A hysterosalpingogram ("HSG") is a special kind of X-ray that looks at the inside of the uterus and fallopian tubes and the area around them. It often is done for women who are having a hard time becoming pregnant (infertile). It is pronounced he-ster-o-sal-ping-o-gram, but luckily, almost no one calls it by the full name. They just say HSG.
The HSG helps the doctor check out two important factors:
1. Whether or not the fallopian tubes are blocked or open. If the fallopian tubes are blocked, a woman will not be able to get pregnant, because the egg can't meet the sperm.
2. Whether or not the shape of the uterus is normal. In 10% to 15% of women with recurrent pregnancy loss, an abnormally shaped uterus is to blame.
A few days before my HSG procedure, I was googling on it and came upon some bloggers recounting their experience with HSG. One blogger's experience made we so worried that my stomach went tied up in knots. Basically, she felt so much pain during the procedure, and the pain lasted for several hours after. I immediately stopped reading, and tears fell down my face (gedik kan, belum pape lagi dah nangis). But yes, I cried, thinking of just how many challenges I will have to go through to get that beautiful baby, and this is just the first little challenge, and ini pun I dah nangis teresak-esak. Tak senonoh kan. Well, that was just a small breakdown moment I guess, I was also feeling kind of pressured kannn with all this not being able to get a baby business. However, when the day finally came, I was surprisingly 100% ready.
DA asked me to go through with the procedure with Dr Fatimah at Hospital Tawakkal. So hubs drove me there this time, yes I need his support, takoottt!!! It was Tuesday, 1st of October 2013, my CD11. I was really scared but remained calm. After registering at the X-ray department, I waited for my name to be called out.
When it was my turn, I was brought to a room with an examination table, some huge scanning equipments like the ones I always see in Grey's Anatomy, like a CT Scan equipment thingy. I changed into the hospital gown, and walked back outside to a chair waiting for the next instructions. Terkial2 tau my hands nak pegang the opening behind me, the velcros on the gown was not really working so when I walked, the whole world could see my behind, thank you very much. But luckily there wasn't anyone around, only nurses la.
Then my time came, I was asked to lie down on the examination table, with my knees raised and legs slightly parted as usual. Dr Fatimah ("DF") came in, she looks garang but rupanya when she started speaking, lembut sgt and very nice. She made small talk, asking me how many years have I been married, and other simple questions which actually helped to ease my ketakutan.
|Me on the examination table|
DF started by inserting a speculum (i call it mulut itik cos it looks like one) into my VJJ, this is similar to getting your annual pap smear. Then, my cervix was cleansed with an antiseptic solution, and a small flexible catheter (wow now I am sounding like the doctors in Grey's) which is much thinner than a coffee stirrer was inserted through the opening of my cervix and into my uterine cavity. Then DF removed the mulut itik, and then she injected a small amount of dye passing through the catheter, filling my uterine cavity and then filling my fallopian tubes.
There was a "fluoroscopy" monitor screen next to me, which is a "live" x-ray that allows us to watch as the dye is travelling through the tubes. The tubes are considered open when the spillage of dye occures at the end of the tubes. This means that the dye has escaped the tube and thus your tube should be able to "pick up" your ovulated egg.
|Live view of the fluid flowing through|
However, this was the step that I dreaded, as when the dye was gently infused into my cavity, some cramping occurred as my uterine cavity distends with the fluid. It is more or less like heavy menstrual cramping, but more to sengal2 sikit, sengal2 banyakla jugak kot when DF injected the fluid for the third time!
But dont't worry, the doctor will always ask you if you can still bear the discomfort or not, and they will remove the catheter as soon as they've obtained a nice clear picture of your uterus and tubes. Some people still experience the cramps for several hours following this procedure, but for me alhamdulillah takde ape2 sangat. I was in the midst of my closing week, and I had to rush to office thereafter and worked till my 1 a.m. night shift ended. Oh and do use a pad or panty liner perhaps for 1 or two more days after your procedure, as there will be some bleeding.
Then you will just have to lie down for about 30 minutes just to make sure that the fluids are flowing through and take another X-ray. Cost of HSG at Hospital Tawakkal is RM180. Oh and they also need a referral letter from your doctor for this procedure.
My results: Both fallopian tubes are functioning normally, and uterus is looking okay.
YEAAAYYY!! Syukuralhamdulillahh!!! Can't wait to show Dr Adilah my beautiful X-ray!!