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HSG (Hysterosalpingogram)

HSG (Hysterosalpingogram)
by Carolyn (otherwise known as the Heads Up Queen–not to be confused with the Heads Off Queen from Alice in Wonderland)

Why Would You be Having an HSG?

The HSG is one of the first diagnostic tests an RE runs when you’re having trouble conceiving. It is usually given shortly after the first infertility appointment, no later than CD 12 of your latest cycle.

Common problems that can be diagnosed with an HSG include: blocked fallopian tubes, uterine polyps, fibroids, and uterine defects such as a septum or a bicornate uterus.

What You Can Expect

The HSG is performed in the radiology department and is usually administered by a radiologist and an RE. You’ll lie down on the table underneath an x-ray machine, and the RE will insert a speculum as if you were having a PAP smear. The RE will then insert a catheter into your cervix and inject a clear dye into your uterus. For most women, this is the most uncomfortable part of the procedure. To me, the dye felt like sharp, strong menstrual cramps that lasted for a little over a minute. After that, I felt no pain at all.

While the RE is injecting the dye, the radiologist will take pictures of your uterus and tubes. Most of the time you should be able to see what’s happening on a screen somewhere in the room. You’ll be able to see the shape of your uterus, and if your tubes are clear you should be able to see each tube and then the dye as it spills out into your abdominal cavity.

If your tubes aren’t clear, the procedure may be more painful since the dye can’t spill out. The RE may try to force a closed tube open by injecting more dye, and this sometimes works.
After the test is over, you’ll be able to get dressed again and may go over your test results with the RE immediately. If not, your RE should schedule an appointment with you fairly soon to discuss the results. If your appointment isn’t for several days, try to get at least a preliminary report from the RE or radiologist while you’re still in the room.

Make sure to bring your own pad to the hospital or clinic because the dye is very messy and will be leaking out of you for several days. Dye that remains in the abdominal cavity is absorbed into the body. You may also experience some spotting after the procedure, but not heavier than a period.

There is some evidence that suggests that there is an uptick in fertility for the three cycles after the HSG.

Problems That Might Arise

Pain is the most common problem associated with the HSG. Some women experience only mild discomfort, while others experience severe pain. If you have a tight cervix the insertion of the catheter will be very uncomfortable. Occasionally, if you are experiencing severe pain your fallopian tubes may close even though they’re usually open.

If you are allergic to iodine, make sure you tell your RE before the procedure, since the most commonly used oil-based dye contains iodine and can cause an allergic reaction. There is also a water-based dye that can be used if you have an iodine allergy.

There is also a small chance of infection associated with the HSG, so your doctor should place you on antibiotics for several days before and after the procedure. If you feel more pain or experience heavy bleeding after the HSG, contact your doctor immediately.

Personal Tips

Since the HSG is usually the first invasive fertility procedure most women go through when they’re having trouble conceiving, it can be overwhelming and emotional. I did an acupuncture session the morning before my HSG, which was a wonderful way to stay calm and focused during the procedure.

Talk to your doctor before the HSG if you can. Ask them to tell you what they’re doing as they’re doing it, and don’t be afraid to tell them when something hurts. In my experience, REs seem to think that an HSG isn’t a very big deal. It’s a VERY big deal to the woman who is lying on the table, both physically and psychologically. Anything you can do to remind your doctor that this isn’t just “business as usual” for you will help.


1 The Town Criers { 08.02.06 at 8:07 am }

Maybe I’m going to sound like a big wuss, but the HSG was the most pain I’ve ever experienced. It’s my 10 when they ask you how the pain is on a scale of 1 to 10. Giving birth to twins vaginally did not even come close to being as painful as the HSG.

When my RE scheduled the test, he casually said, “uh, do you have any percocet or something similar at home?” (as if we all have these things lying around the house for such occasions). When I answered no, he waved his hand and said, “it’s okay, it’s okay, I was just going to tell you to take one before the test in order to deal with the pain.”

