A sonohysterogram is actually a SHG, or I’ve heard some women call it an SSG, which seems like it isn’t correct but makes it a lot easier to avoid mixing up the two. I can’t exactly figure out why you would do one over the other – except that my doctor only does SHGs and if you want an HSG you need to go to the hospital, and according to the cheat sheet of infertility pricing they gave me – an SHG is exorbitantly more expensive. Basically, I’m looking forward to meeting my deductible this month. I also can’t seem to figure out if a SHG or an SHG is grammatically correct, considering ‘an’ sounds right to me, and ‘a’ seems to follow the rules of words, so I’m just going to bounce back and forth between the two before I decide what I think is best.
If you still don’t understand the difference between the two tests, considering I haven’t explained it at all, it’s that the HSG involves some sort of dye and an x-ray machine, and the SHG involves saline and an intravaginal ultrasound (if you start fertility treatments, you’re going to be hard-pressed to find a day that doesn’t involve the up close and personal ultrasound). Regardless of which test you get assigned, you’ve probably heard one major rumor circling and that is: it hurts. I had read forum after forum where everyone said it was the most painful thing in the world, and then I thought about my friends who nearly passed out when they got their IUDs put in and I thought, “Oh my God this is like the same exact thing – I’m going to cramp out and want to die.” I mean, objects aren’t supposed to enter your cervix OR your uterus! Everytime I think about what this actually involves, it still makes me squirm.
Though I’m always in a perpetual state of anxiety, my nerves didn’t get the best of me until I walked into the ultrasound room and was greeted by this cart of supplies:
I didn’t want to alarm anyone, but I was pretty sure my uterus couldn’t accommodate for that amount of saline. Also, what the heck was this giant syringe – and where were they planning on putting it?! Per usual, Doctor Kate was late, so I was left to stare at the supply cart and also wonder why I took my socks off for this. Twenty minutes into my wait, I was ready to wrap the paper around my waist and step out into the hall calling, “Hi! Just wanted to let you know I’m ready!” How long do they think it takes to remove your pants?? During that time I even got a confirmation text for my second ultrasound on Monday. To which I responded “Confirmed – can you please send my doctor in?” Their fault for opening up that line of communication.
I was so on edge that I was afraid my crotch would clamp down during the procedure and someone was going to leave this appointment without a hand. It’s a good thing they have you lay down on what I can only assume is an actual pee pad, so that if you pee a little out of nerves, no one will even notice! How are you not supposed to be freaked out about power washing your tubes?
When Doctor Kate eventually came in, she thought she was being helpful when she said that if a tube is blocked, my other tube could go over and grab the egg from the ovary and ovulate with it, but then I couldn’t get the image of my tubes just floating their arms around like those inflatable men at car dealerships out of my head.
She also mentioned that the only other thing we’d have to look out for is if there’s anything in my uterus (helloooo, it’s only been super empty forever!) we’d have to take care of that before moving on with IUI. I wasn’t even thinking about my uterus, or my left tube, I just wanted to see how righty was doing after it decided to try to host our first embryo.
Now might be a good time to mention that I was told to take 800mg of Ibuprofen an hour before the procedure, so that might be the reason for me saying: Yeah, I felt it, but it’s not that bad. I didn’t have intense cramping during the wash – just felt OH that’s a qtip straight up brushing against my cervix (which is actually the only thing that made me cringe the days following the SHG), and AH that would be something entering my uterus! (Afterwards though…HOLY CRAMPS! I was able to go back to work just fine, but for the next few days had the heavy ache of thoroughly worked out tubes.) The nurse who was in the room kept telling me to breathe in through my nose and out through my mouth, which gave me something else to focus on besides what always looks like a mess of my insides on the screen.
I didn’t even have time to worry about if the saline would push through my right side when Doctor Kate exclaimed, “Oh! Right tube is open – that was quick!” And righty pulls through for the win!!! I hate to say I wasn’t as proud of my left side for also being clear, but that’s like an A student getting another A – I expected success. My uterus, however, let me down. One, two, THREE polyps that could’ve been fighting off potential eggs each month. So, not quite empty after all.
Doctor Kate and Nurse I-Didn’t-Get-Her-Name were both wildly optimistic about my flowing tubes. I was kind of annoyed. I had literally just been told how a blocked tube doesn’t even matter, but that a blocked uterus does matter. It seems like we should all be a bit more down about these results ladies! Especially, ESPECIALLY because this now means I’m signed up for outpatient SURGERY to remove the polyps on Wednesday. I was told I’d need a hysteroscopy which caused me to point out that there’s been some sort of grave mistake, as I would like to keep my uterus – no matter how bad it’s been. Turns out, this isn’t a hysterectomy and just means they use tiny cameras and tools to take apart my uterus. Oh, and once again I was given a “no baby making” requirement. One step forward, two steps back.
Nameless Nurse felt bold enough to say a lot of women get pregnant after the polyp removal, which I didn’t bother pointing out that a lot of women get pregnant before a year of trying, and a lot of women don’t have ectopic pregnancies, and that I clearly just don’t like fitting into these typical TTC roles. I’m not thrilled about losing a month, or jumping from one new problem to the next, but it’s still more proactive than I’ve been in the past year. I did get a potential diagnosis (and a free pad!) out of this so – worth it?