Wednesday, May 28, 2008

IF Illiterate

After all those lovely supportive comments and great advice on how to deal with the HSG, I realized (feeling super embarrassed now) that I'm not have an HSG after all.

Don't laugh too hard at me please. :)

Back in March, when we first went into the fertility clinic for the initial consultation, part of me was in denial that any of this was happening at all anyway. Going to the clinic was admitting that yes, we are suffering from infertility. And I wasn't supposed to be suffering from infertility. I was supposed to have 5 kids by age 35 and have a nice, big happy home-schooling family.

I suppose it's still possible, right? :)

Anyway, the visit was kind of hard for me. I was glad to finally get the ball rolling and keep moving forward, but it was hard to acknowledge that we actually had to walk down this path at all. When I came home, I called my mom right away (in addition to being the best mom ever, she's a physician) and told her about all the tests I was supposed to be having. They all seemed fairly self-explanatory, except for the last one.

"It says hysterosonogram and in parenthesis, saline infusion sonogram or hysterosonographic contrast sonogram," I told my mom.

"Do you mean hysterosalpingogram?" she asked.

"Yeah, that's probably what it means. I guess Canadians have different terminology or something."

Oops.

In my defense, in the last three years, I have come to realize (and not always the easy way), that there are some variations in common words and spellings between the US and Canada . My friends here write their exams and use washrooms, but I always took my exams and went to the bathroom. There are many more examples, but you can see where my mind is right now.

So anyway, in the spirit of pretending like I wasn't really suffering from infertility, I filed away all my papers after talking to my mom and didn't bother looking at them too closely again until yesterday, when I went to retreive the prescription for the antibiotics to be taken before the HSG. Which is when I actually read the pamphlet more closely and discovered it isn't really an HSG after all. It's a hysterosonogram (saline infusion sonogram or hysterosonographic contrast sonogram), whatever that is.

I've had a bit of trouble trying to understand exactly what this procedure is, and how it differs from an HSG. From my google research, it seems like the difference between an HSG and this test is that in this test, saline is inserted, not a dye, and an ultrasound is done, not an x-ray. Hooray. Another chance to have a wand up my you-know-what.

Have any of you had a hysterosonogram before? Is it similar enough to an HSG that I should follow the same general recommendations for painkillers and preparation before and after?

35 comments:

C said...

Coming to you from NaComLeavMo! Unfortunately, I can't shed any light on the hysterosonogram, although I have heard of it before. I had a good old fashioned HSG myself, then a lovely little laparoscopy.

Acknowledging infertility is hard, and that one-year mark was especially difficult for me, too. In fact, I had moments of denial throughout our nearly two-year journey. Even after four failed IUIs, I kept thinking it was all a misunderstanding, and there was no problem whatsoever. Infertility wasn't happening to ME! How wonderful that we can all support each other this way. Good luck to you!

alicia said...

Weird!! I am from Canada too, and I always thought they were the same thing!! I had an HSG I am pretty sure, there was dye and a x-ray, but what you are having sounds similar, I heard that they do that procedure to girls who are allergic to the dye, do you have an allergy?? Weird!

Thanks for the comment today! I really don't know how our fellow infertile ancestors did it! I would be CRAZY without my internet girls!

Mrs. Spit said...

Have you checked out stirrup queens, I bet she has something.

I feel you about the words. I have had all manner of problems in the US when I ask for the bathroom. Or a chocolate bar. And when they offer me soda, I always think of soda water. . .

Kymberli said...

I've had three hysterosonograms (also called saline sonogram or sonohysterogram). Take Motrin, Tylenol, or some other pain killer about 30 mins before. The doc will basically put a thin tube through your cervix and will fill your uterus with saline under u/s guidance. It doesn't take long - maybe 5 mins from start to finish if that. It can get a little crampy, like minor period cramps. I've always felt better within 30 mins of the procedure. I hope it's not that bad for you, either!

Echloe said...

I'm had this exam. ANd I think I may have to have another. And don't feel bad that you confused these two tests. I responded to many a message board with info on the Saline Sonogram when people wanted to know about the HSG. Anyway you should prepare kind of the same. It is a painful test. At least it was for me. I recommend taking a couple of advil before your appointment. Also you will leak the saline and bleed a little afterward. So bring a pad with you. It was a faster test than my HSG. So you can look forward to it being quick I hope. The big difference between the HSG and the saline sonogram is that in the later they fill your uterus up with liquid via a little balloon and there is no xray. They just scan you with ultrasound and take measurements and stuff. With the HSG they wait to see the dye they've injected spill out through your tubes. Good luck!!

thepromiseofourlove said...

Hahaha...I did that too today.

I called and said "I have a HSG scheduled with Dr__ for next wed but need to reschedule"

response: "hmmm...do you mean a saline something [I didnt catch the name]"

me:yeah that one

lol

amy said...

I've heard the saline one is less painful...but I'd still take some pain killer before hand because no one likes pain.

Amy
dancingwithinfertility.blogspot.com

Katt said...

