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Wednesday, July 26, 2006

HSG (Hysterosalpingogram)

HSG (Hysterosalpingogram)
by Carolyn (otherwise known as the Heads Up Queen--not to be confused with the Heads Off Queen from Alice in Wonderland)

Why Would You be Having an HSG?

The HSG is one of the first diagnostic tests an RE runs when you’re having trouble conceiving. It is usually given shortly after the first infertility appointment, no later than CD 12 of your latest cycle.

Common problems that can be diagnosed with an HSG include: blocked fallopian tubes, uterine polyps, fibroids, and uterine defects such as a septum or a bicornate uterus.

What You Can Expect

The HSG is performed in the radiology department and is usually administered by a radiologist and an RE. You’ll lie down on the table underneath an x-ray machine, and the RE will insert a speculum as if you were having a PAP smear. The RE will then insert a catheter into your cervix and inject a clear dye into your uterus. For most women, this is the most uncomfortable part of the procedure. To me, the dye felt like sharp, strong menstrual cramps that lasted for a little over a minute. After that, I felt no pain at all.

While the RE is injecting the dye, the radiologist will take pictures of your uterus and tubes. Most of the time you should be able to see what’s happening on a screen somewhere in the room. You’ll be able to see the shape of your uterus, and if your tubes are clear you should be able to see each tube and then the dye as it spills out into your abdominal cavity.

If your tubes aren’t clear, the procedure may be more painful since the dye can’t spill out. The RE may try to force a closed tube open by injecting more dye, and this sometimes works.
After the test is over, you’ll be able to get dressed again and may go over your test results with the RE immediately. If not, your RE should schedule an appointment with you fairly soon to discuss the results. If your appointment isn’t for several days, try to get at least a preliminary report from the RE or radiologist while you’re still in the room.

Make sure to bring your own pad to the hospital or clinic because the dye is very messy and will be leaking out of you for several days. Dye that remains in the abdominal cavity is absorbed into the body. You may also experience some spotting after the procedure, but not heavier than a period.

There is some evidence that suggests that there is an uptick in fertility for the three cycles after the HSG.

Problems That Might Arise

Pain is the most common problem associated with the HSG. Some women experience only mild discomfort, while others experience severe pain. If you have a tight cervix the insertion of the catheter will be very uncomfortable. Occasionally, if you are experiencing severe pain your fallopian tubes may close even though they’re usually open.

If you are allergic to iodine, make sure you tell your RE before the procedure, since the most commonly used oil-based dye contains iodine and can cause an allergic reaction. There is also a water-based dye that can be used if you have an iodine allergy.

There is also a small chance of infection associated with the HSG, so your doctor should place you on antibiotics for several days before and after the procedure. If you feel more pain or experience heavy bleeding after the HSG, contact your doctor immediately.

Personal Tips

Since the HSG is usually the first invasive fertility procedure most women go through when they’re having trouble conceiving, it can be overwhelming and emotional. I did an acupuncture session the morning before my HSG, which was a wonderful way to stay calm and focused during the procedure.

Talk to your doctor before the HSG if you can. Ask them to tell you what they’re doing as they’re doing it, and don’t be afraid to tell them when something hurts. In my experience, REs seem to think that an HSG isn’t a very big deal. It’s a VERY big deal to the woman who is lying on the table, both physically and psychologically. Anything you can do to remind your doctor that this isn’t just “business as usual” for you will help.


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Lollipop Goldstein said...

Maybe I'm going to sound like a big wuss, but the HSG was the most pain I've ever experienced. It's my 10 when they ask you how the pain is on a scale of 1 to 10. Giving birth to twins vaginally did not even come close to being as painful as the HSG.

When my RE scheduled the test, he casually said, "uh, do you have any percocet or something similar at home?" (as if we all have these things lying around the house for such occasions). When I answered no, he waved his hand and said, "it's okay, it's okay, I was just going to tell you to take one before the test in order to deal with the pain."

I ended up taking an ativan because I was a bundle of nerves. I think Carolyn sums it up perfectly--if it's your first procedure, it can be very emotional because it sets you on a certain path. The pain was tremendous, but the worst part was the radiologist. She looked at me when I screamed out a curse that begins with the letters "M" and "F". And she said, "it doesn't hurt that much." Of course, she had never actually HAD an HSG so how could she know...

All I can say is that it was painful for me. And anything you can do to relax beforehand is good. And anything you can do to pamper yourself afterwards is good. And I agree with Carolyn that doctors sometimes just don't get how huge this test is (emotionally and painwise) so speak up for yourself and make sure your needs are met.

Serenity said...

One of the best things my RE told me before the procedure was to take 800mgs of ibruprofen an hour before the HSG. It really helped, I think - my HSG was still painful, but not horrible.

Lisa P. said...

I got some advice beforehand that said to take 800 mg of Motrin one hour before you go to the hospital. For my first HSG, I did that, plus I took a xanax since I was rather nervous. It was painful, but bearable.

For my second HSG, I figured that since it was bearable I would go with just the Motrin. Ouch. Regretted that the instant the catheter went in, whereas the first time it only hurt when the dye was injected.

One other thing that I recall is that my first HSG and subsequent diagnosis (septate uterus) was not conclusive the day of the test, and the radiologist really scared me by suggesting that I may have Ashermans. It turned out that what he thought was a scar was actually a small benign polyp (which was only confirmed at my surgery). I guess what I'm saying is don't get too upset at the initial interpretation if it isn't what you're expecting, because it may not be accurate. Easy to say, hard to do, I know; but try to keep things in perspective at the time of the test.

Anonymous said...

I agree, it was the most painful thing I had ever felt. It only lasted a minute but it brought me back to the pain of my first miscarriage and left me a bundle of tears on the table. The doctor was cold and just walked out of the room, but luckily the nurse was kind and patted me on the back, which only made me cry harder.

Anonymous said...

My HSG wasn't all that bad in terms of pain. I think the reason was largely the nurse and tech (the woman who inserted the catheter and the dye). They had both had HSGs, so they knew what I was going through and what to tell. They were very honest about when something would hurt, and pretty much put me at ease.

The bad part for me was after the HSG was over, every time I tried to sit up I would nearly pass out. I'm not sure what that was about, but after the third time the nurse told me to stay laying down for 15 minutes and not try to get up. So she stayed with me and we talked about infertility and testing and treatments. She had been through most of the tests and done IUI, but had stopped before IVF when she and her husband decided to stop trying. It wasn't a fun experience in the least, but it was my first experience talking face to face with someone else who'd been through what I was facing. Her honesty and kindness actually lead me to look almost fondly on my HSG. Crazy, I know.

Ella said...

My HSG was really painful when I had scarring in my cervix and uterus (post D&C). It was definitely a 10 on your scale. But, after the scarring was treated with a hysteroscopy, I'd say the HSG was more uncomfortable than painful. I think it's blocakge (whether it's in the cervix or in the tubes) that correlates with the pain of the HSG. Also, immediately after the HSG - I felt irritated down there. Kinda itchy too, but that went away after 15 min. I think I had some sort of reaction to the catheter, not the dye. I'm not sure if this is common or not. Definitely take 2 Motrin an hour before the procedure.

Southern Comfortable said...

The most painful part of my HSG was when they inserted the catheter through my cervix. I had cryosurgery many years ago, and it's apparently left my cervical opening smaller than average. (Thanks a lot, doc. Argh.) the dye itself was certainly not pleasant, but it wasn't ungodly painful, either. It was not a "10" on the pain scale for me. It was, however, hugely embarrassing and uncomfortable. I took four Advil beforehand.

Anonymous said...

My doctor said the HSG would be slightly uncomfortable.I have had two vaginal childbirths and donated one of my kidneys and will say i have a high tolerance for pain. It was more than slightly uncomfortable.However, whats been more of a puzzle to me is the bleeding that occurred immediatly following the test,and following sex.ANd now,three years later, i will bleed heavily after sex if its not gentle. Anyone experience this>?

J Rene said...

I had mine done on friday. It hurt more than I was told that it would. They told me it would feel like my period was getting ready to begin.Yeah right! If I had periods like that every month, I have a sex change! Thank God we don't have to do that every visit!

J Rene said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Lollipop Goldstein said...

Anonymous--that sounds worrisome. Have you gotten it checked out by a doctor?

BigP's Heather said...

My HSG is scheduled for next Tuesday (Oct. 3) and I am terrified. I just wanted to thank all of you for posting your stories. It has really helped me.

Anonymous said...

I just has my first (and hopefully only) hsg on Thursday (today is Sunday) I must admit I have NEVER felt so much pain in my LIFE. I screamed like crazy. The doctor said he was having trouble getting the liquid to go through my right tube so he pushed super hard - I thought I was going to die. The bleeding has finally stopped but the pain has not (not severe but certainly uncomfortable) My husband and I tried to have sex for the first time since the test and I am in so much pain now - WHAT THE HECK! How long and how badly did you guys hurt after the test? (oh, apparently there are no abnormalities - it was just a little tissue blockage that is now gone)

Lollipop Goldstein said...

Anonymous--I'd call your doctor and report the pain. I felt sore afterwards, but the pain mostly stopped after the test ended. I walked out with some cramps, but not the intense pain that I felt during the test.

Are you also on antibiotics? The dye can cause an infection so antibiotics are usually given with the test.

Anonymous said...

just been for hsg today was in pain dont get results till a month juat hope the pain doesn't means there's a blockage somewhere

Lollipop Goldstein said...

Shell--they should have been able to see on the screen immediately if there was a blockage. Did you see the dye spill out on the screen? It's strange to have to wait a month for results because most of the time, you walk out of the test with the results (or receive a report from your OB a day or two later). Did they give any explanation for the wait?

Anonymous said...

I had an HSG last week and it was definately very high on my pain scale. That being said, I also have two friends who have had them and both said it wasn't bad so I suppose it all depends on your situtation and doctor.

At any rate, I wanted to add a comment here about it hurting more with a tight cervix. This is definately true.

My doctor actually stopped the test after trying for almost 40 minutes to do it becuase it was too painful due to my "small cervix". (Of course I got home and was convinced that I was not only a wimp but was also in someway completley anotomically abnormal.) I've since been told that this only means that I have a small cervix - nothing more - and that it does, indeed, make the procedure much more painful.

To be specific, the dye felt like pressure on my organs in that area and made for some cramping but the actual clamps and pulling on my cervix are what felt horrible. Also, I'm not sure if it was due to my complications or not but I had some slight cramping for about three days and some spotting. I was also very sore in that area for a couple of days (imagine that after being propped open for 40 minutes - hahaha.)

Anyway, I second the ladies above who advise taking advin beforehand. I also agree with the comments above about this being an emotional test. If this is your first dip into the realm of this sort of testing, you should definatly have a supportive person with you.

Anonymous said...

I had mine done 1 week ago today. I'd read the comments on this site and was terrified. I had truly worked myself into a barely controlled state of panic by the time I laid on the table.I took 2 Xanax and 2 ibuprofin 600mg before the procedure. The procedure itself was painless. The doctor had a problem finding my cervix. (I had cryosurgeries 13 years ago which may have been a factor.) but even with that, I barely knew anything was happening. I had *slight* cramps when he injected the dye but other than that nothing. Considering this, I was rather unprepared for the pain I felt on Saturday. My uterus was *very* sore and tender. I was okay as long as I kept up with the ibuprofin and didn't do anything - walking and getting up were a challenge. Sunday I was still a little sore and tender but by Monday I was fine. I didn't bleed or even spot.

After the procedure, I commented to the nurse that I expected much more pain. She said every person's experience is different. It really depends on the size, shape and location of your cervix. The doctor's competence is a huge factor as well.

I'm *NOT* posting this to boast or brag but to maybe reassure someone that it doesn't always hurt. I'm grateful I had this information but it also scared the crap out of me.

Anonymous said...

My HSG wasn't that bad but was emotionally difficult. Having a medal rod screwed into your cervix ain't so much fun. It was really quick though. But I had no pain afterwards and hardly any cramping. I of course had a cranky(male) doctor and a x-ray tec and student x-ray tech. I was like - anyone else here want to see down there - we're having an exibit!

Anonymous said...

I had my first HSG yesterday. The pain was very severe. I cried and was squeezing the radiology tech's hands so hard during the procedure you would have thought I was in labor! Anyway they did not end up succeeding in the procedure. They could not get the instrument used to inject the dye through my cervix. Therefore I went through all of that pain for nothing. They told me they would not try again because I had been through enough for one day. What I want to Know is why don't they give you something to relax you during the procedure? What would be the harm in that!! Oh yeah, and I was never told that it was going to be painful.

Anonymous said...

i had my first and last hsg on mon the 8th and it wasn't very nice, the doctor was great and very gentle but it still hurt and was very uncomfortable, i wasn't advised to take any tablets before hand but i wouldn't want to go through that again, in the end it was worth it because my tubes are clear, other family members don't understand what it's like with their stupid comments.

Anonymous said...

Alright, you guys have absolutely freaked me out. I have mine next Monday.

Anonymous said...

I was searching on internet regarding the HSG & PAIN, because it was THE MOST PAINFUL THING EVER and I think ladies should know that. I had it done yesterday (Cycle Day 10) and it was excruciating! I also cried on the table. I have had 2 mc's and thought I could endure the pain. I was wrong. Ask your dr. for a sedative or something

Anonymous said...

I had my HSG 4 months ago and although the procedure didn't hurt, I was doubled-up in pain within a few hours and nearly passed out. This continued for 2-3 days and then lessened. Now I still get cramps after orgasm, which worried me quite a lot. I'm just about to go into IVF and I'm worried that I could have been damaged in some way - can anyone help with this?

Anonymous said...

my dear is easier said than done, since the first day my personnal doctor told me to go for hsg, i rejected it immediately saying is not possible for me to have any problem in there, but unfortunatetly after 11 months of trying ,i was refer to a gyn. he told me the same, i made up my mind to take this bold step. i was looking for a radiologist that will do it without pain, i couldnt find one. infact the pain i went through seven days ago,i will not pray my enemies go through, in short it is painful. pls come up with something less painful

Anonymous said...

well, i had HSG like 4days ago and the pain was excruciating and terrible infact when i remember the pain i went through i have goose bumps over my body but the dye wasnt as painful as the procedure maybe 'cos i have painful M, anyway the pain didnt last for long(dye insertion)and i didnt even take any pain reliever.

Anonymous said...

I had my HSG today--and no one told me to take anything. It was extremely painful. I have lost one tube to an ectopic pregnancy and was very worried about the other one. At first no dye would spill at all, and then when they used more contrast for a few more minutes it all spilled out. Could this have removed blockage? Thanks for any info, the techs didn't tell me much. :) Thanks--ash

Anonymous said...

Hi Everybody. I had an HSG today. I was pretty scared, but learned a lot about the procedure before hand. I took 4 ibuprofen an hour before. For kicks, I also took a Xanax which I happened to have on hand. The staff were really nice and patient, which helped. It did hurt- but about as much as I was expecting. I wouldn't call it "bad menstrual cramps" just because it came on so quick and was a rather sharp, deep pain. But once I got over the initial "shock" of the first bit of pain, I just breathed in as calmly as I could and that helped. My body reacted by getting hot and clammy and I was breathing fast- so I tried to control that. It was all over in less than 3 minutes. Luckily for me, I've never experienced a "10" on the pain scale, so it's hard to say. I'd give it a 4 or 5.
But- we're ALL different, and all experience pain in different ways! I felt crampy on the ride home- about 30 minutes, but no pain after that.
Hope this helps! OH- one more thing! Whenever I have a gyno appointment- anything uncomfortable and embarrasing like this- I schedule a chocolate sundae afterwards!!

Anonymous said...

I had my HSG today, was nervous all day about it but it turned out was nothing like what I thought. I kept reading everywhere that it was excruciating painful but I hardly felt a thing. Not much more than a papsmear for me. I had some spotting after but no pain. Hope this helps someone... guess everyone's experience is different.

Anonymous said...

I had an HSG yesterday, and am having strange sharp (not crampy) abdominal pains on my right side when I stand up. I'm wondering if this is normal? As for the procedure, I really didn't have much pain at all during and just some slight cramping after. The radiologist told me that everything looks normal.

Unknown said...

I am scheduled for my HSG on wed after reading all this I am really scared. My doctor told me to take a couple tylenol before. I was reading up on the procedure and it said you are not supposed to have sex for two weeks after does anyone know if this is true?

Anonymous said...

I have my HSG this Wed adn am now petrified - more concerned though if anyone knows when you can have sex? some say 3 days some say 2 weeks...

i do not want to skip trying the month of June since we missed May due to business trips...ughhh

Tina said...

