Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Getting tested

So I have officially begun to get tested myself. Well officially made appointments anyway. Ok, ok, so this is not the first time I have made this appointment and not gone. But in my defense it is hard to work up the motivation to get poked and prodded to check on something that I am 90% sure is fine, and is a moot point anyway.

This time is different though, this time I want to make sure everything is fine in case we decide to start doing IUI's in March. Dh's urologist requires that I be tested and that everything on my end is up to snuff before he will even consider us for an IUI, since he exclusively deals with MFI.

So 1/21/10 is my progesterone test and tentatively 02/08/10 is my HSG.

I am a little nervous about the pain of the HSG but mostly I am worried about the timing of it. My doc told me that after and HSG you are usually more fertile for the next 3 cycles or so and I don't want to waste an extra fertile cycle if DH's guys aren't going to be ready. Hmmm, maybe I should wait until after his next SA. but then that means definitely no IUI's until April at least. I guess I better give this some thought.

P.S. One of my good friends from work saw some OPK's on sale at Walgreens and bought them for me, wasn't that sweet? They were on sale because someone had stolen the "free" pregnancy test inside not because they were out of date or anything, lol. So I used my first OPK today for four months. I wasn't going to use them at all this month but they were free and staring at me, lol.


  1. I had an HSG in early December 2009.

    After 1.5+ years of trying, we were getting ready for an IUI cycle in January.

    ** I took 4 Ibuprofen 45 minutes before my scheduled appointment (as recommended by my dr).
    When I was called for my test, they advised that DH did not come with me. This is a flouroscopy which involves radiation, so it is better to not expose both of you. Plus it got a little crowded in there with 4 people including me.

    I got undressed from the waist down and put on a hospital gown (kept my socks on because it's cold and it's a hospital floor). I laid down on the machine's table and the technologist took a preliminary x-ray of my abdomen.

    They called in the PA from my RE's office who was going to perform the dye insertion. They put me in stirrups. The PA inserted the COLD speculum. The speculum they use is larger than the one for your paps. They cleaned my "area" with a cleanser and gauze. It felt yucky, but not painful.

    They then placed a clamp to hold me open and removed the speculum. That was the most painful part. The clamp. They inserted the catheter and the stirrups were removed so that I lay flat on the table. I had to scooch back on the table after that, which was uncomfortable knowing there is a catheter sticking out of you.

    The radiologist was called into the room and the dye was injected. It felt crampy, like period cramps but worse. The rad took 2 xrays. I had to roll my hips to the right side: another xray. Roll to the left: another xray.

    Then it was over. Removing the clamp hurt, but at least I knew it was over. My legs were really shaky afterward, so I am glad that DH drove me.

    Make sure the bring a maxi pad with you. The dye was clear but the cleanser they used was red and that came out on the pad. I did bleed sparingly for the next day.

    Oh, and I can attest to the fertility enhancement because after DH's testicular cancer and severely reduced count, my PCOS, and a LOT of heartache and pain, we got pregnant just days after the HSG. It was definitely unpleasant, but I would do it again any day.

    God Bless You and Good Luck!

  2. Wow Melissa, I can't tell you how much I appreciate you telling me how the procedure would be step by step. Now I know exactly what to expect, Thank you! Esspecially for the tips, I will remember to wear socks, lol, and remember to have my husband drive me. I was not planning on having him drive before so thanks for that.

    I have been wondering if they would let me take something stronger then asprin? I have some pain killers left over from dentist work that I take every once in a while if my cramps are particularly bad. From what everyone says I think it may help.

    Also I am still debating on the timing thing. I may wait until the following cycle so that it could be done right before we would try an IUI or maybe not...arg I can't decide.

    Thanks again for being so candid, it really helped me a lot.

  3. No problem, Sarah. I was scared of and obsessing over this exam. When I got home, I wrote down everything that happened so I can share it.

    I think the Ibuprofen was sufficient, but I don't see why not if you want to take something stronger.

    Honestly, I think that the 2 keys to our success were the HSG and the 'Fertility Blend for Men' vitamins. I would love to tell those 'specialists' who gave us a <1% chance of conceiving that we did it on our own.

  4. You took the hcg too? Do you have your own blog that I could read?

    I have been wondering if I should put DH on some kind of vitamin. I have heard really great things about them increasing counts and motility etc. I am just nervous about rocking the boat honestly. Since DH is count is so low right now I have no idea what his problems will be when we get the count up to a normal level, you know?

  5. No hcg for DH. He had testicular cancer and had an orchiectomy, which significantly reduced his count.

    His first SA before chemotherapy was 14 million. The first count after chemo was 2.1 million.

    A few years later, we wanted to start a family.

    ( I was anovulatory - Half-assed diagnosed with PCOS - I think you said you are ovulating. That's great. I had to jump start my body with 'Vitex' which I stopped taking after 3 months. I continued to ovulate in a 50ish day cycle - Which was great, since I had not been at all )

    We went to a new RE and she did an SA on DH . It came back as 11 (not million, just 11). Recount... the next came back at 2 million again.

    The RE said our only option was IVF with ICSI, and I could just not stomach the thought of a petri dish producing my child. I cried in the office right in front of her.

    We decided to take some time to think about everything and for DH to take the 'Fertility Blend for Men' vitamins. 6 months passed. We went back to the RE for another SA. 15 million. I am not kidding... 15 million.

    This opened us up to the possibility of IUI. She would not even consider it before. So I bought $1,300 worth of fertility drugs to stimulate ovulation for an IUI in January. It's still sitting in my fridge.

    I wish I had blogged this as I went. It was very painful, and I did not want to talk about it with my family. People were always saying the wrong thing, or trying to give advice, and no one knew what I was going through.

    I love reading your blog. I check it every day to see if you have posted. Our stories are similar (from a male-factor side), and it really helped me get through the last few months to know that someone else was out there having the same thoughts and emotions as me.

    Thanks, Sarah. I appreciate it a lot.

  6. Melissa,

    Oh man I wish you would have made a blog too, I would have loved to gone back and read the whole thing.

    It does sound like we have similar situations. I hate and love to say that. I love not feeling like the only one but I hate to hear that any one is in this situation. Honestly, I would not wish IF on my very worst enemy.

    you have got me really wanting to try that "fertility blend for men", I can't believe that it really made that much of a difference! That is huge!

    I am so sorry to hear about your DH's testicular cancer. That is just a terrible thing to have to go through on it's pwn and to go through this after that just doesn't seem fair! I guess cancer is never fair though, is it?

    I was thinking about what you were saying about the IUI drugs still being in your freezer. Have you ever thought about doing a drug free IUI? That way it would be a mostly natural experience but still give you that little bit of help you might need. Now I only know a little about PCOS so you may need some of the drugs to help regarding that situation, I am not sure.

    Thank you so much for reading my blog. I often wonder if any one is out there, lol. It makes me so happy to think that anyone is taking any kind of comfort in my situation.

    GL to you, and keep in touch.