I ended up taking an ativan because I was a bundle of nerves. I think Carolyn sums it up perfectly–if it’s your first procedure, it can be very emotional because it sets you on a certain path. The pain was tremendous, but the worst part was the radiologist. She looked at me when I screamed out a curse that begins with the letters “M” and “F”. And she said, “it doesn’t hurt that much.” Of course, she had never actually HAD an HSG so how could she know…

All I can say is that it was painful for me. And anything you can do to relax beforehand is good. And anything you can do to pamper yourself afterwards is good. And I agree with Carolyn that doctors sometimes just don’t get how huge this test is (emotionally and painwise) so speak up for yourself and make sure your needs are met.

2 serenity { 08.02.06 at 11:05 am }

One of the best things my RE told me before the procedure was to take 800mgs of ibruprofen an hour before the HSG. It really helped, I think – my HSG was still painful, but not horrible.

3 Anonymous { 08.03.06 at 12:10 pm }

I agree, it was the most painful thing I had ever felt. It only lasted a minute but it brought me back to the pain of my first miscarriage and left me a bundle of tears on the table. The doctor was cold and just walked out of the room, but luckily the nurse was kind and patted me on the back, which only made me cry harder.

4 Ann { 08.04.06 at 12:41 pm }

My HSG wasn’t all that bad in terms of pain. I think the reason was largely the nurse and tech (the woman who inserted the catheter and the dye). They had both had HSGs, so they knew what I was going through and what to tell. They were very honest about when something would hurt, and pretty much put me at ease.

The bad part for me was after the HSG was over, every time I tried to sit up I would nearly pass out. I’m not sure what that was about, but after the third time the nurse told me to stay laying down for 15 minutes and not try to get up. So she stayed with me and we talked about infertility and testing and treatments. She had been through most of the tests and done IUI, but had stopped before IVF when she and her husband decided to stop trying. It wasn’t a fun experience in the least, but it was my first experience talking face to face with someone else who’d been through what I was facing. Her honesty and kindness actually lead me to look almost fondly on my HSG. Crazy, I know.

5 Ella { 08.07.06 at 5:32 pm }

My HSG was really painful when I had scarring in my cervix and uterus (post D&C). It was definitely a 10 on your scale. But, after the scarring was treated with a hysteroscopy, I’d say the HSG was more uncomfortable than painful. I think it’s blocakge (whether it’s in the cervix or in the tubes) that correlates with the pain of the HSG. Also, immediately after the HSG – I felt irritated down there. Kinda itchy too, but that went away after 15 min. I think I had some sort of reaction to the catheter, not the dye. I’m not sure if this is common or not. Definitely take 2 Motrin an hour before the procedure.

6 Southern Comfortable { 08.14.06 at 8:50 am }

The most painful part of my HSG was when they inserted the catheter through my cervix. I had cryosurgery many years ago, and it’s apparently left my cervical opening smaller than average. (Thanks a lot, doc. Argh.) the dye itself was certainly not pleasant, but it wasn’t ungodly painful, either. It was not a “10” on the pain scale for me. It was, however, hugely embarrassing and uncomfortable. I took four Advil beforehand.

7 Anonymous { 08.28.06 at 9:15 pm }

My doctor said the HSG would be slightly uncomfortable.I have had two vaginal childbirths and donated one of my kidneys and will say i have a high tolerance for pain. It was more than slightly uncomfortable.However, whats been more of a puzzle to me is the bleeding that occurred immediatly following the test,and following sex.ANd now,three years later, i will bleed heavily after sex if its not gentle. Anyone experience this>?

8 J Rene { 08.29.06 at 7:25 pm }

I had mine done on friday. It hurt more than I was told that it would. They told me it would feel like my period was getting ready to begin.Yeah right! If I had periods like that every month, I have a sex change! Thank God we don’t have to do that every visit!

9 The Town Criers { 09.01.06 at 12:05 pm }

Anonymous–that sounds worrisome. Have you gotten it checked out by a doctor?

10 Heather { 09.27.06 at 12:49 pm }

My HSG is scheduled for next Tuesday (Oct. 3) and I am terrified. I just wanted to thank all of you for posting your stories. It has really helped me.