I kept hearing before my HSG that it would be a killer in terms of pain. But I actually felt nothing. I don't know why. However, my doctor did tell me to relax as much as possible during the procedure (I think I was given Valium, not a painkiller). I do have a high pain tolerance (I went on to have two natural births -- which did hurt, so I can feel pain), but I thought I should echo earlier posts that everyone is different -- don't psych yourself out expecting the worst pain in your life, because it's possible that going in tense could make it worse! My two cents...

Anonymous said...

I just had my HSG yesterday. I was really nervous after reading everyone's comments on the internet but it was not that bad at all. The worst pain was later that night after the test -- very painful to use any of my stomach muscles. I took 4 Ibuprofein before the test which I think really helped.

Anonymous said...

I'm having an HSG tomorrow and I absolutely scared now. I keep telling myself it won't be that bad. Afterall, giving birth is gonna be worse right?

Anonymous said...

I had mine today...wasn't bad at all! little cramping when the ink was injected, but other than that it was like having a pap. I was really really nervous after reading all of these comments. I was really lucky or I have a great doctor cus it was painless!

Anonymous said...

I just had my test, after reading these posts, I became so nervous, I asked the doc for some anti-anxiety pill. She gave me valium instead. I think the worst part of this all is that I got sick from all the medications I took. In the morning, I took the antibiotic, around 11 am, I took two Aleves, then at 12 noon, I took the valium. I had my procedure at 1 pm. When I got to the hospital, I was throwing up, maybe from all the meds and having an empty stomach and having drank lots of water. So be careful with the meds you take, don't mix it all up or take it on an empty stomach.

All that medicine gave me a headache and I threw up twice, once in the lobby bathroom and the other, in the radiologist bathroom. It was mostly water I threw up, yuck. I thought I had to cancel the appt. because I could not breathe.

Anyway, the actual test was not bad. The worst part was when they kept moving my legs left to right to take photos. I didn't feel the dye spray or anything, just a little pain when they stuck that long thing through my cervix, but very tolerable. After, I wore a small napkin, but hardly anything came out, a little blood, but I didn't see no dye. Was the dye brown, I'm not sure. On the pain scale, I rate this HSG test a 3. On the pain scale for the meds I took before the test, maybe an 8, due to my headache, imbalance, and barf feeling.

Also, it helped that the doc I had was nice, he was gentle and you could tell he was not doing this thing in a hurry. The nurse was the tough one, whenever she moved my legs around in a rough way, I thought that thing was going to come out and rip out my cervix. But like I said, that was the thought and fear, it didn't hurt as much as others here had perceived it.

Good luck to those about to do this, you can do it! It almost felt like just a papsmear, you know, when they stick that long q-tip and swab around in there.

Anonymous said...

I had my first HSG on Friday. The radiologist and tech were super nice. The pain for me was about a 7, but only after I left. There was only a pinch when the catheter was inserted and more like pressure when the dye was injected. My results were that one tube looked normal and one looked swollen and blocked. Neither of them spilled freely into my abdomen and I'm a little concerned. I was previously diagnosed with Endometriosis, so maybe there is some scarring. Does anyone know how long the wait is for intercourse? I've heard from a couple of days to 2 weeks. Keep me in your prayers.

Anonymous said...

I had my hsg done on fri (today is Sun) and I wish that I had found this site sooner. Like many that I have read, this test was so extremely painful; I almost passed out in the middle of it. I went into this test not really expecting to find anything wrong, but was saddly mistaken while in the middle of the test, my doctor asked if I even had a right tube. Of course, this came as quite a shock since I of course assumed that I did since I have not had any previous issues that would lead me to think differently. When i said that I assumed that I did, they then said that there must be a total blockage since nothing was flowing thru the right side. Talk about emotional pain along with the physical pain that I was feeling. I am now just wondering how to find out what it could be and how to solve it; it is hard since everyone including the doctor just keeps saying, "Well you only need one tube to get pregnant". If they only understood what it is like to be trying and not be successful. Good luck to all that go thru with this test, and hope that it is not painful for all. I agree, I don't wish this on anyone.

Anonymous said...

Today i had HSG, and i had really need pain. I did take a vicodin before the procedure, which did help with any discomfort. I really believe that if your doctor is experienced you will have minimal pain. More important pray!!!

Anonymous said...

Had my first HSG today - was very scared like everyone else. However, I have a college friend who is a radiologist and she told me to take 2-3 ibuprofen an hour or two before and have some on hand following the procedure.

It was definitely very uncomfortable - and they had to inject a second dose of the dye to find my other tube (they found both and apparently my fibroid is not distorting my uterus). I just kept telling myself it was worth the discomfort to finally know what was going on - and I tried to stay relaxed and go to my 'happy place.' :) My doctor had an HSG while trying to get pregnant - so she was extra understanding.

Afterwards, I felt about 20-30 minutes of typical bad period cramps/nausea/blechy stuff - but then it cleared up (thanks to advil, apple juice and fig newtons!) and since then it has just been some sticky/spotty discharge.

I have my fingers crossed that the old wives tale of getting pregnant after an HSG is true (my friend has heard it a lot in the hospital as well).

Good luck to you all!

Anonymous said...

Ladies, I just had my HSG (Aug 3) and I was really anxious and scared after reading all of the horrible stories. It was not painful, but slightly uncomfortable. Me being tense is what made it worse. The worst part was that my cervix was not cooperating and the Dr had to continually probe it in order to insert the cath. Otherwise, it went very quickly and was relatively painless. My tubes were clear so that might have played a role. So, I want to encourage those of you that are scheduled to have this procedure that it is NOT that bad.

Anonymous said...

I had an HSG yesterday, quite frankly the test was a breeze, I took 400mg of ibuprofen an hour before and I was fine. However about 3 hours later the cramping started and it was severe, much worse than any period I've ever had or even after my miscarriage, getting up and walking was close to impossible. I felt pain in both my upper and lower abdomen all night. However today the pain is only in my lower ab and it's tolerable. I empathize with all you ladies who had a hard time during the test. All the best!!

Anonymous said...

I had mine a few weeks ago and had worked myself into an awful state about it. In fact I cancelled it twice - I'd been told I have a very small cervix and that that would make it worse. Anyway,I took some painkillers and didn't find it painful. Uncomfortable and embarrassing yes but painful no. (My tubes were both open though.)

I've since been told that I have an almost inaccessible posterior cervix which menas that an IUI I had the other day was agony. I have another tomorrow. I think the HSG nurse must have been vg as it is largely the same sort of procedure.

I'm just thinking about the IUI and thinking "well it's over in a few minutes". Good luck everyone. xx

Anonymous said...

I just had my HSG 8/21/07. i went on my lunch hour, being that muy specialist said it was a nothing procedure. Boy, was that far from the truth. When the dr. inserted that cath, it was uncomfortable, when he started pushing the dye in- THAT WAS MY 10!!!! I could not believe the pain!!! I almost broke the assistance hand and boy was i voicing my pain. Turns out, my r tube had a minor block- the dr said that is why it hurt so much. he asked me to go to the bathroom and push all the dye out- as i did this, a yellow/brown mucos-like substance came out (I'm hoping that was the blockage) and had me come back and get 1 last xray. i sat in the waiting room for my xrays and wanted to pass out!!! i drove myself back to work, and when i finally got home, i had a small grade fever and cramps. i lay down for awhile and the was unable to walk properly. my husband had to tend to my every beck and call. i could not do anything. i had spotting up to 8/24/07- which i was told is normal. to finally rest, i took 4 advils... it was the only way i, or my husband, was going to get any rest that night!!!

i want to know if nausea, headache and pelvic pain is normal... since the procedure, i have not been feeling all that great...

Anonymous said...

I had my hsg 8/24 and it was very painful and I really felt like i was in labor. I have been cramping and bleeding for 3 days now, i talked to the radiologist and the doctors office twice today and they don't seem to think I should be bleeding and cramping the way I am and are putting me on hormone replacement therapy to try and stop the bleeding. Has this happened to anyone else?

Anonymous said...

i had my hsg today and was very nervous, based on the comments here and elsewhere on the web. i had a sonohysterogram in the past and remember that was mildly painful and was expecting the hsg to be even worse. well it was fine, i did a lot of breathing exercises and had just minor discomfort and barely a cramp. i was advised not to take any ibuprofen or aspirin beforehand and to only take tylenol, if needed, afterwards because ibuprofen and aspirin cause bleeding.

just had to post this to let people know it's not always horrifically painful. don't be too scared, it's all over in a matter of minutes.
oh, and my test was just fine. nothing is blocked! onward!

Anonymous said...

My goodness! From these comments, I'm going to assume most of you have never had children. My HMO recommended 800mg motrin 3X before: the might before, the morning of, and one hour before, plus antibiotics the night before and morning of. While it was not picnic, the meds definitely helped.

I had a HSG after an Essure procedure; I've got two kids already. The uterus gets stretched in that process, generally making this whole ordeal more comfortable.
Again--not as fun as champagne brunch, but I've had worse dentist visits

Anonymous said...

Hi all,

I had my 1st HSG today after eight years of avoidance. I am 35years with two ectopic pregnancies to boot. Yes, I know. How sad!! Tired of weeping.

After reading a lot of comments and hearing from friends, I was in a state especially as most have claimed that the tubes being blocked might make HSG more painful since the dye cannot spill out.

Well, my Gynae prescribed some antibiotics for before and after and I got her to prescribe some strong pain killers as well which I took an hour before the procedure.

Today was a terribly emotional day for me and I had worked myself into such a state; crying off and on. It really is so difficult to face the realities of your fertility even if you already are aware of what might come up based on history. Am sure someone out there can relate to this.

I had three ladies; one the doctor, the radiologist and the nurse. I let them know I was quite frightened of the procedure and this is important because they become aware that there's need to be more delicate.

What happened? I am almost ashamed to say it was a breeze with the slightest of cramps if any when the baloon was inserted. I didn't even get to be moved from side to side which I have read about a lot, rather, the equipment was swayed from side to side to take the pictures. What was I fussing about? I also tried to look at the screen and chat with the ladies, that helped a lot.

Over between 5-7mins, report not good: tubes blocked, scar tissue found in uterus. What can I say???

Have had slight bleeding and no noticeable soreness the rest of the day.

I think it all boils down to the expertise of the person, the equipment used and some strong painkiller before the procedure and of course practiced breathing.

Better luck to the next person. Now I am looking into my options.

Anonymous said...

I am scheduled for a HSG next monday I'm really nervouse yikes, I'll be sure to take 2 extra strength Tylenol tablets.... hope that works for me;) hope I get pregnant soon! well as everyone else who's trying!

Anonymous said...

Hey guys, had my hsg today. I put it off for 6 mo's because my risk of blockage was minimal. Finally, I decided to get it over with in case I need to progress on to injectables. I took 800mg of Motrin and 7.5 mg of Valium one hour prior to the test. I asked my tech questions such as how much dye was to be injected, would they need to dilate the cervix, length of time of procedure, etc. My procedure was quick. Fortunately, I am a nurse and my interest in the procedure itself helped, plus my MD kept me talking the whole time. Everything looked good for me and my tubes were open. I wonder if that has to do with the amount of discomfort each person has. Meaning the fact as to whether they have a blockage or abnormalities. I did experience some cramping during and for a short period after. The most strange thing for me was the bleeding. I was a bit shocked. It was a bit more than spotting. My advice to everyone.. medicate. Not only with motrin or aleive (tylenol will be ineffective) but with some anti anxiety med. Good luck to everyone!

Anonymous said...

I'm do for a HSG in 2 week's my doctor said to take "Motrin" or "Tylenol" I stated to her sounds painful from all I read about it from some post's. She stated to me everyone is diffrent and I should not be dooped up when I get the precedure. She said it's better to be aware what's going on.

Anonymous said...

I just had my HSG done three hours ago. I read this blog site and was absolutely terrified going into the procedure. By the time I was on the table, I couldn't stop shaking. I was expecting so much pain, but was relieved when he completed each step and I was still only in medium discomfort. I took 800 mg of ibuprofen the night before, then another one about two hours before. I made sure a had something in my stomach and had enough water to go with the motrin. I don't consider myself a trooper or especially pain tolerant, in fact just the opposite. So my attitude prior to the HSG was pretty pessimistic.

My right tube seemed blocked at first, so they had me tilt from side to side, then they put in the rest of the dye, and the radiologist noticed a small amount of the dye flowing out of the right ovary. The doctor was checking for fibroids and anomalies, my case is more about abnormal bleeding instead of fertility. So unfortunately, this won't be the end of my testing because I need to investigate further with a hysteroscopy to find out what is causing the mid cycle bleeding/pain. The HSG did not reveal much for my doctor.

I wanted to relay my experience to let others know that there is a chance that maybe the procedure might not be too bad for them as well. This blog really freaked me out and I was prepared for the worst, but my experience was tolerable. The worst part of it was when the doctor wiped my vagina out with betadine when the procedure was over, that really stings!

I think reading this site made me expect the worst, but it also helped to prepare me (taking the motrin, making sure I had something in my stomach, etc) The hysteroscopy is next, and again I am kind of scared, I think it sounds a little more invasive and painful, since apparently you "do" get anesthetics for it (?)
Best of luck to any of you out there, I just want to give you all some hope that it may not be that bad.

Anonymous said...

Thanks alot for your advice, my hsg is this Mondy=) hope I get prego soon after.

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Hi ladies. I just had my HSG today, and frankly, after reading all of these posts, I was terrified to the point where I called the doctor early in the morning - just a few hours before the procedure - asking him additional questions as he did not provide any information on how to prepare for the procedure (I am not living in the US, so medical treatment is a little bit different in the country I am living in). As a result of the reading that I did - on this site specifically - I took 600 mg of Motrin the night before and 600 the morning of AND a Valium to calm my nerves. I practiced my breathing before I got there and did the same while I was on the exam table. It really helped. I can't lie - the metal tool that they used to keep me open to put the catheter in was really painful. When the catheter hit my cervix and the dye was sent up into the tubes, I experienced additional pain, but I held onto the table and curled my toes... not two minutes after, it was over. The doctor was very informative as he showed me the pictures of the dye going through the tubes. The result was good - they were clear. The dye emptied into the abdomen, and I sat up, put a pad in my undies to collect the remaining dye solution, and off I went. I was a bit sore, but shortly after laying down for a few hours, I was up and walking around with no problems. Thanks for the pointers everyone... and I hope that this post serves to be hopeful and helpful for anyone else going through this.

Anonymous said...

I have never posted anything before but I just got done with my HSG 2 hours ago. WOW did it hurt and I was given no warning or advise to take anything. Thank you for everyone's post, I now know for some it is normal to be painful almost to the point of throwing up! I also think the doctor could care less and he made me feel like a big baby! I asked the nurse on the way out about it and she said it varies from woman to woman. Some feel nothing, others pass out, she said I was in between, little did she know I felt like passing out too!

Anonymous said...

I am very new to all this infertility business. I have PCOS, and my RE wants me to have an HSG test done, however, I am terrified of it. Just the vaginal sonogram was horribly uncomfortable, so I can't imagine what this will be like. Question: Do I have to have this test??? Why can't I try to concieve on clomid without this?

Anonymous said...

Hi Girls,
'Just wanted to let you know --I had an HSG done today and it was not painful AT ALL!!!! You all really had me scared to death and all for nothing! My doctor was very competent/understanding, which did help, I admit. But, it was nothing like what you all had said about severe pain. Anyone out there who may have this procedure done...take heart! It's not bad :-)

Me said...

Just want to add that HSG is NOT a good tool for diagnosing uterine anomalies such as bicornuate or septate uterus. HSG can certainly tell you that there is an anomaly but it's pretty unreliable for defining WHICH one. This is significant because a septate can usually be easily removed surgically, and carries a high risk of miscarriage if left intact.

Anonymous said...

I had my HSG today, and I was terrified! I have PCOS so this was my first experience with fertility tests. I have to say, it was probably the most pain I have ever felt. I didn't find the dye too bad, it was the actual insertion of the catheder. I have been home for about 8 hours now, and I am still very crampy, it hurts to stand up and walk around. I hope this is normal.

Best of luck to all of you who have an upcoming HSG!

Anonymous said...

Hello I am new to the whole blog thing. I have a HSG scheduled for monday and I am terrified almost to the point of canceling. I am really not even sure if I have a high or low tolerance for pain. I went to the ER and they had to put a cathedar in and I thought that was the worst pain in my life and this is more extensive then that. Even though when I was younger I had bad cramps compared to what everyone else has been saying this is worst than cramps. I am not even sure I am going to go through with the procedure now I might just pray and hope that I get pregnant some day.

