Things I wish I would’ve known
When I was first told that I have to get an Hysterosalpingogram (HSG) test done I was nervous, scared and a little naïve too. I booked an appointment and canceled it, thinking that I might not really need it, or I would say that I was not convinced enough for the need to get it done. After few months, I had to go through a lot of health issue which might or might not have been avoided if I had done the HSG test. So, if your OBGYN asks you to get the HSG test done, please get it done. If you feel like you might not need it or you have any questions, talk to your OBGYN, they will definitely be able to clarify your concerns.
The second time when I was asked to get the HSG test done, I was waiting for my periods, so that I could book the appointment. And, after I got my periods, I immediately booked an appointment. HSG is typically done between 6 to 11 days of your period cycle. When I booked my appointment, I was asked to come 1 hour prior because they would have to draw my blood to test pregnancy. I was also asked to take over the counter medication (two Tylenol or Aleve) half an hour before the procedure since I would be experiencing cramps during the test.
At the hospital center
I reached one hour prior to my HSG test as directed. Luckily, I did not have to draw my blood because they said that they would just get the urine test done. Once the urine test was completed, I was ready for the HSG test. When I got to the lab I was asked to change into the gown that was provided. I was also given a pair of socks and a couple of blankets to cover me up as the lab was freezing. While I was waiting there, preparation had started for the test. Once the doctor arrived, she told me that she would explain me the process as she is doing it. She explained me each and everything she was doing which I have explained below in the question/answer section. I did feel strong cramps during the test, which lasted for 15 to 20 minutes even after the test. I had light bleeding after the test, I was prepared and had packed a pad with me, but they also provide the pads. It was more of spotting which lasted for a day for me.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]
Do your own research
When women are asked to get the HSG test done, they will definitely have a lot of questions regarding the g need for the test, the process and the after effect. I had many questions and did quite a bit of research when I was asked to do the test first time. When I was asked to do the test second time I thought I would go without doing any further research, as I felt that I would know the best when I would undergo the procedure. But I would be out there googling HSG again. I have listed some of the question/concerns that women may have regarding this test, since I myself had a lot of questions initially.
Frequently Asked Questions About HSG
What is HSG?
HSG stands for Hysterosalpingogram. It is a special type of x-ray examination of the fallopian tubes and uterus. In medical terms, hystero means uterus, salpingo means fallopian tube and gram refers to x-ray.
Why is the HSG test done?
HSG is mostly done to check the condition of fallopian tubes and uterus. The test will determine if the fallopian tubes are blocked, which can cause infertility.
What is the procedure for HSG?
Firstly, a speculum is inserted into the vagina in order to view the cervix, similar to a Pap smear, and the cervix is cleaned with an antiseptic solution. Then, a thin plastic catheter is placed inside the cervix. Once placed, a small amount of contrast dye is passed through the catheter into the cervix, filling the uterus and fallopian tubes. A special type of X-ray imaging technology called fluoroscopy is used to provide a live X-ray that allows the practitioner to watch as the dye fills the uterus and travels into the tubes. The X-ray machine will also be moved once in a while to get a better view.
Is HSG test painful?
It is obvious to feel little discomfort during the test. While getting the test done I felt strong cramps which lasted for maybe 15 to 20 minutes even after the test was completed. It was definitely not an excruciating pain and I will not rate the pain level as we all have different capacity to bear the pain. I had mild pain in my pelvic region that entire day later, but I can’t say for sure if it was due to the HSG test.
What are the side effects of the HSG test?
Some of the side effects of HSG are abdominal pain, cramps, vaginal spotting, and or watery discharge.
Can periods get delayed after the HSG test?
Periods should not get delayed due to the HSG test
Do we bleed after the process?
Initially, when I had light bleeding right after the process was completed, but later on, it was mostly spotting. For me, it lasted for that day, but sometimes it can last for a couple of days as well.
How and when will I get my test result?
The detailed result will be sent to the ordering physician on the same day. But, since it is a live x-ray, the doctor performing the test will be able to tell you if your fallopian tubes are blocked or not right away.
How to prepare for the test?
There are some things that can be done from the patient’s end to prepare for the test. Some of the things that I think are important in the process preparing for the test are as follows:
- Do not stress, it is a normal test and not a critical procedure.
- Most of the infertility related procedures are not covered by insurance. So, give a call to your insurance or talk to the provider regarding the cost and coverage, so that you won’t end up paying more.
- Take a pad with you.
- Wear comfortable clothes.
- If you have any allergies, note them down and provide it to the clinical staff
- Stay calm throughout the procedure.
- Talk to the doctor if you will be needing any pain medication and when should you take it.