11 Anonymous { 10.01.06 at 11:47 pm }

I just has my first (and hopefully only) hsg on Thursday (today is Sunday) I must admit I have NEVER felt so much pain in my LIFE. I screamed like crazy. The doctor said he was having trouble getting the liquid to go through my right tube so he pushed super hard – I thought I was going to die. The bleeding has finally stopped but the pain has not (not severe but certainly uncomfortable) My husband and I tried to have sex for the first time since the test and I am in so much pain now – WHAT THE HECK! How long and how badly did you guys hurt after the test? (oh, apparently there are no abnormalities – it was just a little tissue blockage that is now gone)

12 The Town Criers { 10.02.06 at 10:59 am }

Anonymous–I’d call your doctor and report the pain. I felt sore afterwards, but the pain mostly stopped after the test ended. I walked out with some cramps, but not the intense pain that I felt during the test.

Are you also on antibiotics? The dye can cause an infection so antibiotics are usually given with the test.

13 shell { 10.24.06 at 7:54 am }

just been for hsg today was in pain dont get results till a month juat hope the pain doesn’t means there’s a blockage somewhere

14 The Town Criers { 10.24.06 at 11:16 am }

Shell–they should have been able to see on the screen immediately if there was a blockage. Did you see the dye spill out on the screen? It’s strange to have to wait a month for results because most of the time, you walk out of the test with the results (or receive a report from your OB a day or two later). Did they give any explanation for the wait?

15 Cassandra { 11.06.06 at 9:20 pm }

I had an HSG last week and it was definately very high on my pain scale. That being said, I also have two friends who have had them and both said it wasn’t bad so I suppose it all depends on your situtation and doctor.

At any rate, I wanted to add a comment here about it hurting more with a tight cervix. This is definately true.

My doctor actually stopped the test after trying for almost 40 minutes to do it becuase it was too painful due to my “small cervix”. (Of course I got home and was convinced that I was not only a wimp but was also in someway completley anotomically abnormal.) I’ve since been told that this only means that I have a small cervix – nothing more – and that it does, indeed, make the procedure much more painful.

To be specific, the dye felt like pressure on my organs in that area and made for some cramping but the actual clamps and pulling on my cervix are what felt horrible. Also, I’m not sure if it was due to my complications or not but I had some slight cramping for about three days and some spotting. I was also very sore in that area for a couple of days (imagine that after being propped open for 40 minutes – hahaha.)

Anyway, I second the ladies above who advise taking advin beforehand. I also agree with the comments above about this being an emotional test. If this is your first dip into the realm of this sort of testing, you should definatly have a supportive person with you.

16 Anonymous { 11.10.06 at 12:33 pm }

I had mine done 1 week ago today. I’d read the comments on this site and was terrified. I had truly worked myself into a barely controlled state of panic by the time I laid on the table.I took 2 Xanax and 2 ibuprofin 600mg before the procedure. The procedure itself was painless. The doctor had a problem finding my cervix. (I had cryosurgeries 13 years ago which may have been a factor.) but even with that, I barely knew anything was happening. I had *slight* cramps when he injected the dye but other than that nothing. Considering this, I was rather unprepared for the pain I felt on Saturday. My uterus was *very* sore and tender. I was okay as long as I kept up with the ibuprofin and didn’t do anything – walking and getting up were a challenge. Sunday I was still a little sore and tender but by Monday I was fine. I didn’t bleed or even spot.

After the procedure, I commented to the nurse that I expected much more pain. She said every person’s experience is different. It really depends on the size, shape and location of your cervix. The doctor’s competence is a huge factor as well.

I’m *NOT* posting this to boast or brag but to maybe reassure someone that it doesn’t always hurt. I’m grateful I had this information but it also scared the crap out of me.

17 Anonymous { 11.13.06 at 1:58 am }

My HSG wasn’t that bad but was emotionally difficult. Having a medal rod screwed into your cervix ain’t so much fun. It was really quick though. But I had no pain afterwards and hardly any cramping. I of course had a cranky(male) doctor and a x-ray tec and student x-ray tech. I was like – anyone else here want to see down there – we’re having an exibit!

