My HSG, A Pas de Deux in Three Parts

If there was ever a need for a sign that infertility has really warped my sense of humor (which was pretty warped to begin with), it’s that when I was on the table for my HSG and Dr. Uterus was getting ready to get started, all I could think was that we were about to perform a medical pas de deux. I mentioned this to Dr. Uterus and said that the only difference is that I wasn’t wearing a tutu and he wasn’t wearing tights. Much to my horror, he said, “how do you know I’m not?” I warned him not to make me laugh while he was putting delicate things in delicate places.

Having an HSG really is a delicate dance. I had to lie on a very flat, very uncomfortable table with no stirrups, but I still had to lay like I was in the stirrups. Dr. Uterus explained that he was going to insert the speculum and then the balloon catheter, while demonstrating the balloon. I really hate the speculum, and I think I’ve had more than my fair share of cold metal encounters with it. But, such is your lot in life with infertility. In went the speculum, and then the catheter (all of which is pretty much like a typical IUI). It got very uncomfortable with the balloon inflation, but that was just the beginning of the fun.

Once the balloon was inserted, he then pulled the speculum out half way and the radiology technician pulled me up the table while Dr. Uterus was still holding the catheter down below. They got me positioned and I saw the initial picture of the dye making its way through my uterus and the tubes. At this point, it was getting really uncomfortable with major cramping. The last HSG I had was also very uncomfortable because the tubes were completely blocked. This time, it wasn’t as painful, but it was still unpleasant.

When he got all of the pictures that he wanted, he removed the nasty balloon catheter and the speculum. I was able to lie like a normal person again waiting for the cramping to go down. Dr. Uterus and I chatted for a while and eventually I was able to go to the bathroom. Much spotting ensued and I was finally on my way, a full hour after I was supposed to be finished.

The good news: the tubes are open and ready for business. Incoming!

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