Anonymous said...

Hello everyone well I did it. The test really wasn't bad at all. I was so scared after reading this blog that I cried when they told me that my husband couldn't come back with me and I almost cancelled. It was really quick and I had minor cramping a couple of hours after the test. Thank you all for advising the pain medication first.....that probably had something to do with the procedure being painless. Oh Yeah I almost forgot....everything is clear. :)

Anonymous said...

Wow. Glad I found this. I have my HSG scheduled tomorrow, and had no idea about the pain factor. I'll admit, I am scared shitless after reading everyone's comments. However, I will def take the motrin and xanax based on the advice. My ovaries started to cramp up while reading this!!! I'll check in post procedure. Thanks!

Marlena said...

I had an HSG this past Tuesday and I was petrified after reading so much about it! I was praying the rosary asking the Virgin Mary to please intercede for me before Jesus Christ. I asked my dear hubby to pray for me also. They didn't allow him in the room so he waited in the waiting room.

Well, as I was so scared, I had initially called the nurse and she told it wasn't THAT painful, that it resembled menstrual cramps. Well, when the dye went inside, that was true. But, I felt intense pain when the doctor opened my cervix. So much that I told him I wanted to cancel, for him to take that foreign object out and that I'd do without the test. I'm glad he had the correct attitude and helped me get through it. I also took some iboprofin before the exam. That helped a lot. Well, after my cervix was opened, I didn't feel much pain. I actually felt some very small contractions in my cervix that felt kind of relaxing, very relaxing.

The doctor said that everything was okay. He gave my x=rays and a letter saying all is clear. Now, I'm gonna schedula an appointment with my gyn so that she can advice on the next step. This is our.....4th step. We've had (as a couple) the sperm analysis, the CD3 test, the CD21 test, and now the HSG. Are the other tests pending as invasive as the HSG? I pray not.

Anonymous said...

Hey girls,
I'm so sorry many of you had a painful experience. I had my HSG today and was very nervous but it really was NOT bad for me.

I took 1000mg ibubrofen and an ativan for the anxiety. I had some mild cramping and it got a bit more intense for about a minute or so but nothing worse than the start of my period. It also helped that I had a gentle, compassionate doctor who I informed right from the get-go that I'm a big wimp. She was reassuring and told me to let her know if I was having pain and she'd slow down. The procedure was over in about 5 minutes and showed that one tube is blocked, one clear.

It did NOT end up being a painful experience for me. So for all of you who have an HSG in your future, please know that it might not be so bad for you either. I would definitely medicate and communicate with the doctor about your concerns. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

Just had my HSG today 11/9/07. I put it off forever because I was scared. It wasn't a 10 for me, but it certainly was painful and extremely uncomfortable. It depends on the position of your uterus and cervix and competence of your doctor. My uterus is positioned such that they had trouble getting the catheter in so they had to root around for quite some time, otherwise it would not have been too bad (no blockage). The doctor walked me through each step and the nurse was very kind. I didn't take any ibuprofen in advance, but now I wish I had. It's been 15 hours since the procedure and I am still feeling discomfort so just took some advil. Although it was not a 10 in pain, the discomfort is enough that I cannot believe they tell you to "resume normal activity", I definitely had to spend the day lying down. My fave is the doc telling me that once they remove the balloon the pain will go away, I wanted to tell him "let me kick you in the b**** and when I remove my foot, the pain will go away" ;)

Anonymous said...

I had my HSG about 2 hours ago. I was very terrified beforehand, but really I can vouch for the fact that it was not that bad. The worst part for me was the pain involved with the doctor trying to insert the catheter through my cervix. It took him several tries to get it, and that was definately NOT comfy. I didn't really feel anything when the dye was pushed through. My tubes are all clear, which is a relief to know. I was a little embarrassed during, but only slightly more so than during a routine exam. One thing that was a little embarrassing was when I sat up fluid gushed out of me all over the table like I had peed. The nurse said not to worry that it happens all the time. I'm not having any pain or discomfort now. This definately went better than I expected. I should also mention that my HSG was not done by X-Ray. It was done with a transvaginal sonogram instead.

Anonymous said...

I had an HSG 5 days ago. Have terrible cramping still and bleeding. I have had my tubes tied, an ablation, a leep, colposcopy and a biopsy. The HSG was 100 times worse than all of these combined. It was extremely painful to the point of passing out.

Anonymous said...

I had my HSG today and I did not think it hurt at all - and I have a low tolerance for pain. After reading all of these posts I was SO nervous. I took 2 Tylenol about an hour and a half before the procedure and just took deep breaths while it was being done. It was over before I even realized he had started injecting the dye. Honestly, the worst part was the week prior to the actual procedure because of how nervous I was.

Anonymous said...

The WORST thing I did before my procedure was read too much information on the Internet. I had my procedure done today and the worst pain was when they inserted the catheter. It felt like strong menstrual cramps and then went away. I took some deep breaths and tried to stay calm, which really helped. Don't worry about this--it's easy and over quickly. Take two Advil before you go.

Anonymous said...

I agree, reading these comments and information scared me, but to each his own. My pain is not necessarily your pain. I did mime yesterday and yes it was a little painful, I was weak didn't return to work, but that doesn't say you will experience the same thing. All I can say is, just relax, they will or should provide you with painkillers and something to relax your muscle.

LaMissEnSuisse said...

I wish someone had told me to take a painkiller before my HSG! The Dr had warned me it might be "slightly uncomfortable" but after suffering from endometriosis and cysts for so many years I thought I could deal with pain no prob... yeah... no. It really hurt when they inserted the cathetar, I was gripping the side of the table, and then as the dye went in it just got worse and worse. My right tube is completely blocked, and so they tried to push more dye in to unblock it and that didn't work and was just unbelieveably painful. I was completely taken off guard, it's such a weird pain, made me want to vomit.
As others have said, I think a lot of it had to do with it brought me straight back to the miscarriage I had last summer. I was lucky to have such nice nurses, because when I stood up to have the upright xray I threw up and then passed out - don't think they were expecting that.
That was 5 days ago and I'm still spotting and I feel really unfomfortable.

Ellie Bradley said...

It has been so useful to read all these comments. I had the HSG done on Thursday 28/2/08 and wish I had read all this before. I wasn't given any pain killers before - I thought they might have given me some but they didn't and I really wish I had. I nearly passed out, my forehead was wet and clammy during it and I was sure I was going to be sick. I was crying out in pain like I was in labour (haven't been in labour before) but am sure it can't be worst than the HSG. I swore also so if any of you have also done that, you are not alone! (Having said all that, so many people have said it is not painful so you may not have the same experience)

On Sunday night 2/3/08 I started having the most terrible cramps like awful period pains. It is reassuring that some of you also had pain a few days after the HSG as you start worrying that you might have an infection or something. It is now Tuesday and I am still in pain - awful cramps and feeling sick - I hope it goes away soon - maybe I should ring the hospital about it. The pain is in my uterus but also very painful on my right side. When I saw the x-ray on the screen, there was a little white circle within the right tube - I felt so wobbly after the HSG that I didn't really think to ask but i am guessing this must be a blockage?

Has anyone else had this before? The doctor said he was able to get the dye through so I guess that is good but he did not say the tubes were clear. If there is a blockage, do you know what they will do next? Can they remove it and if so, how do they do this?

I would really appreciate information from any of you on this matter - it would be so useful - I really want to know about this white circle as I am not seeing the doctor for a month and just feels too long to wait.

Thanks in advance and if you are in a similar situation, I am feeling for you.

Lorrie said...

My doctor told me the HSG would be on about the same pain scale as a menstural cramp. He perscribed 2 Ponstans "just in case".

Let me tell you, I get horrible AF cramps each and every month, and I don't think I'm that much of a wimp. The HSG was the WORST pain I have ever gone through... I felt as though someone was twisting a hot knife up inside me. I don't know if part of the reason I found it so horrific was that I was so grossly unprepared for how much it would hurt, but whatever.

After all that, the best diagnosis my RE could give me was that my left tube was for sure good, and my right was "probably fine". Excuse me?? After going through a test that put me through all THAT, I don't even get to know for certain? He explained that the tube sometimes spasms from the pain (you think???) and that a LAP would be in order to find out more.

If the LAP is anything like the HSG (and I'm betting it's worse) I can hardly wait.

BUNKY said...

I am 42, have only one tube as lost one to an ectopic last May and have been trying since with no success.U had an HSG yesterday morning. I had read all of these emails on the pain and many others besides this blog and was terrified. I can tell you it was not bad at all. On a 1-10 pain scale it was a 2 at most. Personally I find a pap smear worse. The catheter did not hurt- just felt it entering the body, the iodine did not hurt at all- just a very slight sting for about one second. My doc told me to stop reading the internet so much. I had to post to make those of you so worried not worry like I did! And my tube was clear - (still odds are against me as very high FSH but nice to know one tube is good to go if the stars align..)

Mrs. Higrens said...

HSG Attempt 3/17/08 (Happy St. Patrick's Day!) - the doc could not get the catheter in due to my tight and right-angled cervix (even after taking drug which should have softened it) and had to clamp and dilate it manually - that's more than just a slight pinch, especially when he has to step away and just leaves everything hanging. After the 2nd try (the first one fell and he caught it so it was no longer sterile), I had a full blown panic attack. (hyperventilation, nausea, tingling fingers and feet leading to stroke like loss of control of my hands - scary!)

I do have a history of anxiety when it comes to medical procedures, and had not been given anything like Valium. Don't know if that would have helped or if I was just predisposed to the reaction based on my prior endometrial biopsy.

Next cycle I'm going to attempt this again, but will be getting intravenous happy drugs per the doc's recommendation. It will make the procedure easier on both of us!
(also, has anyone had the catheter inserted in the doctor's office and then had to go to the hospital for the dye/x-ray portion?)

Anonymous said...

OK, seriously...anyone who has been brought to tears reading about all the horrible experiences others had, I want you to keep 2 things in mind. The first - people are more likely to write of bad experiences than good. (How many books are about how good life is and how many are about some problem or pain?) The second - it REALLY might not be that bad. I just had mine earlier today. I took 800mg of Advil an hour before. I had myself worked up to tears NUMEROUS times because everyone kept telling me how painful it was going to be. Well, I am hear to tell you that I had very little pain. I've heard alot of people say the injection of the dye was the painful part. Not for me! The only way I knew it was going in was because there was a cold, pulsing tube between my legs. The painful part for me was the device they used to hold my cervix still and the catheter. Yes it hurt. It didn't bring me to tears or anything (and believe me, I WILL cry if something hurts). I've had many dentist visits that brought me to tears, but this did NOT. On a scale of 1 to 10, I'd say that pain was a 6 maybe a 7 at worst. Honestly, though, that was only for say 2 minutes...TOPS. Once the speculum was pulled out (and the catheter was left in) I was much more comfortable. Again, NOT that painful. I wasn't even lightheaded afterwards (and I was for the SHG). I was actually bopping around quite readily once it was done. I will say that my uterus and tubes were completely normal. This may have had something to do with it. The Advil probably helped too. It's been 4 hours now and I haven't had any cramping at all. The worst pain I've had since it was done has been my cervix hurting a bit. Nothing bad though. Just annoying. So, ladies, any of you cowards like myself, it is distinctly possible that yours will be FINE. It's so short. I hope you all have as great a doctor as I had. Oh and one last thing. The catheter and cervix holding thing did NOT feel like menstrual cramps. It was more like "ow that hurts." I'm assuming the menstrual cramp part comes from the dye, but since I didn't have that, I'm not sure where that comes in. Good luck all! The answers are going to help a lot. Keep your eye on the goal.

Unknown said...

Hello everyone, I just had my HSG done today and I have to tell you, after reading everyone's experiences I went in today and was above and beyond nervous. But I have to say IT DIDN'T HURT AT ALL IT WAS REALLY NOTHING MORE THEN A PAP SMEAR. my tubes weren't blocked and the doctor didn't see anything abnormal. Good luck to thoes who are going.

goaliechyk said...

Thank you all for the information! I had my first HSG test today. I have to say, my doctor didn't suggest taking anything before, but the Dr who did the test suggested taking some after as there could be some (minor) pain as the dye was absorbed. My experience was actually not very traumatic. On a pain scale I would have to put it as about a 2. Yesterday I had a pelvic ultrasound and the pain of not being able to pee after so much water was wayyy worse! I just lay on the table, closed my eyes, and relaxed/sang songs to myself in my head - it worked for me! Good Luck to everyone going through this.

Unknown said...

I've just had my HSG done today. It was painful but not THAT painful. After I was done thr doc asked me to hang out in the waiting room for 30 min. I am glad I did. After 5 minutes sitting there I"ve fainted and it was pretty bad. The wose at all is that my right tube is blocked. The dam die didn't go through :(

Karen said...

I am having my HSG tomorrow and am quite nervous, especially after reading all of the comments. I have VERY LOW pain tolerance. But, I am also grateful that I stumbled upon this site because I will be taking pain meds prior to the procedure. I will post agaain after the procedure.

beamer0821 said...

I had my HSG yesterday. It sucked. The dye part did not hurt me at all and just very mild cramps almost just felt like i had gas. And i was afraid the dye would hurt the most. The catheder wasnt that bad but was uncomfortable. The ballon part was THE worse for me. I cried out a bit in pain during that part. The ONLY good thing about this procedure is that its over very quick.
I cried through the whole thing, LOL
But i hate any medical procedures

Karen said...

I had my HSG friday and it was a breeze. Based on what I had read, I was quite concerned, as I have a very low pain tolerance. I did take a percoset pain pill 45 min before the procedure. I also told my Dr. that I was concernced about what I had read regarding the level of pain others had experienced. My Dr. assured me that a lot of it has to do with the Dr.'s experience and the way the test is performed. He also told me that he adds a little anesthesia to the dye, which most other doctor's don't do. He also said too many docs and radiologists push the dye into too quickly. So, I felt a slight pincj when the catheter went in, a little pressure with the balloon and warmth when the dye was administered. There was some slight cramping. Overall, it was an easy test. I had no problems afterward, very slight discharge of dye and no bleeding. Went out that night, no problems. So, I must believe that my Dr. really knew what he was talking about and what he was doing.

Mrs. Higrens said...

I wanted to update...from my 3/17/08 experience you would think it was the worst thing ever.

I went back today (4/23/08) to my RE instead of the local OB/GYN, and boy what a difference. Based on my prior reaction (panic attack), the RE called in RX for both Valium and Lortab (pain med) to take an hour or so before the procedure.

Another difference, the RE did the procedure directly on the X-Ray table w/o a catheter, just a metal tube pushed up against the cervix; the OB-GYN procedure involved having a catheter inserted in his office near the hospital, and then you had to get to the hospital yourself.

With the Valium and Lortab, I barely felt anything (cold speculum though) until the dye went in, and then it was like a mild cramp. My husband drove me home, and I took a nap. I'm feeling pretty good 5 hours later.

The worst thing for me this time has been the slight nausea associated with the antibiotic the RE prescribed as a preventative.

Oh yeah, it probably also helped that I didn't have any blockages.

Anonymous said...

HSGs are hideously painful.

I've read posts where women had their tubes, cycles messed up because of the HSG. One woman's tubes became so inflammed by the HSG she was rushed to the ER.

It's an invasive, horrible procedure. If you want to check out your tubes, get a transvaginal ultrasound first.

Anonymous said...

I had my first HSG last week. I was a total bundle of nerves. I was shaky and stuttering ... all that good stuff. I took 800mg Advil about 30 minutes before I went. Once they got me in the back, they had me change into a gown and took my vitals. Then it was time for the HSG. I told them I was nervous and they were all very kind and comforted me very well. I did feel the HSG, but it wasn't any worse than the cramp you experiance with a pap smear for me, and it only lasted about 5 mintues. The RE injected a local anesthetic into my cervix - so I'm sure that helped. Once it was over - I was fine. I went straight home and did housework. No pain since. I did spot for a couple days afterwards, but was told that was normal.

Anonymous said...

HSG yesterday. I had a load of meds to take - valium, vicodin, a muscle relaxer and motrin. I was SO scared that I cried the entire way to the clinic.

What hurt the most was inserting the catheder. However, I had two biopsies of my cervix years ago without painkillers and that hurt much worse than the HSG did. It felt like an injection pain that would not go away. I told the doc that it hurt and he moved things around so it was comfortable.

