Sunday, 20 January 2008

Rampant dread about the HSG

Thought my period had started yesterday, which would mean I'd need to book in for the HSG this week as it has to be done within 10 days of a new cycle starting. My plan was to call into the fertility clinic for my day2 blood tests tomorrow morning and while there book in for the procedure, probably for Friday.

That spurred me to do some more detailed research about what the HSG actually entails, and I have to say I am now absolutely sick with terror. I want to cry whenever I even think about it.

I've read a few blog sites where women have posted about their experiences, and a disconcertingly high proportion have used phrases like "the worst pain I've ever experienced", "excruciating", "100 times worse than delivering twins vaginally" and "I passed out it was so bad" to describe it.

I'm a big wimp at the best of times and have been lucky in that I've never experienced severe pain in my life. I've never had a tooth out, have only one filling, have never broken a bone or had surgery, and until all this started, the most invasive procedures I'd ever endured were routine smears. I've never found smears to be that bad, and while speculums are cold and uncomfy, I've never felt that they actively hurt, so I'm really hoping that stands me in good stead for this...

The consultant at the clinic told me that I should take 800mg of ibuprofen beforehand to "ease the cramps". She said I'd feel these when the dye is pushed through my tubes, and that they are like bad menstrual cramps. OK, thought I, period pain is nothing I haven't dealt with before, and there was something reasonably reassuring about it being a familiar type of pain rather than something unexpected. But from reading some of the comments on the web, it seems these "cramps" in actual fact resemble late-stage labour contractions, and that DOES scare me.

There are also lots of people who found the insertion of the catheter through the cervix unbearable. That bit really worries me - after all, the worst part of a smear isn't the speculum but the bit where they scrape your cervix. It's not active pain, it's more a sort of unpleasant, fingers-on-blackboard sensation of what the FUCK are you doing touching one of my ORGANS?!

I almost want to be cross with the women who've posted comments featuring words like "agony" and "excruciating" - but then I suppose they are just sharing what the experience was like for them in an effort to prepare others.

Having said all this, my period has now vanished altogether, so I don't think it was a period after all - perhaps just some spotting as a hangover from the travails of the Espace earlier in the week. I need to ring the clinic tomorrow to find out what I should do. Part of me wants to get this horrid HSG over with - spending the next couple of months sick with dread over it doesn't appeal to me. And of course, even if it's horrible, it's worth it to find out what's going on.

However, there's a really big part of me that just wants to have one more cycle before getting it done, in the desperate hope that a miracle will occur and I'll conceive without having to go through it.

In the words of Eliza Doolittle: Not bloody likely.


Ruchi said...

Hi there,

I went for my HSG at the 9th day of cycle and I started experiencing pain right at the beginning !! The specullum broke as the radilogist saw my cervix..and then she refused to do the procedure on me..I m glad she did because theres no wasy I could have done that in my senses..can I ask my doctor to prescribe comple sedation for thi sprocess?

Down and Out said...

Oh my god that's EXACTLY what has been up with me!! Fake period after the Espace retreated- I think it just stirred up the months old detritus there that hasn;t had a chance to come out..

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All is a =bout sensations, and most of the people can't ignore my version because they know it. The most invasive procedures I'd ever endured were routine smears. I've never found smears to be that bad. 23jj

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