Thursday, August 11, 2011

Does an HSG hurt?

OMFG.  Browsing the Facebook, considering reading an Ebert review, worrying about the Girl Scouts, and I stumbled upon a little post by the California Cryobank folk (as always, the gold standard for social media efforts):
From K & C: Wondering if anyone has an experience to share regarding HSG testing. Ours is coming up next week.

So, cool, that's really handy.  We're probably doing ours next week, too.  Responses:
- Stay away from what people say on the internet, I worked myself up into such a mess but honestly it was just a little uncomfortable.  Not nearly as bad as the internet reviewers were saying. 
- It's not as bad as the Internet says.... But it's does definitely hurt! Lots of cramping. But it's very quick.

- Not my favorite moment but very doable
- It was excruciating but it is over really quickly. 
Although they say the pain is worse if you had a blockage, in which case you will be so happy that you had the HSG to clear it out and you won't mind the pain ;)
IS that really handy?  If nothing else, it puts me in the awkward position of deciding whether to tell Heather that I heard the procedure she's about to undergo can be "excruciating," or to say absolutely nothing.  Gotta be the second one, right?


When I visited WebMD on my first Google search, the first page most assuredly did not mention that the procedure "definitely hurt."  What it said was that they poke a catheter through the cervix into the uterus and shoot some dye up into the depths to see if the lady's plugged up.  What I'm too dumb to realize is that poking a catheter into Heather's lady parts is exactly what Nurse Nina did and exactly what made Heather so fucking miserable during each IUI.  
Let's say, for the sake of argument, that Nurse Nina's poking skills (not unlike her speculum-inserting skills) were shaky.  Not her strong suit.  Even then, it's clear there's real potential for the catheter insertion to hurt like hell.  We're holding tight for now to the belief that Dr. C is Superwoman and has a mind like a steel trap, a heart like Mother Teresa, and gentle hands like Melanie, my favorite masseuse, but Heather's uterus is still at a tilt (assuming, oh, god, that Nurse Nina wasn't wrong about that, too).  There's no clear path for the catheter, so the sucker's going to stab her somewhere down there, and I've held her hand through enough exams to know it truly hurts her.
The subject may also be given a sedative to "reduce discomfort," another article says.  Please, please let that happen. 
On the second page of the WebMD article, I learned that the subject may be given a laxative or enema before the procedure so nothing in the colon will obscure the reproductive organs.  It's hard for me to contemplate not mentioning that to Heather.  I'm going to call her right now.  That's hilarious.

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