I had a roomate from Canada for a couple years. I always got a kick out of the things he said.

I echo the advice to take some ibuprofen before the hysterosonogram. You'll likely have some cramping but it shouldn't be too terrible.

Best of luck!

tryingtoconceive said...

NCLM.

I had this procedure last fall. Advil is sufficient - you will have light cramping during the procedure and afterwards. But the best advice is this - be prepared for a ginormous GUSH when you sit up from all the saline coming back out!! There may also be a little blood. So, a pad is a must have.

Best wishes for a normal, healthy uterus!

Jendeis said...

Came from NaComLeavMo. I had an HSG, not a hysterosonogram so I can't answer any specifics. However, I had been very worried about the possible amount of pain from the procedure. The procedure itself was uncomfortable, but afterwards was fine. I'm hoping for even better for you!

Accepting our IF has been a journey. As I explained to my husband today, I had to go through a mourning period. I had to grieve for what we had lost - the dream of just having sex and waking up pregnant. It's important to allow yourself to do that so you can truly move on to whatever's next.

DC said...

Sounds like the other ladies have given you some good advice.

As far as my post, "Ten Things Never to Say to Someone Dealing With Infertilty," there's no copyright yet. ;) Feel free to pass it along (and please pass along my blog info too . . . the more the merrier!).

http://lupuspie.blogspot.com/2008/05/ten-things-never-to-say-to-someone.html

Meg said...

I had a hysteroscopy which sounds very similar. It got pretty crowded up in lady town with the speculum, tube to fill the uterus with saline and a camera but overall I would say it was more uncomfortable than it was painful. Remember to take some Advil 30 minutes before the procedure. There will be gushing and some blood so don't be shocked (I was!). I had the procedure done the same day as an HSG and I was fine after it was all over.

Good Luck!

calliope said...

bouncing back at you from your NacomLeavMo:

The sono saline exam is totally doable. It is basically like having a transvag ultrasound- except they run a little tube up in you before hand and push tons of saline in you. It isn't pleasant ( I mean it can feel down right weird!) but I wouldn't call it pain. I think taking an advil or two before hand should cover it.

My one big bit of advice (that I learned the hard way sitting in traffic) bring a towel for you to sit on in the car and a SUPER granny style maxi pad to wear out of the exam. You will "pee" most of the saline out...but a lot of it will just slowly trickle.

Jason and Samantha said...

I also can't tell you about the hysterosonogram. I also had an HSG (which hurt like a biotch!)

Anywho. Good Luck, and I look forward to following you!

((big hug))

(from NCLM)

oh2btigger said...

I don't know what either of them are...I'm so irregular that I tried for 6 months to get an HSG done and I couldn't because we couldn't get the timing correct.

Whatever it is, best of luck to ya!

(Visiting from NCLM)

Momma Mary said...

Here from NCLM. Sounds like you've gotten some good answers. I've only had an HSG. And that was enough. :)

Hopefully you'll get some answers!

Amber said...

I've had three (count 'em, three!) SHGs, which is another name for the saline one. Two were no problem at all - a little pressure here and there, but nothing bad. The third I had a hysteroscopy at the same time, so I think that added to the "excitement" a bit, but it was still definitely managable. 800mgs of Ibuprofren did the trick. Good luck!

JJ said...

Hello from NCLM!

I too, have only had an HSG--but it sounds like you have gotten some good feedback! I wish you the best--Ill be back to check in on ya =)

JJ said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mya said...

I can't offer any advice on the hystersonogram. I just wanted to tell you I love that you want 5 kids by 35. I always said that I wanted 4 by the time I was 35. Good luck with the testing.

InfertileMadWoman said...

Well, you already got your answer about the test, so I just wanted to say thanks for the comment. I hope that everything turns out ok with the test!! Hugs

Steph said...

I have never had this type of test but I wish you all the luck!!!

Keep us posted with the results!!

Thank you for posting on my blog as well!

Kim said...

I had both the HSG which is like an x-ray to see the shape of you uterus and tubes and to check for blockage and a hysteroscope which takes an actual look - through a camera at the inside of your uterus. I got to watch it on the screen and it was pretty neat! I have not had the saline one, but I would think a few advil would be good! Good Luck!

scarredbellybutton said...

MOST women seem to feel that a HSG is more painful than the saline u/s, but some are the other way around. I hope it's not painful for you.

~Jess said...

Thanks for your comment on my blog. It sounds like your plans are the same as mine:" I was supposed to have 5 kids by age 35 and have a nice, big happy home-schooling family."

That was my game plan: Oh well. So much for plans :-)

Ashley said...

I've had the saline ultrasound, and from what it sounds like, you should treat it as an HSG. An HSG is about checking the tubes, and the saline ultrasound (as I call it) is to check the uterine structure. So, bonus points, nothing is pushed out your tubes.

Doesn't mean it doesn't hurt like a bitch.

I know people who had it with no problems. My experience was utterly traumatic, and I will never go through it again.

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