour before going in. Makes it so much better.

  3. Oh, I'm sorry. :( I've heard that the HSG is hell for women with blocked tubes. You should've been warned by the doctor.

  4. I hate that I did not think to read any blogs before going in for the HSG. But now I know. My doc is very sweet, but I think he underestimates the pain involved. Plus like one-hit_wonder mentioned, having the blocked tubes did not help. Well, I know for the next one.

  5. Hi! and Welcome!! I would just like to say that I am so sorry to hear of your news, but do know that in this community you will be surrounded with wise and comforting women/men. And if I can do anything let me know.

    I had a blocked tube and I completely empathize with the pain. I am very shocked that your doc did not tell you to medicate before.. I was instructed as mentioned in one of the other posts to take 4 motrin before hand. I'll tell you though, I dont know how much it actually worked :0) I just had my lap surgery on 3/20 and am now recovering (my tube had to be removed). DH and I both have issues, as he was the initial one diagnosed with azoospermia. I wish you luck with everything and I will be reading along.

  6. Hi - I just read your post and your experience was almost identical to mine!
    I had my HSG 2 days ago and I still feel incredibly sore, like I have been punched in the guts. I had one tube completely blocked and the other partially, so also need to have a lap next.

    I found the HSG to be physically painful although not unbearable, but emotionally tough. I was not prepared for the emotional aspect of having your fertility checked in real time, whilst you are watching, and then a negative result. Its really hard now having to wait 3 months for the lap without knowing what comes next.