He removed the speculum and I was able to close my legs and put them down on the table, which was a very welcome position. I did not feel a thing when the dye was being put in. Also did not feel a thing when I rocked from side to side. The next thing I felt, the catheder was being pulled out and I was done!

On a scale of 1-10, I would give the entire procedure a 7.

irismagnolia said...

I had the test done today & read the board before I went. I took 4 200 strength Advils at 9 this morning & an hour before my 2 PM test time I took 2 more 200 strength Advils.

The test wasn't as bad as I thought it would be and I'm a person who dreads having her annual GYN exam completed & I consider myself as having a low threshold for pain. The cramping I experienced was mild (I've had menstrual cramps worse than that)& I was surprised at how fast the test went (probably 5 minutes max). The worse part to me is when they opened me up with the speculum (it was more uncomfortable than painful).They did find out that my right ovary was blocked (I had an ectopic pregnancy there 7 yrs ago). I haven't had any more cramping as of yet (knock on wood)and its been 3 hours since the test.

babs said...

I had my HSG today, and yes,it is painful. The pain starts when they insert the balloon, it feels like mixture of bad cramps and realy bad gas pains. Forunately, it lasts for literally 3 minutes and they found no blockages. The nurses were the greatest. One nurse had one done herself and became pregnant 6 weeks later, and the other nurse had a sister who became pregnant weeks after as well. All I can say is the pain is definately worth the piece of mind you feel after. After trying for 14 months, I feel better then I have in a long time knowing my body is working well and there are no blockages.
I understand if you are nervous, I was as well. I did not take any pain medicine before, but I did have to take steroids because I am allergic to oysters.
I am glad it is all over and done with.
Wish me luck girls!!!

Anonymous said...

I just had my HSG today, and like many PPs, was quite nervous due to the many reports of how painful it could be.

I took 800mg ibuprofen and a couple of Excedrin, an hour before the procedure. The doctor was great and talked me through everything he was doing the whole time.

The worst part was when they insert the dye at first and you get that big cramp, but the examination lasted approx 10 minutes (I guess) and it was really very uncomfortable the whole time. Not to the point where I felt like screaming or crying, but it was really, really uncomfortable and I wouldn't want to do it again. They had me roll over on my side and back again a couple times, which I think made it seem to last longer.

Afterwards the doctor showed me the slides and explained what they saw, which was that fortunately I don't seem to have any blockages. Then I could get up and get dressed, but I did feel a bit weak and dizzy for a few minutes. I was glad to have my husband there to drive me home, but I probably could have done it myself if I had rested a while first.

I still felt a bit weak for most of the afternoon, and took more ibuprofen 6 hrs after the procedure because I could feel more twinges in my cervix.

Glad it's over! Good luck - you will survive!

Casey from said...

I had it yesterday. Took four advils and did fine. I felt cramping as much as during an IUI, very minimal. A few hours later when the advil wore off, I got a bit crampy, but took a couple more advils and was fine. My procedure took less than 5 minutes. I was in and out of the room in under 10. Maybe it depends on where you go? I was at an IVF clinic and they do these all the time.

Michelle said...

I had mine yesterday and it wasn't painful. My RE performed it. He told me to stay hydrated that day, take 600mg ibuprofen 2 hours before the procedure, and gave me 2 Valiums to take one hour before the procedure. The worst part was when he cleaned my cervix with Bentadine, but it didn't hurt, I could just feel the scratchiness of the sponge. I had light cramps for maybe 15 minutes afterwards.

Michelle said...

I forgot to add that I didn't even feel the catheter go in, or the dye. But my tubes were clear too, so maybe that had something to do with it. And the Valium was for my uterus--it is a muscle relaxant and helps prevent lots of cramping and spasming. Plus it relieved my anxiety, so it was great!

Broken Uterus said...

I just had my hsg (May 2008) and it was not fun to say the least. I was very nervous beforehand which didn't help.

I checked in at the Radiology department and this girl that looked like Audrina from the Hills came and got me. She brought me to a changing room and told me to take off everything from the waist down (I got to keep my socks on though). She gave me a gown to put on and a bag for my clothes. I changed and sat down on a chair outside of the changing area. Audrina came back and brought me to the x-ray room where my doctor was getting his instruments ready. It was a large, dimly lit room and had a huge x-ray machine with a very hard table next to it. The table had a pillow for my head and a sheet draped over the end of it. I was told to lie down on the table with my legs bent and my feet at each corner (no stirrups). My doctor slid another sheet under me and then he started putting stuff in my kazoo. First, there was the ice cold speculum (oh!) which he locked into place (not a pleasant thought), then he told me he was going to clean my cervix three times. That felt like a pap test times three (ouch!). He then grabbed my cervix with a tenaculum (OUCH! - it was like a prolonged pinch) and he widened the speculum (not a big deal at that point). He then put in the catheter (MF!). Once he had that in, he slowly removed the speculum and the tenaculum. After that was out, he asked me to slide back and to put my legs down. That freaked me out because I didn't feel like I could move. I did though. As soon as I was back enough on the table, the x-ray techs (there were 2) lowered the x-ray over me. The machine had a curtain on one side which was there to protect the techs I guess. However, it made me feel like I was in some horrific magic show. Anyway, the doctor said he was inflating the balloon (?) and then he started pushing in the dye. He asked me to tell him when I was having fun. Yeah, right! No time for jokes!!

Unfortunately, it didn't work and the dye came right back out, so then we had to start all over again. Yes, ALL over again.

I winced and yelled a lot throughout. I made Audrina hold my hand. I was glad that my husband wasn't there because he probably would've decked the doc. The second go round didn't work either by the way.

For any nervous nellies out there who have to have this done, ask for a Valium beforehand and try to see if the doctor can deaden the cervix. I think this would've gone more smoothly and it might have worked if I hadn't been so nervous and if I hadn't tensed up everytime my cervix got messed with (which was a lot)! I did take 3 Advils ahead of time, but I never got to the cramping part so I can't say if that did any good.

Anonymous said...

I had my hsg a couple of days ago and I have to agree whole heartedly that it was one of the worst pains I have ever felt. In anticipation of the pain, I took two advil an hour before the procedure but apparently they did not work. My gyne had to change catheters after wasting 15 minutes trying to get the first one in to no avail. The pain almost made me say that's okay, I don't want another baby anyway (almost, but not quite). Well, the good news is that preliminary results showed everything normal which means I still don't know why I'm not getting pregnant. I do know that I do not want to go through that again.

Lee Anne said...

Had mine this morning, and it was a total non-event. I felt a pinch when my doc inserted the catheter, but that was that total discomfort - definitely NOT pain. I'm sorry others have had pain, but it doesn't happen to everyone, so don't panic if you are scheduled for the procedure. I took 800mg of ibuprofen about 1.5 hours before, and it probably did alot to help. That and a great doc! Thanks Dr. Schenk!

Anonymous said...

I have an HSG scheduled next Thursday and reading some of the comments scare me. I know everyone is different. I'll post my experience after the test.

anonymous said...

I had my HSG yesterday and it was about a 3 in the pain level. I had a motrin 800 and 2 ibuprofen one hour prior. It took 15 minutes to do the exam. The MD and assistants were very nice and comforting. I tried to stay relaxed, and I think it helped.

Anonymous said...

I had a HSG and wanted to share my experience. The nurse at the fertiltiy centre told me it was a horrible test and to take two panadol and two advil an hour before.

All it felt like to me was having a pap smear, then I felt three period cramps and that was it. I was told I would spot for a few days and probably bleed after sex.
My tubes were clear, so I assume that contributed to the painlessness of the procedure.
We had sex the next day and I had no bleeding or spotting.

I just wanted to write that although it is a horrible procedure for some women, I found it pretty much painless.


Anonymous said...

I had a HSG in June 2005 and got pregnant in July 2005 after 3 years of trying. Now it is June 2008 and just had another HSG last week after 8 months of trying for #2. I also started clomid this month for the first time. Hope the 2nd procedure works like the first one! Both my HSG's were painful but only lasted for several minutes. I took 800 mg motrin an hour before. Felt fine later that day. It helps to relax and not tense up. It is painful...but it is definately worth it!!!

Rhonda said...

My husband and I are currently going through fertility treatment and of course I had to get an HSG. I was so worked up over this procedure that I was crying the night before and everything. However, I am more than happy to say that is was nothing!!! I took 800mg of motrin before the appointment and I pretty much did not feel a thing. The worse part was the speculum and after that is was cake. In fact, I did not even know I was done so quickly. The ultrasound the actual fertility doctor did on me was more painful than the HSG. So I truly mean don't sweat it! It is not even half as bad as it sounds! I did not even have cramps, but there was some bleeding afterwards but that went away quickly.

Anonymous said...

You guys had me horrified at my upcoming HSG test, but I am happy to report that it was nothing like what I was fearing. There was some mild cramping, but nothing that anyone couldn't handle. I am not super woman either - I have a low pain threshold, but I am telling you it is nothing as the comments have suggested. I took some advil after the procedure and the cramping went away. I did my regular activities that afternoon and have been fine ever since - no lasting pain or cramping. Don't let these comments worry you. It is not that bad.

Anonymous said...

After reading this comments I could barely sleep the day before the test! But I am happy to report it was not that big of a deal, in fact, I found it less painful than the water sonogram, which was also not that bad. I am sure everyone is different, but I think for the majority of women, the HSG test will not be a big deal.

Anonymous said...

I can see that people have had variety of experiences....I had my HSG last week. After having discussed it at some length with my doctor and reading the comments on this and other forums, I was fully prepared for the pain. In the end, it wasn't too bad. I had it done by a Gynae who told me when the pain was coming and how it would feel "you'll feel a pinch".."Now you'll have pressure".."Now I'm injecting the dye". The dye is the wrost part. It felt like my pelvis was being pushed into the bed....but it was momentary. Then, something happened. I apparently fainted. When I came to, I was so nautious I couldn't stand up. I had to stay in the hospital for an hour and a half - during which time I also threw up. The doctor later told me it was a 'Vasovegal' episode...Apparently some women experience shock when something is inserted into their cervix - all the blood in their body rushes to the area and they faint. I spent the day in bed at home. It's very uncommon they assure me. Only 1 person a month apparently experiences this - but I thought I should share in case it happens to you too!

Anonymous said...

Oh great, I have come across this site and I have my HSG tomorrow at El Camino Hospital in Mountain View, CA. If it really comes down to who is doing this. It would be nice to know who actually did the procedure.
I am so scared and my husband is like, so non-chalant. I am having sympathy pelvic pains just reading the comments. It is past midnight and I am scrambling to find meds. Avil and Motrin make me throw up... So I am out of luck there. Maybe a few cramp pills and a muscle relaxant. Lord only knows someone is gonna OD. The longer this tread gets the more meds people are taking. Sigh.
I like the DR. who mixed in a little pain releif with the dye. Nice touch.
I hope my tech is as good.
I will update. Trying not to sleep, so tomorrow does not come so soon. So nervous.

Anonymous said...

I'm just wondering, for you any of you who have had an IUI, is the HSG a worse procedure? I've had two IUIs and it sounds similar to an HSG. I am scheduled for an HSG next month. Thanks for the info!

Anonymous said...

OK, I got my HSG done yesterday at El Camino Hospital. It was day 10 in my cycle. The radiology nurse was very nice and she tried to make me feel like it as all going to be ok, but of course I was not having it. My husband looked rather nervous,(bout time.) She explained the procedure to me and I asked questions, mostly about Pain.
Do people scream? Do they cry? can I hold your hand? Can I pee again? How big is the device? is my cervice closed? Can I have sex after? Why dont they put something in to calm you? Can I be put under. I think I drove her crazy. It must have been the medication. :) I took 2 midol (motrin makes me throw up) and 2 muscle relaxants. Note: I am not avocating taking a bunch of stuff before you go. Lord only knows I dont want to be the cause of an OD.

At any rate the Dr. came in he was Indian. He looked like a friend of mine. At any rate he started in on the usual: there will be some pressure. I told him stop saying pressure when you mean pain. Then he said there might be some uncomfort when I put the device in the cervice and inflate the balloon, but this is just standard procedure. I told him, let me stick this device in his urethra and then tell me how standard procedure that is now. Im sure at this point he wanted to kill me. lol. Again, I was not in my right mind.

Well the final countdown had come. I could prolong the procedure any longer. I assumed to position. I grabbed my husbands hand and part of the pillow that was under me. He put the speculum in and swabbed my cervice with the cleaner. Uncomfortable, but nothing you have not felt at your yearly pap.
Then he put the catheter in. That freakin hurt. That is when I started screaming! AHHAHAHH HAHAHAH HAHAHA SHIT HAHAHAH HAHAHAHA AHA SHIT!
I looked up at my husband and he was hold my hand but had his entire body and face turned away from me. I like what the hell type of support is this. hmmm Mental note to self: must have anyone but him in the room when I give birth....
Then they started putting the dye in. AAHHH HHAHAHAHA HAHAHAH damn!
The doctors says do you want to stop. I like Hell NO cause I am not going to start again. Just do it JUST DO IT!. he does one final push then reports everything looks good, 'your tubes are clear. I think you had a mucus plug because I had to push the dye a little harder'. They ask my husband if he wants to look at the screen, he yelps no. They take the device out. Instant relief!!! The pain starts going down. I get up I'm all smiles and no longer the crazy patient. I apologize and tell everyone thank you. My husband shakes the doctors hand as if he has performed a miracle...Poor guy. Well maybe he did. At least we both have a funny story to tell now.

I get off the table with all the towels in between my legs and go to the bathroom and put on a pad that they provide. I come out and then and say goodbye.

I did it. I did it. And you can too!!! Would I do it again? Yes. If it was necessary, now that I know what it is like. I would just drug up some and screeeeaaaammm and get it over with. But I did it!!!!!! Thank you all the others who shared their exprience.

Anonymous said...

After trying to conceive for 13 months, I went to my doctor yesterday to express my concern. Due to the fact that I am completely irregular (anywhere from 14-42 days) he wanted to check my tubes first and make sure everything was clear. He told me that tomorrow I would go for a hysterosalpingogram. The nurse took blood from me and told me my appointment was for 9 the next morning. It so happened that I saw him on my 9th day and he didn't want me to waste another month, because he wants me to start clomide next month.

I heard from several people the pain that I would have, but honestly at this point as long as I get pregnant I could careless about pain. My experience was a little different from most of yours.

I wasn't told to take type of medication, they actually told me not to take, eat, or drink for 4 hours. In all, I wouldn't call the procedure painful (at least it wasn't for me). It was more of a pressure than pain. When they told me I would have menstrual like cramps I wanted to die because the pain from that is so bad it wakes me out of a deep sleep. The most pressure I felt was when the balloon was being inflated. The dye did give me cramps but they were extremely tolerable. The turning on each side felt strange but was not painful to me.

Ater the procedure was done I went to get up and there was some mucus on the table. At that point, I freaked out a little, not knowing what it was. The doctor said it was just a mucus blockage. If that happens to you don't get alarmed.

I spotted for about 2-3 hours. My doctor told me to start sex 24 hours after due to the fact that women sometimes get pregnant after this procedure.

If I could give any advice, it would be to go in there with the thought of having a baby. Some people conceiving is extremely easy, while others it is frustrasting and emotionally draining. The end all be all is that this is one step closer to conceiving. To me that was what was going through my mind, I think it helped a lot.

Unknown said...

I had a HSG done today at 10:00am and it is know 4:36pm and I am at work. The pain was 2 on a scale of 10 for me. The only cramping was from the cather being inserted after that the ink went in and flowed away. A normal HSG was what I had and I carried my results away for my Fert.Spec.Can't wait to move on.

Nyx said...

Unfortunately, mine was not a breeze, either. An HSG is likely going to be anywhere from uncomfortable to painful if you've never had a vaginal delivery or had your cervix dilated before.

First, the speculum they use is HUGE. It is very, super uncomfortable when that thing is locked into place.

Then, the clamp (tenaculum) on the cervix is very uncomfortable.

Dilation of the cervix and insertion of the catheter is, frankly, painful and no way around it. I've had a cervical biopsy with no anesthetic, and this was more painful than that. I had light bleeding afterward, I'm sure because of all the jabbing at the cervix.

Insertion of the dye was a hot sensation that caused immediate cramping and a faint feeling like I was going to pass out. Apparently, I had no blockages, though.

Of course, my RE sucked. Made me wait on the table for more than an hour before starting the procedure, and did not give me a heads up about what was going to happen (so I'd just feel this startling pain, no "you're going to feel a pinch" kind of warning). Hubby not allowed to go back with me during the procedure, either.

