Thursday, February 11, 2010

My HSG Scan – Part 2

Part 1 – My story is here

Part Three – coming tomorrow!  Why I am feeling SO much better about things now than I was yesterday morning!

Part Two 
– includes My Tips for HSG Scans at the end of this post.

I’m not one for long posts – but there is just so much to say here and I wanted to get it all out in one hit.  So my apologies in advance!

An Update On Me

My ‘doing ok just a bit uncomfortable after the scan’, changed during the night. The cramping came on severely, I was bloated and I couldn’t even touch my abdomen. I had a pretty bad night and am so grateful for the day off today to help recover.

Now, I am better. I have rested this morning and the cramping has abated. I’m still tender and bloated and am very tentative about how I move and what I am doing.  Also I’m completely exhausted, but I am better. I am grateful for that.

As I was laying in bed last night, I remembered that the doctor told me just before he performed the scan that I may experience period cramps for a couple of days afterwards. He said that normal cramp medication would be sufficient. I’m glad I remembered he told me that. I guess I was so worried about what was about to happen, and all a little in the dark about it all, that I forgot all about it once I got home!

Had I known that in advance though, I wouldn’t have scheduled my supervised gym workout for that evening!!  Needless to say, I didn’t go!

I guess that is the thing about going public. You don’t get quite the same kind of care and attention. But it is also completely free, so I’m not going to complain about that! D and I took out hospital insurance three months ago. There is a waiting period of a year before we can use it, but I think if we ever need to decide to go the IVF route, we will want to wait until we can choose our doctors etc.

Receiving Information

I had four people talking to me about the procedure. Only one before the actual day of the appointment. That is really when I should have received the rundown of pain meds beforehand, what to look for in the monitor and what will happen with the dye (I didn’t even know it was going to travel through my fallopian tubes. I was under the impression it just lit up the area to reveal if there was any twisting in the tubes etc). 

And most especially I should have been told that there will be some bleeding afterwards.  I was SO SO glad that I went to the toilet straight away and noticed the bleeding.  Because I went straight back to the nurse and asked her.  Imagine if I had gotten home and saw I was bleeding.  There would have been worry and phone calls that would have easily been avoided with a bit of information.

What I was told was purely the technical side of the things (what would be inserted) and a cautious ‘mild discomfort like a pap smear’ warning. Except of course for the one nurse, who made it seem like, well I can’t remember now.  Something bad!!  lol  :)  I am grateful now that I understand a lot more.

Almando track

The Informative Forums

I came across several forums with woman asking questions and giving their experiences of their HSG scans. Here’s what I put together about it all.

There seemed to be a lot more women with painful experiences than there were with just mild discomfort. Glad I didn’t read that BEFORE hand! However there were women that said it was similar to period and a couple of ladies said it was just like having a pap smear – which is how the nurses described it as well.

However, the fact that some women were given anaesthesia, others ladies were given other forms of pain killers before the treatment, while others took pain killers themselves, or were advised to do so 30 minutes to an hour before they went in, certainly shows that pain is expected!

It is good to know some places take precautions for this. I certainly wasn’t offered anything or given any suggestion to do so! Instead, I was given reassurances that it would simply be uncomfortable. For me, that wasn’t the case. But for many women, there is just mild discomfort. But the best thing, is that it is all over with in just a few minutes!

It’s hard to know what’s worse!  Knowing that there may be a lot of pain and worrying about, but also being able to take pain meds as a preventary.  Or not expecting pain and maybe not getting any anyway!  Or getting lots of pain but it is all over in a few minutes anyway!  Who knows?!  All that matters really is that you get results.

Some of the pain you may experience is due painful muscle spasms. This can cause some problems with the dye getting through the tubes which can give an inconclusive result in regards to whether a tube is blocked or it was muscle spasms stopping the dye. If the results are inconclusive or there are any blockages in the tubes or other concerns, you may then get sent for a Diagnostic Laparoscopy. This involves a general anaesthetic and small telescope through your belly button into the pelvis to see if there are any blockages, possibly clear them and look for any other problems, such as endometriosis.

Many ladies said that the HSG scan would only be painful if the tubes were blocked and the dye was forced through the blockage, thus hopefully clearing it. If there was no blockage, then there would simply be mild discomfort as the dye freely moved through the tubes.

The Good News!

Now THIS is the hopeful bit! Many ladies quoted their doctors saying there is an increased chance of conception for the 3 months following the HSG scan. A successful scan flushes out the tubes, as well as changes the Ph inside to help the sperm. This can be your most fertile time!

I find that very hopeful! My experience was VERY painful, so if that means I had blocked tubes and now they aren’t – wow, fantastic!! If this process successfully cleared my tubes (and it wasn’t muscle spasms I was feeling), and takes me to a fertile time AND I get pregnant, then wiiiiiiiiieeeeeeeee, who cares about just a few minutes of pain! (although I must admit, if I have to have it done again, there will be painkillers involved!)

But who knows really. D wisely said that I could read the internet forever and never really know, because it is just the internet – full of all sorts of stuff from all kinds of people. You should never diagnosis on it, of course! But it has been so interesting reading other peoples stories and hearing about the information they have received. And in a few weeks time, after my Day 23 test, I will go back to the GYN to find out the results. What happened in that x-ray room? Muscles spasms, blocked tubes, none of the above???? I look forward to finding out in a few weeks! Yea  :)

Kaitpo Forest trees and seat

My Tips for HSG Scans:

*  Take painkillers 30-60 minutes before you go in.

*  Don’t go to the toilet, because you will need to supply urine for a pregnancy test first!

*  No-one can tell you how it’s going to feel for you. Different women experience different levels of comfort from “just felt like a pap smear”, to mild period pain sensations, to extremely painful. And of course, everyone’s pain threshold is different. 

*  Remember it’s all over in just a few minutes.  It’s highly worth the experience in order to find out what is going on inside.   And you just may have had some blockages cleared and move into a more fertile time.  Well worth it!!

*  Make sure your doctor talks to you about the results of the scan straight away.

*  Expect some bleeding and leakage afterwards. Having a panty liner in your bag is a good idea just in case!

*  Head home afterwards and take the day off the next day. Take it easy. Treat yourself to something nice!


  1. Wow, this sounds like quite a procedure. They always make light of tests and procedures which is easy to do with you're not the one on the table.

    Hope the results are great and this scan clears the way for a little one!

  2. Thanks Deb. We hope so too!!
    For something that in the end only took about 5 minutes, yes it is quite a procedure. Even today, I am feeling minor effects from it. But now that it is done, I am really hopeful! It is well worth it!
    Just don't make me go for one again anytime soon!! :)

  3. So please you are feeling better. You are helping so many women with this blog. I think it's wonderful. Love your photographs. Especially the gum tree trunk. One of my favorite trees in the whole world. I think they are so beautiful!

  4. Donna - I would love to think I am helping others with my own journey. That would be a blessing.
    Glad you like the photos!

  5. just ran across this blog, i just had my second hsg (recieved 2 shots of toradol this tome, beforehand) and shows my tubes are blocked distal end (by the ovary)my first hsg was 2 yrs ago and left tube was blockd completely at the entry and the rt tube was blocked distally, this time it went to the very nd of the tubes (yay!) but no spill, (booo) hoping it was just another spasm :D Goodluck to you.!!!!