This afternoon I went in to have the HSG. I've spent the last few weeks researching it and asking questions and worrying. I am happy and grateful to report that it was not nearly as painful as I expected. I'm feeling a tiny bit of post-procedure cramping, but all in all it wasn't too bad!
I went into the x-ray room, pants-less, and the very kind technician helped get me set up on the exam table. Then the doctor (another R.E. at the practice, not my regular guy) came in and explained what was going to happen. As he went through the procedure, he explained what was happening and warned me before he did everything which was great. Honestly, getting every set up was the worst part for me. The doctor inserts a speculum and it clicks into place. That was kind of painful and the pressure is really uncomfortable. Then he cleaned everything of with some cotton balls - again kind of painful and very uncomfortable. Finally, he said something about numbing the cervix and feeling a "mosquito bite" so I'm guessing it was a needle with the anesthetic. That hurt too, but as soon as he was finished the pain went away and I mostly just felt the pressure. I didn't feel the catheter being inserted at all. I was feeling really overwhelmed at this point.
Once everything was in place, the doctor started injecting the dye. I felt nothing! No cramps, no pain, nothing at all. I took two regular strength Aleve pills about a hour before my appointment (which was delayed, so it was probably closer to two hours in advance), but like I said, I think I was very lucky to feel nothing. The doctor explained everything as we watched the dye fill up my uterus. You could see the dye sort of puffing out and fading away on the left side of the screen. On the right, a black ball started forming with only very tiny amounts of puffing.
The doctor turned the x-ray machine off and had me roll to my right side. He said he wanted to give the dye a chance to drain out of my uterus. While I was laying there, he explained that my uterus looked fine and the tube on the left side of the screen (I think that makes it my right tube) was totally clear. He said that the formation of the black ball indicates that the dye wasn't properly draining through that tube. It could be because it's blocked - though probably only partially because we could see a tiny amount of dye leaking - or it could just be a poorly formed narrow tube. This was interesting to me because even though my pelvic pain is generally all over, whenever the pain is one-sided, I feel it on the left.
Next, he had me roll onto my left side for a few minutes and then return to my back so he could take two more x-rays. This time the black ball was gone, which means the dye able to drain. Hopefully that means that the dye was able to push through the blockage, but I won't know more until my regular doctor reviews the images. This doctor did say that it was a good sign that the dye had cleared, though, so that's good news.
So, I guess I sort of got my wish. Right tube was totally clear (scenario #1) but the left tube might have been blocked and cleared (scenario #2). It's entirely possible that the reason I'm not pregnant yet is because I just haven't ovulated from my right side very often. Hopefully, the left tube cleared or I'll ovulate on the right side this month! It's also possible that there's still something going on in there which would require surgery, but I'm not going to worry about that until my doctor confirms that. For now, I still have hope! We still have a chance. Maybe I will be one of the lucky women who are able to conceive quickly after an HSG.