Also, ibuprofen does not work. Anything OTC will help with achy, cramping pain, but is useless against sharp sudden pain. Like, you can't take 3-4 ibuprofen and then fall off a bike and not feel it. The ibuprofen helped some with the cramping after, but was completely useless for the discomfort during the procedure. I wish I had something stronger lying around the house, or had something prescribed.

I don't know. Not the worst pain I've ever felt. But definitely not something I'd ever do again if I could avoid it. Light bleeding the day of, with cramping for 3-4 hours. Still some spotting and occasional twinges of cramps on day 2 after the test.

Anonymous said...

I had my HSG yesterday and I have to admit that it wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it was, even though it still stunk. I'm the type of person that makes everything out to be horrible and had made myself sick at what I thought this was going to be like. I cried the whole way to the hospital, during admission, getting changed into the gown, through the procedure (it took less than five minutes), and then absolutely lost it once it was over. I know this sounds ridiculous but I was very stressed out. I must have looked really bad since they allowed my husband to come along, which I guess isn’t allowed very often.

A lot of the “emotional stress” was due to my experience with an endometrial biopsy nine months ago, which was by far the most gawd-awful pain ever. That “simple” 10 minute procedure took over an hour and a half due to issues my cervix had with the all the different catheters they tried; then it took almost a week to heal enough so that I stopped spotting and feeling like I wasn’t terribly bruised. I was convinced that the HSG was going to be 10x worse. In reality, it was the other way around.

As far as the HSG procedure went, I didn't have much more than discomfort, until the dye was injected then it was like severe cramps and they lasted for about an hour (actually got worse once I sat up). However, I took 800mg of ibuprofen an hour before which helped so in this instance DRUGS - of the legal variety- ARE YOUR FRIEND! Don’t try to tough it out, it’s not worth it. As far as spotting, I had none and since everything was okay I’m assuming that most of the dye went into my stomach cavity since there wasn’t much ‘leakage’ after I cleaned up in the bathroom.

So if anyone has to have this done, and you've already had the "e" biopsy done, then I would rate the biopsy a 10 on the pain scale and the HSG a 3 to 4. If you have been fortunate enough to for-go the “e” biopsy experience, then the pain scale would probably be like a 7. I would also recommend having the procedure be done by a dr that has experience with this test and the "equipment" vs the radiologist, which I’ve heard is way more painful. I was lucky in that my dr actually reserves a block of time in a radiology room 3x a week for these tests. She did the whole procedure (with an entirely female team at my request) which not only helped pain wise, but also emotionally. Hopefully this helps…

Anonymous said...

Don't believe the hype! I had my procedure done on Monday, June 14. It was not painful at all. I did feel a tiny cramp as they were injecting the saline solution-but nothing close to the pain of menustral cramps. I did take 800 mg of motrin 1 hour prior. I was also given Doxycycline to take 1 hour prior and day 2 & 3 after the procedure. I did feel a little lightheaded immediately after and the day after the procedure. I would advise going to the procedure open minded without preconceived ideas. My husband did go with me-so it is good to have a hand to squeeze just in case.

CaptinsRio said...

I just had my procedure done today and I can tell you the worst part is the anticipatory anxiety. It is a very tolerable procedure and quite quick. When the balloon was inflated at the end of the catheter, it caused some mild cramping likened to menstrual cramps. Very tolerable. The actual injection of dye was about 10-15 seconds. I did get some jaw clenching pain for about 20 seconds from the injection of the dye, likened to the cramping I had during my miscarriages. It went away very quickly. It has been two hours now and I have a dull ache in my pelvic region. Overall, not the most pleasant experience but tolerable and very quick. AND THE BEST PART IS YOU GET RESULTS RIGHT AWAY. My results came back normal with no blockages, fibroids, or polyps. If I had to do it over again, I would without the significant anxiety. Be sure to take some ibprofen ( I took 600 mg before and 200mg after). This will help reduce the cramping.

so yung wilson said...

Had my HSG two weeks ago today. I agree with other that it was the worst pain I've ever experienced, and am glad to hear that the pain wasn't peculiar to me and that childbirth isn't as bad :-) I now understand when mothers tell me that one just doesn't care who sees what during labor ... the pain put me in a completely different frame of mind almost immediately. Like others, the doctor had some difficulty getting the tube where it needed to go. But it lasted only minutes. Still am spot bleeding some so called the doctor's office today. The nurse assured me that it's normal to spot bleed during the month after any procedure in the lady parts.

It was emotional, being my first procedure of any type at a hospital, and I would suggest having your partner or some one else who comforts you, to go with you. (I was alone and wished I had my spouse with me.)

Thanks to everyone for posting and sharing. Good to know I'm not as wimpy as I thought.

Anonymous said...

I had the HSG test today and it was the worst pain I ever experienced in my life. If doc tells me to do it again I'd tell them to go take a hike! It was so damn painful and no one told me to take any painkillers before hand. It also turned out that my cervix was closed and RE had to force it open! I will NEVER do that again! BTW I'm feeling the worst cramps right now and it's been 9 hrs since this was done.

Anonymous said...

Because I got myself very worked up by reading posts on this site prior to my HSG this morning, I felt the need to leave my own feedback to hopefully calm someone else's nerves. For me, the worst part was BY FAR the anticipatory anxiety that came from reading all of these horror stories. Maybe I just got extremely lucky, but for me, the test was a breeze. It lasted about 5-7 minutes and it felt like mild period cramps-- not even the intense period cramping you might have on day one of your cycle. I did have to shift positions for them a few times which was slightly uncomfortable, but it was all over before I knew it. In fact, when he said, "That's it; we're all done", I was shocked. I said, "Wow, that was so easy". My RE and the nurse both looked at me sand said, "I don't think we've EVER heard anyone say that." So, maybe I did just have an abnormally pleasant experience, but I wanted to let you all know that it's not incredibly painful for everyone. Best of luck!!!

Anonymous said...

I had my first, and hopefully only, HSG yesterday. I had wonderful doctors and nurses. Everyone was super friendly; however, I was totally nervous. I didn't read anything about an HSG before hand because I didn't want to be freaked out...but I wish now that I did. It was horrible. I was in so much pain and almost passed out. I had severe cramping the rest of the night and light spotting. Today I am sore and very tender in that area. I was wondering if anyone else experienced pain and cramping for a day or two after the procedure? I appreciate reading the different stories. I don't think people should say things like "don't believe the hype, etc." because I think it is different for everyone-especially if you have a blockage or something else hendering the exam-it may be painful; it may not-it's about as vague as one can get I guess. For me, terribly painful, glad it's over, still uncomfortable, and I do have one tube that was clear and one that wasn't, so now what??? I see a my GYN in a few days~

Anonymous said...

I just had my first HSG and it wasn't that bad. I took 800 mg of Ibuprofin 45 minutes beforehand and I was fine. It was uncomfortable, like bad menstrual cramps, and the dye going caused some cramping too, but nothing severe. I had some cramping for about 10 minutes afterwards, but I'm fine now and just went for a 5 mile run.

Anonymous said...

I'm glad I found this site when I was looking for information about an HSG. Because so many people wrote about the pain factor, I really expected to feel pain . . . but I didn't. I took 1000 mg of ibup an hour before (they made me wait an hour as well, so it ended up being two hours before). The tech who prepped me showed me all the instruments beforehand and explained the entire procedure. The doctor I had was very young (which made me nervous), but he was gentle and told me everything he was doing. He didn't move me around (although beforehand they said they were going to) because my tubes were open and the dye spilled out quickly. I felt clammy and lightheaded when they injected the dye, but I might have just psyched myself out. The balloon was not painful, nor was the catheter or the dye. It was just like having a pap smear. The actual procedure lasted about 10 minutes. He showed me the results right after. It was kind of cool. I agree with some who have written to remember the big picture: you're doing this for a baby. My husband had varicocele surgery on both testes, so I didn't feel like was as big of a deal.

Anonymous said...

It was not at all painful.I got really scared reading all this stuff and could not sleep for 3 nights.It just took 5 mins for the procedure and it was not painful at all

Anonymous said...

I had mine done today at 9:15am. Its not very pleasant but its not THAT painful at all. I took an Advil an hour before and it was a bit crampy during the procedure when they start moving you around but its totally tolerable. My results were normal and im still confused about how long to wait for sex. When my gyno referred me she said that you do it on the day 8-10 of your cycle so that day 12-14 you can start having intercourse. So im guessing its ok to do it couple days after.

Anonymous said...

When I had my HSG it was not unbearable pain but it did bring tears, as i could not touch my stomach during the test. I found it more mentally distressing as it has lead to one of my complications for my problems being identified. I have a blocked tube which was diagnosed on the day, and for which i have to have a Laproscopy op for. After the test my pain continued, bad stomach cramps (like what i normally experience on my period) for a couple days, the spotting i experienced from my HSG lasted a day.

Anonymous said...

Just had a HSG done, I'd prepared for the worse and taken 2 Advil. I was pleasantly surprised.. it was not painful at all. Just a very very mild cramping feeling when they inject the dye. I was in and out of the room in like 5 minutes. I guess every person reacts differently. My tubes were clear.. perhaps it would have been more painful had they been blocked.

Anonymous said...

I just wanted to leave a quick comment for anyone reading these stories and getting horrified.

I had my HSG scheduled for Monday and made the mistake of reading some of these stories the Friday before my appointment. I thought I'd prefer to be prepared for what might happen rather than just take my doctor's word. After reading some of the stories I was terrified and thought about it all weekend.

I calmed myself down enough to get on the table and laid there with fists clenched anticipating some horrible pain. The doctor had some problem getting the catheter in, said I had a narrow cervix, but I barely felt anything more unconfortable than a typical pap test. The only pain I felt was when the dye was injected but it just felt like a strong wave of menstraul cramps for the 2 minutes it took for the test.

Fortunately I had the test performed by my RE so he was very gentle, so was the tech. They had the screen next to me and explained everything they were doing so I could see and understand.

The test was over in 10 minutes and the cramps went away the second the test was over. I felt a little "blah" later but no cramping. I did not have any blockage so I'm sure that helped keep the pain low.

I took 3 advil an hour before my appointment and just kept calming myself reminding myself that this test was a very small and necessary step for something I want really bad.

I feel for those of you who did not have an easy experience. I wanted to share my story to help encourage other women to go through with the test. Everyone's experience is different but to me I feel 100x better knowing my tubes are not an issue.

Good luck to everyone in their attempts to get pregnant!

Unknown said...

Just a quick note, I had HSG performed on Wednesday Aug. 13 and wanted all to know that the experience was uncomfortable but not downright painful for me. I realize we are all different and have different pain tolerance levels. I consider mine to be pretty low and wimpy. I think something that helped out a lot for me and my state of mind was getting a prescription for valium (just one to take before the procedure) from my OBGYN was a good decision and a huge help. The valium helped calm my nerves and made the procedure much smoother and easier than it would have been had I been tense and nervous. Nerves always make any medical procedure more painful I believe. I also took 3 advil before the procedure which helped too. During the HSG I asked that they explain each part of the procedure so I knew what was going on and what to expect next. Truly this is no more uncomfortable for me at least than getting your yearly PAP smear, it just takes a bit longer and you have some mild cramping to deal with. I felt pretty drained and worn out too for about 24 hrs after. Could be the procedure itself or it could be nerves. Anyway, for me this was not a nightmare. I now know what it entails and if I have to get it done again I won't need a valium because there is nothing to be nervous about. It is a pretty straightforward procedure and the best part is it is over in 10 MINUTES. So take heart and try to be brave....but get a valium from your Doc if you need one. They help. Good luck to all!

Anonymous said...

I feel better after reading about everyone else's experiences. My mom had this done twice and it didn't bother her at all. My doctors told me that it would feel like period cramps. Wrong! I was in pain from the minute the radiologist put in the speculum to the time when he finished the test. I felt bad too, as he was quite young and handsome and sensitive to my discomfort. I uttered a few curse words and kept asking if it would be over soon.

I didn't take any ibuprofen, valium or otherwise as I was driving myself home after the test. I'm sure a relaxant really would have helped.

I cramped a little bit for the rest of the day and spotted for two days afterward. What freaked me out was when I started spotting again five days after the procedure. All of the horrible possibilities of "spotting between periods" flew into my head. After reading some of your experiences, it seems as if strange spotting might be more common than I thought and not necessarily something to get all worked up about. That being said, I will still call the doctor tomorrow but at least I won't ruin my Sunday by worrying about the spotting.

Sarah said...


After reading all these comments and searching the internet about the test I really dont want to do this. I have had a child before, but I had a c-section, my cervix was never fully dilated. Is that going to make a difference?
Will they let my husband come in with me? I feel sick I'm so nervous.

Anonymous said...

I had my HSG test day before yesterday. It really wasn't that bad. I just tried to relax and it wasn't bad! Felt like severe cramps but you only have to tolerate it for a few minutes. I am still having some slight bleeding. But I'm hoping it will go away by tomorrow or the next day. Don't worry!! It only takes a few minutes! Everything went good for me and I'll start on fertility meds soon!

Anonymous said...

Sounds to me like this experience is as unique as the people who go through it. I was frankly very frightened after reading many of these posts, but my actual experience really wasn't so bad. Embarrassing and sort of lonely, of course, but only slightly uncomfortable. I told the radiologist and the tech that I was worried before the procedure began, and I think that prompted them to pay more attention, warn me before a potentially uncomfortable stage of the procedure, and check in with me as things went along. (I appreciated that a lot and would recommend communicating beforehand if you're scared.

Unlike people in other posts I've read, the worst for me was about 2 hours later (severe cramping). I thought I was in for a very bad time, but it went away completely after I took some Naprocin. In retrospect, it would have been helpful if I'd been told to take it beforehand.

My advice after having read your posts: If you're nervous, tell the people doing the procedure beforehand. Bear in mind that no-one in that room WANTS to hurt you. They want to do a good job and have you be OK. Let them know you're a person, and they'll be more than likely to help you through it.

Anonymous said...

I just had my HSG done about 2 1/2 hours ago. I, too, was very concerned after reading some of the experiences here.

I was prescribed two tabs of Doryx (an antibiotic) to take this morning; unfortunately, it made me sick. While the pharmacist said to take Doryx on an empty stomach, my doctor said, for tonight's dose, take it with dinner. I'm sure that will prevent any nausea or vomiting.

About an hour before the HSG, I took 800mg. of ibuprofen (this time *with* food in my stomach) as well as 5mg of Valium that my doc had prescribed.

As for the HSG itself, everything went just fine. All I experienced was some mild discomfort when the speculum was inserted -- comparable to the prep for a pap smear. The betadyne washing of the cervix felt weird, but again, not at all painful. I barely felt the catheter being inserted, nor the balloon being inflated and, although my doctor said I might experience some cramping when she injected the dye, I felt nothing.

It was quite a surreal experience to see my uterus on a TV screen.
Fortunately, everything is normal and it looks like we will be able to proceed with IUI as hoped.

Again, it's about 2 1/2 hours after the procedure and I haven't had any after effects aside from light spotting; I'm not sure if it's blood or just the dye.

Good luck to everyone undergoing this test! Please don't get overly worried before you go in; my concern about having this procedure was far more painful for me than undergoing the procedure itself!

Anonymous said...

""TERRIFYING ~ HORRIBLE ~ WORST PAIN EVER!!!!"" I'm glad i didn't let this page influence my decision of getting this procedure done!

Maybe it is different for everyone, but i was fortunate to have a very quick procedure with no pain. Just cramping for less than 2 mins. Then it immediately went away when the procedure was finished. I just had the procedure done about 1 hour ago and walked five blocks home problem. No more cramping but im still spotting! Good luck ladies!!!!

Anonymous said...

I must admit I was scared out of my mind after reading these posts. However, my experience was good so I promised my dr I would post my experience for other people. I had my HSG yesterday and the only pain I felt was some very minor cramping after they placed the catheter and then minor menstrual type cramping for about an hour afterwards. The whole procedure from start to finish took only about 10 minutes. I think the worst part of it was having to walk from the room to the bathroom holding a pad type thing under my gown!! I am still having some discharge, but no more spotting and no pain. Good luck everybody =)

Anonymous said...

