Updated: Mar 27, 2020

What’s a HSG anyway?

You might have to read my post from last week to understand what‘s going on this week! You’ll be forgiven for forgetting where exactly we are in this process because it’s gosh darn hard to keep up!

So, following an MRI scan recently, at our first consultation for IVF the results showed visibility of a hydrosalpinx. This would mean surgery to remove it and a big old NHS style delay on starting our funded round of IVF.

On Tuesday this week we had succumbed to the fact that we won’t be starting IVF for some time so got on with booking our semi-planned trip to New Zealand in December and finally booked our car to get us around. This is the trip we thought we may have to cancel if we were due to start our first cycle. No sooner had the payment processed for the car had my phone rang and our consultant was on the end of it.

They had been reviewing my case at an inter departmental meeting (how important am I?) and have mixed views about what action should be taken next. My laparoscopy operation in the summer revealed stage 4 endometriosis but no hydrosalpinx, the MRI revealed a hydrosalpinx and the scan that our consultant took showed no hydrosalpinx so conflicting diagnoses from each event. It is known that hydrosalpinx can fill up and the drain so possible it was there and now it isn’t! Instead of putting me through another laparoscopic operation to remove a hydrosalpinx that may not be there they have suggested a procedure called a HSG.

I didn’t know what this was either, don’t worry. Here’s an extract taken from this site to put it more eloquently:

“An HSG is a special kind of x-ray used to evaluate female fertility. An outpatient procedure, the test takes no longer than a half hour. It involves placing an iodine-based dye through the cervix and taking x-rays. These x-rays help evaluate the shape of the uterus and whether the fallopian tubes are blocked.”

The diagram at the top of the blog illustrates the procedure in a non-emotional, science textbook sort of way. HSG stands for hysterosalpingogram. Sounds like something you’d get through the mail right?

So, I agreed that this would my preferred option before surgery and our consultant gave us the option of either being referred through the NHS for this procedure (timescale unknown) or we could pay for one from the clinic. I decided to have a think on this and of course discuss with Tom! Besides this being good news it might mean we had to cancel the vehicle we just booked and reconsider our NZ trip yet again!

So overnight we decided we could go privately. Approximately £450 which we thought - what are credit cards for? Called back the clinic only to find out our consultant had got the referral process somewhat incorrect! 😤

The lady at reception explained that they don’t perform HSG at the clinic and our consultant would need to refer us to the main hospital, even if we want to pay privately! I’ll be honest this consultant was sort of on thin ice with me already. He seemed rather disorganised and not aware of processes at the clinic so our first appointment did feel a little stilted anyway. I have in my head that the phone call was maybe kick started by him having to get some sort of ‘sign-off’ for referring us for surgery and his superiors advised him otherwise on the HSG route. I really hate having a lack of confidence in a medical professional over seeing your case so decided to ask for an alternative consultant next time. Lady at reception confirmed he is new to the clinic and a very experienced doctor but perhaps unaware of ‘how we do things here yet’. Lack of confidence justified in my book and we will be seeing someone else next time.

Anywho, lady at reception being very helpful called back the next day to say she had the doctor on duty that day to refer us and information on how to book our appointment was coming in the post on Friday.

Fast forward to Friday! I have a ton of mail all related to the appointment which I am yet to read in detail, however HSG has to be booked on first day of the cycle and performed on 5th or 6th day for the best results. So mid-October I will know much more.


As a side note HSG is not to be confused with a hysteroscopy (not that your average human would confuse them but I did). I’ve already had a hysteroscopy in which they told me they have performed a dye test which is how they knew my tubes were blocked. I’m still not 100% sure if I’m honest why this is different to the HSG. BUT a perfect example of us placing all our trust in the medical professionals and hoping for the best! I found this article a little bit enlightening but definitely something I will be asking about at my next appointment.

Looking for ladies who’ve had an HSG so they can share their experiences please! ❤️

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