Not conceiving when you are ready can be very frustrating. To get the most complete answers about why you are not becoming pregnant, there are certain fertility tests that you should expect to have when you are a patient at a fertility specialist's office. (A fertility specialist, in the truest sense of the term, would be a board certified Reproductive Endocrinologist or REI.)
Hysterosalpingography or HSG
One test that often creates concern in patients is the Hysterosalpingography, or HSG for short. It is the most universally accepted test that REI's use to look at the structure and the efficacy of the female reproductive system. Using contrast dye along with an X-ray procedure, the HSG makes it possible to see the fallopian tubes (which are responsible for carrying the eggs from the ovaries to the uterus) and whether the tubes are open as well as enabling your REI to see the shape, size and many other features of the uterus, including any benign growths, such as polyps, fibroids or other adhesions.
Because there is a catheter (a soft, thin tubing) inserted and guided through the vagina and cervix into the uterus, it is fairly common to feel some discomfort, similar to mild menstrual cramping. Many fertility programs do advise you to take Advil before the procedure, both to help with any discomfort you may have and also to help relax the uterus. Even if you prefer not to take medications, it's important to understand that the Advil has a therapeutic value, as well as providing pain relief.
None of us like to experience discomfort or pain and not every patient who undergoes this test will feel them. Being prepared for the possibility and knowing that the information that this test provides is crucial to designing an individualized fertility treatment protocol that can lead to a successful pregnancy can go a long way towards actually making the appointment and having this test done.
HSG- A Test That Will Help You Have Your Baby
One way of looking at the HSG test is that the information that your REI will have afterwards is a positive step that you are taking towards having a successful pregnancy and healthy baby.
After all, that's why you're seeing an REI, to help you succeed in your family building plans.
That's our goal too.