I had my HSG done yesterday (8/21/08) and LUCKILY, I had not found this posting...I don't know if I would have gone through with it. The test wasn't too bad for me at all. The tech there explained everything that was going to happen before the Dr. even got in there, so I was prepared. I did take 1000mg of Acetaminophen before hand and besides a slight sharp pain when the catheter was inserted; the cramping during the dye injection was very tolerable.
I was very surprised however at the amount of blood that came out immediately afterwards. Not to be gross, but my inner thighs were covered. It is now the following day and there is just a slight brown spotting. My stomach feels slightly tender, but all in all, the whole thing was pretty easy.

The Greenwitch said...

I just want to tell all the women reading this site in pure terror, like I did, that from what I experienced, it wasn't that bad!!! I had no blockages, but I can't believe anyone could equate it to child birth! We haven't had any kids yet, but if child birth is that easy, bring it on! I had my test done yesterday and I was totally scared, nervous, anxious, and panicking about the whole thing for over a week. There was some pain I think when she was inserting the balloon but it was about a 6 or 7 maybe and it only lasted for about 10 seconds. The rest was nothing at all to worry about and I consider myself a pretty big baby. I just wanted to add another positive experience to calm those that are waiting in horror of taking their hsg. I did take an Ativan to calm the nerves and four motrin an hour before hand, which might have helped. My husband drove me home, I took a long nap, and felt perfectly fine when I woke up and even better today. So don't worry!!!

Anonymous said...

Okay I read alot of these comments and can not argue because every women's body is differnt. But, I did ALOT of research on this and actually it took me two years to finally work up the couarge to get this HSG done.

I regret waiting so long I finally went last week. I was a nervous wreck but ladies just prepare yourself and stay postive and just know this is for the better. If you go in fighting it won't be pleasant.

I was fine it was uncomfortable just like a pap exam getting the clamp in but then I hardley felt the catheter. I just kept concentrating on the ceiling and thinking of other things. I felt the ballon slighty. The doctor was great and the nurse he talked me through it all. Then before I knew it he was injecting the ink which just felt cool.

I think you experience pain only when your tubes are blocked so I did not experience that at all.
Just remember ladies this is for a good cause and unfortunatley this is what we women have to go through sometimes. Good Luck as I move on to the next step.

Anonymous said...

I had mine done yesterday. I was really super nervous, so the doctor had some issues with the speculum. I felt only the very slightest of a burning sensation when he inserted the catheter. It was really no big deal. What was painful for me was when he inflated the balloon. One of my tubes is blocked and this is why I was uncomfortable. Actually I am still experiencing some cramping on the side where the blockage is located and some mild uterine cramps.

Anonymous said...

I had an HSG done about two weeks ago. I had severe pain and was bawling on the table. I became very short of breath and almost passed out. I am still experiencing cramping. Is this normal? Should I phone my doctor?

Anonymous said...

Okay, SO, I just had my HSG a few hours ago, and after reading the posts on this website yesterday I was literally in tears and extremely terrified. I am a HUGE baby when it comes to pain and even the thought of a PAP test makes me queasy. Well, I am glad to report that this test was nothing what I imagined from reading the experiences of others. I expressed my concerns to the nurse, who was very comforting during the whole process. The entire process once they put the speculum in lasted about 3 minutes and didn't hurt a bit. I would say it's more of an uncomfortable feeling, exactly like an annual exam. I didn't feel any cramping or anything. Mind you, I took some Xanax before as well as 2 naproxen sodium (Aleve) tablets beforehand. I strongly recommend taking something for your nerves because it did help A LOT. Luckily, I had no blockages, but the Dr. said that sometimes dead cells slough off and can build up in your fallopian tubes and this test flushes that all out. The fear and anticipation of having this test done (I was supposed to do this test last month and put it off because I was so scared) was WAAAAAY worse than the actual test itself. So for those of you that are freaking out, I would say take a Xanax and just DO IT! It's not that bad, honestly!

Anonymous said...

I had my exam last Thursday afternoon. I did not take any medication before. It hurt only when they inserted the catheter and it was more like a sharp pain, Afterwards it was just uncomfortable. The nurses were very nice and. The radiologis told me my tubes were clear which was a releif. Afterwards I had cramping and bleeding but went back to running errands. I came home and while cooking dinner felt my throat swelling not too much felt like I was gcatching a cold, my body was achy and then felt nauseous. Right away I took a Benadryl thinking it could be an allergic reaction to the iodine. Did not finished dinner and went to bed. I felt super bloated, still crampy and got chills. The next day I felt better no more chills but still bleeding. I guess I must have had somekind of allergic reaction to the iodine, dye, etc. Has anyone had any of these symptoms?

Wendy Power said...

I had my HSG yesterday morning (9/5/08). I took 2 Aleve beforehand, which probably helped. They had a bit of difficulty inserting the catheter but things went smoothly after that. Injecting the dye was really uncomfortable, like a horrid menstrual cramp, but that lasted maybe 20 seconds. All clear, everything looked normal. I cried afterward, in relief that all was normal, and that it was OVER. Onward!

Anonymous said...

This site freaked me out big time! I was a nervous wreck before my HSG today, as I tend to be a big wimp. I took 800 mg of ibuprofen an hour before, and I didn't feel any pain at all! In fact, I asked my RE if he'd inserted the catheter yet, since I didn't feel anything during the insertion. It was a little bit uncomfortable during the dye injections, but nothing even reaching the pain scale. So if you're anxiously awaiting your HSG, remember to take some ibuprofen, but try not to freak out (like I did), because it's not always painful!

Anonymous said...

Recipe for success: 4 ibuprofen 10 hours before procedure. 1 valium in the morning to relax. Another 4 ibuprofen 2 hours before proceudre. 2 valiums (the smallest dose) 1 hour before procedure. Plenty of food with pills so you don't get sick. With luck, this all equals no pain. After reading this blog, I was so nervous I cancelled twice. It got to where I just wanted to get it over with so I didn't have to think about it anymore. It didn't hurt one little bit. It felt like a pap smear - and one where the doctor did a good job, not the one where you wondered how recently they had learned how to do this. The dye felt just the tiniest bit warm, but nothing uncomfortable. Must have been the valium. Also, the x-ray tech said ibuprofen always helps and reading the internet doesn't. By the way, if you are having this done at Kaiser on Franklin in Denver, it is two very experienced, gentle, nice ladies who do the x-ray.

Anonymous said...

I had this today and it was totally no big deal. It felt like mild cramps. The part that hurt the most was when they inflated the balloon but even that was no worse than having cramps. I took 4 ibuprophen before so I imagine that helped.

When I got there I told the nurse I was nervous and she said 'oh did you read about it on the internet?' and I said 'yes.' She said that there was nothing to worry about and that it was not likely to be like anything I'd read. Which was true!

Anonymous said...

I had my HSG on Fri.9/5 and it was uncomfortable but not unbearable. I actually felt alright afterwards. No one told me not to have sex for 2 weeks after the test. Had sex on Sat. 9/6 and started bleeding Sun. 9/7 and have not stopped. It is now 9/11 and still bleeding like a normal period. The doctor said that it was normal for someone who does not get their period regularly to bleed heavier after an HSG. I am starting to get worried. Has anyone else had a similar experience?

Anonymous said...

Thank you to everyone who posted and gave suggestions. I took 800 mg of Ibuprofen, and one valium. It really did the trick I didn't even feel a tickle. The Dr. said my cervix was tiny (great) and he could barely get the catheter in.. he kept asking if I felt anything but honestly I couldn't. I didn't feel much other than a brief bloated feeling, when they inserted the dye. I had taken the day off so I had my hair and nails done :) I did have one tube blocked so who knows what's next in this journey for me. But it is important for women to share our experiences. I wouldn't have asked for the valium or taken the ibuprofen if you ladies hadn't suggested it. Good luck to all of you... and God bless

jessica said...

o.k. here i go ( i one week) Thanks for all your words, to get me ready for this. At 1st i didn't think anything of it. so now i know take 3 big fat pills and you'll be fine!!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks lady's

Anonymous said...

I had my HSG today and came home quite dissapointed didn't work! They tried for at least 5 times to fill up mu uterus and the tubes but the dye kept spilling out! Couldn't reach the uterus is fine as for the tubes if I want to know something about it (!?)I should consider surgery !?
Anyone had similar experience?

Anonymous said...

I took 2 and a half aleve tablets about an hour before. I was so nervous from reading all the comments that I was shaking. The nurse was very comforting and talked me through. I'm sure she could see that I was terrified. Very uncomfortable and heavy cramping when balloon was inflated and dye was pushed in. Was quite distracted by looking at the screen. Cathater fell out one and had to be re-adjusted. It was done before I knew it. I put this off for over a year because I was so scared, but I think it was well work the few short minutes of pain. I am such a wimp. If I can do it, anyone can!

Anonymous said...

I just had an HSG and I must say that for me it was NOT painful, just uncomfortable (uncomfortable like wearing too small jeans after Thanksgiving dinner). I don't have any scarring or blockages, so maybe that's why it did not hurt. Like other gyn procedure, it helps to relax and not stress. I took the 800 mg of ibuprofen beforehand, as suggested. No bad aftereffects, just some bloating. Don't get too worried reading these posts!

Anonymous said...

I just had my HSG done this morning. I didn't think it was that bad at all. I went in with these horrible preconceptions of how much it would hurt, but it wasn't bad at all. There was a little pain, but no worse than moderate menstrual cramps. I did take 600 mg of ibuprofen beforehand, so that most likely helped. Anyway, after the procedure, I got right up, put my clothes on, and drove the half hour home alone. I didn't feel any more pain afterwards- at least not yet, but it's only been about three hours, so it may hurt again later. I didn't get dizzy or have any weird reactions like I've read about other people having. So that's my experience... thank you for sharing yours.

Anonymous said...

I had my HSG done this morning; until last night I was not worried about the procedure at all but after reading a couple of blogs I was a little nervous. I usally dont have my husband come with me to the doctor but asked him to come with me this time.

I took three advil 45min before and it was uncomfortable but not at all painful. I am lucky no blockage everthing normal. So I guess the factory is open for business. Now I just need to ovulate.

I think unless you usually have real painful cycles or have had any uterine issues or infections don't get too worried about the procedure.

I will say on the $$ side of things...I spent all last week checking my insurance coverage and my patient responsibility. PLEASE LADIES do your foot work before going to the doctor or to do a procedure. My doctor gave me a script for the procedure and listed three locations for me to get it done. I waited for my cycle and scheduled an appointment with the local hospital who schedules a doctor to do it as out patient. Well, I thought to call the doctor's business office (performing the HSG) and discussed my coverage and my responsibility in advance but they then told me the hospital would have its own cost so I did the same with the hospital.. all in all I almost canceled the procedure when I found out that my responsibilty would be between $300-$500. Luckily I called my doctor and one of the receptionist recommended a local radiologist group that performs the service in house not at the hospital. My total responsibility was $63 big difference.

Anonymous said...

I had my first HSG procedure yesterday morning (9/22/08). Nobody suggested taking something before - I highly recommend it. The procedure itself was pretty painful. It didn't help that I could watch the dye in the screen - as the surge of dye went in it hurt a lot AND I could see it on the screen. Gross! They say that if you have a problem it's more painful a process. My right ovary is blocked - maybe that's why it hurt so much. By the time I got home (10 minute drive), I could hardly move and got into bed thinking I was going to vomit and pass out. The extreme pain lasted for about 1/2 hour, and then subsided as 4 Advil kicked in. I slept it off and didn't do much for the rest of the day. Today I feel like I've been kicked in the stomach. No pain, but I feel so bloated and gassy. I'm still waiting for my dr to call me to discuss the specifics and what-to-do-from-here... but my dr doesn't share my sense of urgency.

Anonymous said...

I have had terrible menstrual cramps every month my whole life, and the pain with the HSG was as bad or worse as the really bad cramps. The three alleve I took didn't help. I should have gotten a prescription pain killer. Afterward, my entire body felt tired and heavy. After a big milkshake and nap, I have had cramping on and during the next day.

GinaBabe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
GinaBabe said...

I just had an HSG and it was NOT a bad experience at all. I read this message board and was so nervous for a very painful procedure but had just the opposite. They start by numbing your cervix - using the speculum. Then they place the dye in, put the machine over you and begin. When they shot the dye in it was uncomfortable cramping for about a minute. I took deep breaths and in about another minute it was all over. I bled for an hour or so afterwards and that was it. Remember to take 800mg of ibuprofen an hour before you go and you will be fine. Goodluck!

Anonymous said...

I had my HSG yesterday morning, and I will tell you it was very extrange, but it was bearable, it was uncomfortable when they used the clamps and inserted the catheter, because I was very tens, immediately I stated to feel some strong cramps and I thought they were injecting the dye, but no, as soon as they started to inject the dye, I felt and intense menstrual cramp but I will tell you that it is absolutely bearable. After the test, which the results are OK Thank God!, I did not feel pain but was very weak all day, went home and slept until the next day. I am spotting but feel fine. So my best advice is try to relax as much as you can and take some pain killers before so your muscles are relaxed, and good luck!

Anonymous said...

I had my HSG this morning and it was nowhere near as bad as I feared. I took a xanax an hour before hand, as well as 4 ibuprofen. Honestly, for me it was less uncomfortable than a pap smear. Part of the reason it went so well is that I had a very warm and comforting staff working with me.

ME! said...

I found your blog on a search for HSG. Thank you for your very informative description of how it goes. I am just starting on the rollercoster of fertility treatments. I am waiting for my period to get my HSG, and I am nervous. I normally have to get my cervix cauterized after any procedures. Now I know what to expect, and that helps VERY MUCH!

Thank you!

Anonymous said...

Hi, I had an HSG last week October 2008. Luckily I didn't read this blog before the procedure! I had instructions from my RE to collect a script for Doxycilin for 5 days (3 days before procedure and 2 days after) and to take 600mg of Advil before the procedure. My husband drove me to the clinic and I had to go back with the nurse on my own, which was quite daunting. I had to strip down and put a gown, hair net and foot covers on and I was led to an OR. I laid down and had to put my feet on the edge of the table, my RE inserted a which was of course uncomfortable and then I had the cold wash then the cathater, none of this bothered me after having so many ultra sounds, pap smears and 2 babies via C-Section - all dignity goes LOL! They started to put the dye in and I saw it fill up my uterus (which was awesome) and then the tubes. I did get 2-3 menstrual cramps which after taking a few deep breaths was ok. I would probably rank it a 2-3. Then after the tubes had spilled over (luckily no blockage) the cathater was taken out and I went to sit up. The nurse wanted me to lay there for a few minutes but I felt ok. They did dislodge a mucus plug which the doctor was pleased about. I got up, got changed put a pad on and left with hubby. I had a few slight cramps later, but advil did the trick. Then I had spotting just when I wiped after going to the bathroom, light pink, nothing was left on the pad. We did sustain from having sex due to the risk of infection. I did take is easy the next day becuase I have a horse job and it is physically straining. I have my IUI on Wednesday with an 18.5 and 17.5 follicle, so fingers crossed! Just think of that beautiful baby you will all have whilst laying there, it is just one hurdle you have to get over to move on - Good Luck girls!!! If anyone wants to ask any questions, just email, i'm here to help.

Anonymous said...

I found this site about 3 hours before my HSG (I have fibroids). It was nice to read about other experiences, however I was slightly nervous...especially since I've never done anything like this before except for yearly pap (no kids yet).

I just had it done a couple of hours ago and thought I would share my experience. The normal, get undressed, 2 gowns, get on the table and spread em’ thing took Dr. and assistant were great and explained everything to me. He put the speculum in and was having trouble with my cervix. There was slight discomfort while he moved it around a bit, but then it was fine. He entered the catheter (slight cramps, but not unbearable...I took 800 mg of Motrin an hour before).

They brought the X-ray tech in, we looked at my fallopian tubes on the screen & everything seemed to be going ok, then.. I awoke to 3 people standing around me, I had passed out! I was a little woozy once I woke up. Not sure how long I was actually "out" and they said my name for 20 secs or so before I came too. Not sure what caused this…I was told not to eat 4 hours before, so I didn’t and took the Motrin an hour before. Maybe mixture of stress and taking pills on an empty stomach. My doc said this happens to 1 in 20 women.

Oh well, I’m ok now. Just thought I would share.

Anonymous said...

Well, I did kick up a bit of fuss before the procedure... cried in the parking lot and told my husband that I wanted him to try the thing too :) .

I am on the third day of a 7 day antibiotic course.

Some waiting later,
I went into the room. After the initial introduction, I asked the RE if it will hurt she said "No".

She asked me to relax and kept telling me what she was doing and showing my uterus on the video screen.

She inserted the speculum (like pap smear).

She then told me to totally relax. Which I happily did.

She then told me that I might feel a prick while she inserts the tube that will carry the dye.

But I did not feel a thing.

Then she said she will insert the dye and would stop for a bit if I found it uncomfortably crampy.

Within seconds my uterus filled with the dye. I felt very mild cramping while it was filling up and no pain at all.

There were no blocks.

It was over in 12 seconds and was asked to turn from side to side.

Then I actually came out grinning ear to ear.

Now I almost see it as a uterus wash.

Almost all the dye came out within an hour.

I am writing this nine hours after the procedure. I feel mild discomfort but keeping warm helps. I am not too concerned as I know what is causing it. I might need a back rub.

Take care, be super calm. Being in control initially and voluntarily working with the doctor helps. I let the doctor do her thing.

Anonymous said...

I went for my HSG this last Friday. It was slightly painful but the best thing you can do is take a pain pill or advil before, and take DEEP breaths as the procedure is going on. My doctor prescribed a pain pill but i forgot to take it so took some advil before I went in.I was freaking out but started taking deep breaths and calmed down. It still hurt a little because they had to adjust sizes of the catheter (and spray hurricane spray) but it only hurt when the catheter went in.

I have to say that my OBGYN was fantastic through it all, asking if I was "ok" and kept talking to me and checking on me. The nurse in there did they same thing. They were great and made me feel so confortable,as comfortable as you can be. All is clear and my OBGYN called to make sure I was doing good that day. I had slight cramping but other than that, just fine.

Oh, and she did say that I had a small cervix and she's seen the procedure dilate it and people get pregnant because of it. Fingers crossed!!

Best of luck to all the ladies and remember...deep breaths!

Anonymous said...

I survived my first HSG today! I was so scared going into it, because of what I had read about it. However, it was not nearly as bad as I thought it would be. I think I've had period cramps that were worse than the procedure. I understand that women are different and some probably do feel more discomfort than others. I'm also wondering if it has something to do with the doctor and his/her experience and technique. The worst part was the insertion of the catheter. The rest of it just felt kind of weird and awkward but not painful. I did take 500mg of Hydracodone prescribed by my doctor, one hour before the procedure and I'm sure that helped. It's been 3 hours since the procedure and I am perfectly fine. No pain of any kind what so ever. Thankfully, the results of the test were very good and I will now move to IUI.

Anonymous said...

I had my HSG done about 6 months ago. The actual test took 5-10 minutes and really wasn;t that bad... The kicker was the radiology tech was quite incompetent and informed the gyne to begin prep and the radiologist was ready. That was not the case. I waited in a prep position for over 30 minutes. That was the part that hurt. I learned that day to not let anyone touch me until everyone is present. I had heavy bleeding for two days and cramping for two weeks. I believe the extensive amount of time with pressure on my cervix is the cause of the problems post procedure.

They found the the tube on the left was clear (dye flowed easily through) and the right did eventually have dye flow but it took a little bit of time. They also identified my uterus as "heart-shaped" and later found it to be bicorniate...

I urge you to be advocates for yourself. There is no reason to prepare you for an outpatient procedure such as this without everyone ready to go.

Anonymous said...

I usually don't post comments on blogs (I love being an anonymous reader!), but felt I needed to as much of what I had read here before my HSG had me SO NERVOUS AND SCARED I could hardly stand it. I was terrified going in after reading all the comments. My MD had prescribed an antibiotic before, and encouraged me to take Advil about an hour before the procedure. I took 800 mg about an hour before. Hardly felt the speculum and catheter going in at all. The only discomfort I had was when they injected the dye -- some mild to moderate cramping for a minute or two -- but nothing to be scared about. For those reading this who need to have an HSG: please talk about your fears with your physician, and take Advil ahead of time. You'll be okay!

Anonymous said...

I had my HSG done 4 days ago and I was terrified before I went, I heard that it was extremely painful so I took 600 milligrams of IB prophen and a xanax because I have sever anxiety. I had a great doctor and nurse which made me feel a lot more comfortable, the most painful part for me was the catheter and it felt like very light period cramps (a 1 on the pain scale) and I didn't feel the dye being injected at all, I had asked my doctor to inject it slow so that might have helped, the pain for me never got worse it was just the light period cramps that lasted for a few hours after the test was over. I think the worst part was stressing for the few days leading up to the test wondering how it was actually going to feel. I hope everyone else out there who needs this test has an experience like mine...good doctors, nurses, quick and painless...Good Luck to everyone.

Anonymous said...

I read the comments posted here prior to having my hysterosalpingogram yesterday and I was completely horrified of what may happen. HOWEVER, I want to assure you that the posts here did not mirror my experience. Was the procedure uncomfortable? Yes. But, I did not experience the tremendous pain that was described by others. It was like moderate period cramps- totally manageable and I even had to lay on the table longer due to equipment malfunctions. I want any reader to know that most of the people who post have had bad experiences- the majority had no pain; which is why they are not posting or talking about it. So no worries! Just relax, you'll be fine! Onto IUI in the next week!

Anonymous said...

I had an HSG 2 days ago and it was not bad at all. I had very little pain before and after. I think it helped that my doctor explained everything to me while he was doing the procedure and he had no complications. I am so glad that I did not read these posts before hand or I would have been scared to death!

Anonymous said...

I was scared to death after reading these posts last night. Had the HSG this morning and I dont know what all the fuss is about. I took some anadin extra 2 hours before I went and couldnt really feel a thing, no worse than a smear test. So my advice to you is ignore the negative comments, go in with a positive attitude and get it over and done with. Good Luck xxx

Anonymous said...

I feel terrible for all the women who had such a bad experience and posted about it.

I did not have a bad experience. Why? Because I was lucky and I took a pain pill. I cannot stand the people who post and say, "Don't believe the hype!" and "Oh my goodness, what is all the fuss about?" Those are women like myself that were lucky the catheter went right in and or the doctor was experienced/caring.
Then they post, patting themselves on the back for what was only luck and circumstance. They make it sound like they are just more mature and not panicking like all of these "hysterical" (interesting word huh?) women.

I am so grateful to this site because I was told all the same B.S. "All you need is advil...", and "think positive". I read what everyone has posted here and I realized it is basically half good experiences, half bad. I decided I would prepare myself for either scenario.

None of us can control who we get as a doctor,(I could not) how our body reponds, and if the catheter will be lined up perfectly or have no problems going in.

My fertility office did not prescribe painkillers. I feel women are being victimized here and there is a real lack of concern. Just like they used to be counseled way back when to "lie back and think of England". What is the harm in prescribing a stupid pain pill? It should be required. If this test was done on men, the docs would be falling over themselves to make sure the guy was nice and comfortable. Women are done a disservice. Gee, prescribe one pain pill or hope for the best? The attitude of the docs (and some family members)is dismissive.

I went into self-protection mode and called my family doc and told her I was having this done and I wanted percocet. She resisited a bit, but I insisited. She gave me a valium, and two hydrocodone. I felt two was a bit stingy because if she gave me enough to last two days would I try to sell them on the street? I am too polite, because I severly cut my foot and was given ONE percocet at the hospital. The nurse stood over me forcing me to take it. I told her my foot was still numb from anesthesia, and could I take it later? I guess she thought I would run out and try to sell that percocet too! As a result, I woke up screaming at two am, and the hospital said if I wanted more pain pills, I would have to come back to the ER. It is shameful how women are treated. but I digress...For the HSG I was grateful I obtained the two pills!

After much thought and talking with friends, I was afraid if I took the valium and hydrocodone I may slip into unconsciousness. My friends and I decided I should give up the valium, take 800mgs ibuprofen the night before, first thing in the morning(with the antibiotic), and an hour before the procedure. I also cut the hydrocodone (a big pill) in half and took that one hour before. I also ate a small breakfast two hours before I took the final pills.

Let me tell you, that pill was what enabled me to walk into that place and volunteer to get this done. I felt protected in that if I got an a-hole of a dr., I was prepared. It relieved so much stress. I also brought the 800 mgs ibuprofen and the rest of the hydrocodone with me, and threw the valium in my purse just in case!

I got to the facility (do not pee beforehand as they may take a urine sample.) I was feeling good, but nauseated I think from the hydrocodone. Went into the changing room and had to remove all the bottom garments. I could leave my top on. I walked out, and both the nurse and doc were there with sweet, smiling faces. They were very kind.

I told the doc I had taken a half of hydrocodone and I had cryosurgery done 15 years ago. My body resisted when she put in the speculum, so like everyone else says I took a deep breathe thinking "calm" as i inhaled and "relax" as I exhaled. I imagined myself back at home in bed to get through the entire trip leading up to the procedure.

She said, "It went right in" and I thanked God I was so lucky and grateful. I have not gotten the complete results yet, but I think she said it went up and in both tubes. I told her I had read that some women posted that it was a terrible experience. She then verified those posts by telling me some have a very difficult and painful time, and they cannot get the catheter in and she was relieved mine went in.

She also told me that if you are required to go to a radiologist, many times you are not getting an OBGYN and they do not perform many of these and they can be more difficult. She also said sometimes the radiologist offices do not even have stirrups or a towel/paper on the table!

My advice is to get pain pills or valium no matter what so that you are prepared. If you are going to a radiologist, just be prepared and bring your own sanitary pad and wipes. I would also call them and ask if the doctor has perfomed this procedure and how often.

I was able to go to a fertilty clinic where all doctors are OB-GYN's, but I had to call my insurance company to be certain they did not require me to go to a radiologist. I also rehaersed in my mind what i would say to the doctor if it was a person who i felt was unkind or rough and made a pact with myself I would tell them to stop and I would leave!(so bizarre they do not allow any one to come with you...)

As I said, I had the pain pill, so I only felt discomfort when the catheter went in. I felt the dye being injected. Even with the hydrocodone, I felt cramps a tiny bit as I was getting dressed. I then took another 800 mgs ibuprofen(4). Because of the meds, I was not in pain. I did feel drained of all energy and I went straight to bed. I was nauseated, but did not throw up. I would never recommend that you go back to work after this unless you are an athlete who was trained in Romania, Russia, or China. If you take cold showers and sleep with the window open on winter nights you may also qualify to go back to work. I was beat, and stayed in bed and was too tired to even care about TV. I never took more pain pills, only ibuprofen.

I was able to scoop kitty litter, feed the cats and dog, drain noodles for dinner,(my husband lifted the water onto the stove) and do the dishes that evening. I took 4 advil about every three hours because I could feel the pain coming back. I also felt I did not want to bend down alot or lift heavy things.

I went to bed at 10 pm, and when I woke up the next day, felt much better, but still took three advil as soon as I woke up. I had more energy and I feel if you must go back to work the next day, you can do it. It is now the day after the procedure, and I have yet to see any dye come out, so i hope it isn't stuck.

Take a pain pill, take the day off, prepare for the worst, set your boundaries, and you will be ok!

Anonymous said...

I have my HSG tomorrow and I am so glad to have read some of the more recent positive comments.

The above comment is unfair, personally I was glad to read the more positive comments and I shall be going in with a positive attitude.

"Then they post, patting themselves on the back for what was only luck and circumstance"
Who do you think you are making these sorts of comments, I dont want my HSG to be a case of luck - I want reasurance that everything will be OK and I want to be as relaxed as possible.

Lollipop Goldstein said...

I keep up all comments unless they are off-topic or offensive. Therefore, people get to see a wide-range of experience. I was actually quite grateful to the person who posted two above who wrote: "Then they post, patting themselves on the back for what was only luck and circumstance. They make it sound like they are just more mature and not panicking like all of these "hysterical" (interesting word huh?) women."

The truth is that everyone will have a different experience based on the skill of the doctor, the tip of their uterus, whether their tubes are blocked, their pain threshold (amongst other reasons). I do notice that the people who say that the procedure was a piece of cake generally took something beforehand.

I think beyond the actual pain associated with this test (and for me, it was more painful that delivering twins vaginally. Why? I don't know. But I wouldn't rate birth--FOR ME--as painful as the HSG and a lot of that could do with the mental state: looking forward to something (the twins) vs. simply a procedure) is the emotional pain. For many women, it is the first test they will take in regards to infertility. It can be an emotional moment to take that first step.

I am thankful that there is a wide range of experience; that some people get to have a pain-free procedure. But everyone needs to remember that their experience is their own experience and cannot speak for anyone else. And when you read this thread, it is to gather information and be prepared (mentally and physically) for the HSG. It is not a promotion of how your own experience will go.

That is what I have always loved about Operation Heads Up--it is a chance for people to tell other people their story. And you can take away from it the information to apply to your life. But it will always remain their story; their experience.

Anonymous said...

OOPs! I posted above I got some hydrocodone pills...I don't even know what those are! I guess I was still tired. I took OXYcodone!

I do believe whether you have pain or not is based on luck and taking a pain pill.

Those who come out saying "I never should have read these posts, it was so easy.." Do not realize how lucky they are.

I told myself to think positive, but after coming here I saw it was not enough. I confided in family members how I was scared, and they told me to get off the internet and "think positive".
I trusted my gut and ignored them! I have learned so much here!

If you do not have a blockage, or any problem with the catheter going in, can you really use a condescending tone like, "Please, it is not painful".? (Yes, I admit not all are condescending, but many of them are).

Is it the women's fault they have a blockage? They cannot control that factor.

These people actually say, "Don't believe it is painful, it is not."

It may not be painful, it may not hurt at all, and you should think positive. But do not deny that it CAN be painful and it largely depends on whether you get a painkiller, a good doctor, no blockages, etc.

Who do I think I am posting my message? I am a woman who used to believe everything a doctor told me. I trusted every doctor and thought I was an idiot who should not ask questions.

I do not want to go into something lying helpless on the table while the rod is in my cervix and someone says, "Its not that bad."(Thanks for the details ladies!!!:)

I am intelligent and entitled to an opinion. I am entitled to post here.

I am thankful to God or the universe or whatever belief system works for my procedure going so well.

Why did it go well for me and not for others? LUCK!(and the info I got from all of you)

After my procedure, I thought of all the women who suffered (whose posts I had read)and I sent out love from my heart to theirs.

They suffered because they could not get a pain pill,(or were told not to bother) they suffered because someone was rough or uncaring. Their posts have made my life richer; they gave me gratitude.

They did not deserve th pain because they all trusted their docs and went in without being taken aside and told, "Wait a minute, before you do this take a pain pill, just to be safe." OR "Whatever you do, at least take the 1000 mgs of Advil" Something to let them know it could be bad!

I know it could have been an awful experience had I had a small opening or a blockage. I feel for them.

Who do I think I am? I had an OB-GYN say to my face immediately afterwards that she was relieved the catheter went in for me and there was no pain. We celebrated together and she let out a huge sigh. Why? She then said that women do suffer in this procedure and she has had to see it.

The ones who don't prepare and assume it will be perfect, and don't even want to know about any difficulty: Why even come here to read? You're all set, you don't need to come to a message board.

Yes, I also noticed the ones who said it was a breeze would comment at the end, "Oh yeah, BTW I took two valium beforehand..."

If I can help one woman speak up for themselves and get that pill, or whatever else makes them comfortable, I will be returning the favor that all you women did for me.

I want to thank those of you who suffered so and had the courage to post.
You are wonderful!!!
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for speaking out here, and helping me to speak up for myself and because of you, I had only a little bit of pain.

Unknown said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

After being terrified and putting it off for months, I just had an HSG and wanted to say that it was not bad absolutely painless, just uncomfortable. I was so scared about the pain that I mad excuses for 4 months, 4 months that I wasted and can't get back. and regret losing.

I think that most of the people that write on this site is people that have had bad experiences. Not everyone has bad experiences, so please don't worry about it and please don't put if off for fear of the pain. My tubes were not blocked, so it felt like a pap smear.

My advice is to take pain killers, don't drink coffee, and take a natural calming anxiety medicine. And it will be over in a blink.

Good luck.

Anonymous said...

I had an HSG this morning - about 5 hours ago. I was really scared after reading a lot of these comments so I took 3 Advil the night before and another 4 Advil about an hour before the procedure. I also took a valium so that I would not be tense. Even with all this preparation, this was the worst pain that I have ever felt - it was ten times worse than the worst cramps that I've ever had and more of a sharp, deep pain. However, the good news is that the pain only lasted a few minutes. As soon as the dye was injected and the catheter was taken out, the pain was completely gone. I have had a little mild cramping since but nothing bad at all. The doctor and the nurse were super nice and there was not blockage so everything went as well as could be expected. So overall, bearable but quite painful for a few minutes. said...

So I had my hsg today (12/5/08). I took 3 extra strength tylenols about an hour before it. It felt like a regular pap until they inserted the balloon thing, then it was pretty crampy, but only for maybe a minute. I would mostly describe it as unpleasant with a minute or two of cramps. I know it varies woman to woman, this was my experience with it. :) Hope this helps to not scare the bejesus out of someone :)

Anonymous said...

I have a severely septated uterus - it's divided into two chambers - so I got to experience an 'easy' hsg on one side and a painful hsg on the other side.

On one side the dye went into the tube no problem - nothing hurt.

Then the radiologist couldn't get the dye into the other side, due to the septation.

As she pushed hard it didn't fell like a cramp, but really sharp, like a pain switch was turned on. Just when I thought I'd say stop my RE told her to.

My RE was observing with two interns due to my strange uterus. He took over and started the procedure again for the other side, and he did not hurt me. And that tube was clear too.

There was bleeding but I was fine to go shopping after, but when I got home - that night was like a bad period.

It was OK for me.

Thank you to the poster who was talking about it not being luck as everyone has different problems and doctors. I agree. I also found people dismissing others pain because they were ok condescending.

The RE told me to take 4 Advil the night before and 4 the hour before.

You can do it.

jamiesbaby said...

ok i had my hsg test on the 5th nov it was absolute agony and my tubes were blocked so im gettin keyhole t un block them i ended up with an infection caused by hsg and i am just outa hosptal was in 4 4 days on a drip my doctor kept telling me it was a urine infection so 4 past 5 wks ive bin really ill i would never get this again and i ADVISE if u are unwell aftr this do not let ur doctors fob you off i have to take antibiotics 4 another 11 days then get scan t c if infection has cleared i was the 1 in 500 who develop severe infection due to hs test ........

Anonymous said...

I had commented at the beginning of November that while the HSG was pretty uncomfortable, it wasn't as bad as I feared, thanks to lots of Advil.

My RE had given me an info sheet ahead of time about the procedure, and one of the things it mentioned was that there is a reported slight increase in fertility for 2-3 months following the HSG.

We've been trying to get pregnant for years. Nothing has worked. I had my HSG 11/10, ovulated about a week later....and I'M PREGNANT!!!!

It may be just a fluke that it happened right after the HSG, but I can't help but wonder if that didn't have some part in it! :)

Good luck to everyone else facing the HSG!

Anonymous said...

I had an HSG the day before yesterday and was pretty scared before going in. They had me take 600mg of Motrin an hour beforehand, but it turned out that my cervix was really tight so they ended up giving me three shots directly into my cervix to counter the pain I would feel with the clamp and catheter insertion. Those shots were the worst part of the whole procedure, but more of a brief, surprising pain rather than a strong, lasting pain and after that I didn't feel anything at all.

I had some slight spotting that day and yesterday, but now today I'm having bleeding, like first-day-of-your-period bleeding. I'm not sure if that's normal or what. No pain, just the bleeding. Weird. But everything looked totally normal, which is good, I guess. One more thing to check off the list.

Anonymous said...

I had a Hysterosapingogram today. I have had five iui's in the past and personally the iui's were worse than the HSG test.

I have read what the others have said about the test and my experience was very similar. The most painful part is when the clap is placed on your cervix. This is my advice - My Dr. had me cough as a distraction when he was placing on the clamp.....surprisingly enough even though I knew he was putting it on and I was coughing to cover the pain you concentrate on the cough and it does distract you. I barely felt the clamp. The catheter has a small balloon that inflates within your uterus. That is the one thing that I did feel. It was a gradual cramping that you can breathe through. If you relax and breathe it's much easier.

Just remember to relax and don't believe all these horror stories about the test.....I would have rather been at a movie or a nice dinner, but it wasn't bad at all.....

Anonymous said...

I had an HSG on the 11th of this month. The leaflet I received about the procedure stated "The HSG can cause mild cramping, a bit like the beginning of a period" It then said "you may take paracetamol or whatever you take for period pains, before the test, if you wish" ( I live in the UK and the leaflet was issued by the hospital I attend)

This was a huge understatement! It was truly agony and I was literally crying out with pain.
My uterus filled with the dye, but due to blockages at the entrance of the tubes it did not go further . . The Dr suggested that this could be due to the entrances of the tubes contracting and proceeded to give me a small intravenous injection of muscle relaxant before trying again. This did not make any difference, and as the Doctor put more dye in, the pain became increasingly unbearable. Eventually they had to stop because of the pain.
(For all those who imply that those who suffer with the HSG are hysterical, I would like to add that I usually have a pretty good pain threshold.)

My purpose in writing this is not to scare anyone, but just to raise awareness. I was thoroughly unprepared for the pain of the HSG. Thinking that it would cause mild cramping at the most, I was not particularly worried about having it done and only took 400mg ibuprofen an hour before.
If I had known then what I know now, I would have been much better prepared and would have gone to my GP (General Practitioner ~ UK healthcare system) to get suitable pain relief beforehand.
As it is, I feel disappointed that I wasn't prepared. If I had taken adequate pain relief I may have been able to endure more of the procedure and it may have been more useful than it was.
At the end of the day it comes down to many factors, and the experience and pain will be completely individual. Just be sure to be prepared incase you are not one of the lucky ones who experiences a pain free HSG. x

Anonymous said...

I had an HSG back in April 2008. I took 2 motrin 2 hours before the procedure and was expecting the wors pain from reading all the other comments. Thankfully my tubes were open. I will describe my pain as menstraul cramps. absolutely nothing that I couldn't handle. I bled a little and continued spotting for a few days. I did go home and rest after the HSG and I recommend doing so as well. Try not to hvae any other plans after your HSG because you never know how you will feel. I am happy to say that I am now in my 2nd trimester. I know it's eay for me to say but try not to worry too much before your HSG. The pain will only last for a few minutes. Good luck to everyone.

Anonymous said...

I had the procedure done a few weeks ago. I had very bad cramping when the die was inserted. I did take pain pills before the procedure. My results were inconclusive. The die never entered the tubes and kept flowing out vaginally. I know that was not suppose to happen. I was prepared for the pain but it was still breath taking. Next time I will ask for a muscle relaxer.

Anonymous said...

TAKE PERCOCET! I just my HSG this morning and I felt no pain, absolutely none (and I have a low threshhold). I was expecting the worse, but apparently, the percocet numbed me completely. I do have pain this evening, but it's manageable with some Motrin. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

I will be going through my 3rd HSG next Thursday (Feb 5) and I have had pain and no pain. The 1st one the doctor (male) did not give any meds before procedure very painful, 2nd time the doctor (female) gave me vicodin and valium, so out of it do not remeber walking in the hospital, so there was no pain. Just to let everyone know both test gave the same results no blockage in remaining tube, one removed due to ectopic pregnancy, but good thing after 1st HSG got pregnant but had miscarrage. I am now 39 years old and the man that I have been dating has talked about having more children (he has a daughter), so I have been talking to a fertility specialist and I am starting the process all over again. HSG to see what is going on inside, if everything is alright then will start fertility drugs. I will go as far as I need to go with this doctor, because the other two doctors did nothing else after the HSG. So, no matter how painful the procedure is going to be next week I will endure all of it because I would like to have a baby, since I do not have any children and I have started hearing the clock tick away.

Anonymous said...

I had my HSG on Wed. morning. When I started reading the first comments, I started crying because I wish I had read up on the procedure beforehand. I was one of the ones who was only informed to "take some advil" and there might be "some cramping". Not to scare anyone, but I can say that my HSG pain was only second to breaking my collarbone skiing.
I have a high pain tolerance (rugby player), and I don't normally take anything except advil if I am in a lot of pain. I was in a hurry to get to the procedure and forgot to take any advil. I wasn't very worried though because I have never had any problems with pap smears and had cryosurgery a few years ago without much discomfort and like I said, no one, not even the ones doing the procedure seemed to be worried it would hurt.
The radiologist was friendly, but when it came to the procedure he was not gentle at all. I wasn't nervous at all until he inserted the tool to open me up and even that hurt. He started jabbing it in and out and then had to get a different size. It only got worse after that. Though he did try to talk me through it I was in so much pain and trying to be a good sport that all I could do was silently cry while trying to relax because I knew it was only making things worse. I thought that I must have blockages because the nurse said before that there might be pain if that was the case, but the radiologist said afterwards that everything was normal. I was too embarrassed for crying, and too uninformed to ask questions at the time.
I went on to work, but have had an empty sort of cramping since but it has been bearable. I thought it was getting better. It is now Sat. morning and my husband and I decided to try to have sex, but we had to stop because he was hurting me and causing sharp cramping that was worse than anything I have been having. It's been two hours and I still feel like I am having bad menstral cramps. Noone told me not to have sex. I will have to call my gyn on Mon. to get some answers.

I have to agree with others that having the knowledge to take something beforehand and getting a competent and understanding radiologist probably makes a huge difference in the experience one has. Good luck to everyone and thanks for letting me share.

Anonymous said...

I'll admit I was absolutely terrified after reading all these accounts of the HSG. Actually, I think cried a lot and I put the test off for 5 months. I finally scheduled it and just got back from it a few minutes ago.

I did take 800 mg motrin last night and I took another 800 mg an hour before the test. I was really worried about the catheter going through the cervix and all that. Though I was scared, I tried to keep relaxed and I also tried to visualize my cervix being relaxed and open.

I had mine done at Chesapeake Medical Imaging in Annapolis, MD. They were very very nice about me being nervous. They didn't allow my husband in, but the tech held my hand and distracted me by asking about my ring, etc. The doctor was very good - I didn't feel the catheter at all, whether by his skill, my biology, or my visualization actually working. The dye itself was a very strange pressure, uncomfortable, like someone pressing on your full bladder. But not horrible. Oh, and the speculum wasn't worse than a normal one, and they didn't use one my cervix at all.

It was a little uncomfortable when they scooted me back under the x-ray and straightened my legs out. But not that bad.

I was able to see the dye go through the tubes and they were clear, so I didn't have much in the way of cramping. The motrin may have helped with that too.

That was pretty much it since I was clear. They took everything out and I was done. I have a little bit of pressure still, but it's not really cramping. My monthly cramps are horrible, so maybe my pain tolerance is higher?

Anyway - thank you to everyone for posting your experiences. At least I went in prepared. But my experience was really not bad at all. I'm headed back to work now. :-)

Anonymous said...

I had my HSG on Monday and after reading all of these comments I was terrified! My doctor prescribed 550 mg of Naproxen for me to take which definitely helped. The insertion of the catheter didn't hurt but felt uncomfortable. When they blew up the balloon, the cramping started which did feel like bad menstrual cramps, but no worse. Of course, that was with a prescription pain killer so I imagine with nothing it must be pretty painful. Make sure you take something and ideally ask your doctor to prescribe a painkiller for you. Both my tubes were clear so I might have had a less painful experience than some other people who have blockages, but it really was not nearly as bad as I expected. I think it's good to go in there prepared to experience some pain and discomfort, but everyone's experience is slightly different and hopefully it won't be as bad as you think.

Anonymous said...

I just had my HSG yesterday. After reading the other comments on this site I was so hysterical about going. I was instructed to take 4 Advil about an hour before. So I did and I went in there and it was not bad at all. She told me everything she was doing and there was just some minor cramping when everything went in and for a little while after. Uncomfortable yes, but not very painful. I was fine the rest of the day and went out to eat and went shopping. My period cramps are much worse than the minor cramping I had afterwards. I know everyone is different, but I wanted to share my experience to maybe settle some nerves for others. Years ago I had a biopsy of my cervix that was 100 times worse than this. So don't freak out - it may not be that bad for you!!

Anonymous said...

I had my HSG yesterday, and all I can say is BE PREPARED!! I went in expecting it to hurt, and I was not let down. The part that hurt the most for me was when the dye was injected. It was one of the worst pains I have ever felt - worse than slamming my finger in our heavy patio door. It did go way fairly quickly, but that initial pain was enough to make me cry instantly. I actually called my doctor that morning to see if I could get something stronger than Advil prescribed before I went in, and they said no. I just wish the doctors and nurses understood what an emotional test this is and they would have mercy on us. I would have gladly taken something to make me a little loopy if it would have prevented the pain that I felt. The good part was, besides being a little weepy afterwards, (I was just glad that it was over) I felt pretty good, drove myself home and had a good cry. Good Luck if you are going to get this done, I hope you are one of the lucky ones that it doesn't hurt for.

Anonymous said...

I am here to report a very anti-climactic HSG test and, hopefully, calm some of my fertility-challenged sisters' nerves out there.

I hate needles, blood, hospitals, tv shows that feature any of the above, and anything foreign being stuck into my body. I faint easily.

I read ALL the posts about the HSG tests on Saturday night, and got myself worked up quite nicely for this morning's (Monday) test. I followed the advice given on this blog - took 400 mg of Advil the night before, another 400 mg an hour prior to the test, and picked up a fave herbal anti-anxiety supplement (ignatia amara - at Whole Foods, etc.) on the way to work before the test.

I was fortunate to have my RE give the test, which I chose to schedule after 6 failed IUIs (diagnosis - advanced maternal age - 37 - and low sperm count). I was also fortunate to have a very kind, very experienced, and female lab tech who actually held my hand during the first part of the procedure! I was also fortunate to have my hubby allowed in the room, and he was very reassuring to me.

I won't go through a long description of the test, as it's already described numerous times on this blog, but I will say that I did NOT have my cervix "clamped open" as some women have described here. Perhaps that accounts for my lack of complaint. It was uncomfortable and awkward - men just don't get it, do they? - but the only pain I felt was a tiny, very brief sharp pain as the catheter entered my cervix.

Bottom line: This test is worth it to rule out any tubal blockage. I am happy to report that my tubes are open. Now to figure out what to do next to get pregnant...

Amy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

I just had my first, and hopefully last, HSG a week ago today. I was only slightly prepared for what to expect. I had had to reschedule two HSGs, as my period fell right over the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, and I wasn't about to add THAT in the mix.

My husband went with me, and it was nice to have him there to hold my hand. I guess I just wasn't informed about how long it would last. Yes, the pain was sharp and deep, about as painful as my second miscarriage cramps. BUT, I was mentally "going to a place" that I expected it to last much longer. It literally took less than a minute. So, yes, it hurt, but it was over so fast...much faster than I was prepared for.

I had some cramping the rest of the day, but only mild. I felt fine from then on. The test showed that everything was fine, which I guess is good news, but doesn't help explain my two miscarriages last year. But my doctor just said everything looked we go forward from here.

The test is bearable. Yes, the radiology tech said that it can take longer and hurt more if you have problems, so I'm sure that is a factor, too. But overall, it was over quickly.

Scoop said...

After my HSG last week, I have learned two things:
1) if I am fortunate enough to get to the point of labor, I am definitely requesting the epidural. If labor is anything like the HSG, I can't imagine enduring that kind of pain for more than 5 minutes.
2) Pain is relative. If you are like me, i.e. low pain threshold and some menstrual cramping, the warning of an "unpleasant" or "uncomfortable" procedure could mean "excruciating; " as in I almost fainted and vomited.

All that said, I am glad I did it and would second all the great advice from others: relax as much as you can, and (at least for me), take something stronger than Advil prior to the procedure.

I also experienced a very unsympathetic, business-as-usual attitude from my nurse. I honestly think she thought I was faking it!

Anonymous said...

""the warning of an "unpleasant" or "uncomfortable" procedure ALWAYS means "excruciating""

Anonymous said...

I came across this blog yesterday when doing some research about what to expect in an HSG. Upon reading everyone's experiences I was quite in a frenzy about having to have it done the next day.

Well today came and I had the test done and I just wanted to share my experience. I found it not that painful at all. To me, it felt like a visit to the regular OBGYN. There was a little bit of pressure, a slight pinch and then slight cramping when the dye ran through my tubes, which they warned me would happen.

I took a couple of Advil before the test and came into work after. No pains, no discomfort.

So to those of you who are fearing the worst, fear not! It's really not that bad. Of course everyone is different, but there was a girl in the office who had it done before me and reported the same thing I just did.

Good luck to all who have to do this.

Anonymous said...

Hey everyone! I had my HSG today and I literally felt nothing. It was easy and quick and I had kind nurses and a friendly doctor. I took Aleve 30 minutes before the procedure, which may have helped, but it really wasn't uncomfortable at all, and was no more embarrassing than a PAP test.

I felt VERY minor bloating/cramping later that day, but it wasn't anything that bothered me.

I just wanted to encourage those of you who are reading this blog and are scared out of your minds because of it like I was. So many people have had hard times with HSGs, but I didn't and maybe you won't either!

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