18 Anonymous { 12.21.06 at 4:23 pm }

I had my first HSG yesterday. The pain was very severe. I cried and was squeezing the radiology tech’s hands so hard during the procedure you would have thought I was in labor! Anyway they did not end up succeeding in the procedure. They could not get the instrument used to inject the dye through my cervix. Therefore I went through all of that pain for nothing. They told me they would not try again because I had been through enough for one day. What I want to Know is why don’t they give you something to relax you during the procedure? What would be the harm in that!! Oh yeah, and I was never told that it was going to be painful.

19 ria marshall { 01.10.07 at 2:30 pm }

i had my first and last hsg on mon the 8th and it wasn’t very nice, the doctor was great and very gentle but it still hurt and was very uncomfortable, i wasn’t advised to take any tablets before hand but i wouldn’t want to go through that again, in the end it was worth it because my tubes are clear, other family members don’t understand what it’s like with their stupid comments.

20 Anonymous { 01.22.07 at 10:25 pm }

Alright, you guys have absolutely freaked me out. I have mine next Monday.

21 Anonymous { 02.23.07 at 8:17 am }

I was searching on internet regarding the HSG & PAIN, because it was THE MOST PAINFUL THING EVER and I think ladies should know that. I had it done yesterday (Cycle Day 10) and it was excruciating! I also cried on the table. I have had 2 mc’s and thought I could endure the pain. I was wrong. Ask your dr. for a sedative or something

22 Anonymous { 02.26.07 at 11:29 am }

I had my HSG 4 months ago and although the procedure didn’t hurt, I was doubled-up in pain within a few hours and nearly passed out. This continued for 2-3 days and then lessened. Now I still get cramps after orgasm, which worried me quite a lot. I’m just about to go into IVF and I’m worried that I could have been damaged in some way – can anyone help with this?

23 Anonymous { 03.05.07 at 8:31 am }

my dear is easier said than done, since the first day my personnal doctor told me to go for hsg, i rejected it immediately saying is not possible for me to have any problem in there, but unfortunatetly after 11 months of trying ,i was refer to a gyn. he told me the same, i made up my mind to take this bold step. i was looking for a radiologist that will do it without pain, i couldnt find one. infact the pain i went through seven days ago,i will not pray my enemies go through, in short it is painful. pls come up with something less painful

24 eyda { 03.20.07 at 6:48 am }

well, i had HSG like 4days ago and the pain was excruciating and terrible infact when i remember the pain i went through i have goose bumps over my body but the dye wasnt as painful as the procedure maybe ‘cos i have painful M, anyway the pain didnt last for long(dye insertion)and i didnt even take any pain reliever.

25 Anonymous { 03.28.07 at 2:37 pm }

I had my HSG today–and no one told me to take anything. It was extremely painful. I have lost one tube to an ectopic pregnancy and was very worried about the other one. At first no dye would spill at all, and then when they used more contrast for a few more minutes it all spilled out. Could this have removed blockage? Thanks for any info, the techs didn’t tell me much. :) Thanks–ash

26 Anonymous { 04.02.07 at 11:12 am }

Hi Everybody. I had an HSG today. I was pretty scared, but learned a lot about the procedure before hand. I took 4 ibuprofen an hour before. For kicks, I also took a Xanax which I happened to have on hand. The staff were really nice and patient, which helped. It did hurt- but about as much as I was expecting. I wouldn’t call it “bad menstrual cramps” just because it came on so quick and was a rather sharp, deep pain. But once I got over the initial “shock” of the first bit of pain, I just breathed in as calmly as I could and that helped. My body reacted by getting hot and clammy and I was breathing fast- so I tried to control that. It was all over in less than 3 minutes. Luckily for me, I’ve never experienced a “10” on the pain scale, so it’s hard to say. I’d give it a 4 or 5.
But- we’re ALL different, and all experience pain in different ways! I felt crampy on the ride home- about 30 minutes, but no pain after that.
Hope this helps! OH- one more thing! Whenever I have a gyno appointment- anything uncomfortable and embarrasing like this- I schedule a chocolate sundae afterwards!!

27 Anonymous { 04.06.07 at 12:29 am }

I had my HSG today, was nervous all day about it but it turned out was nothing like what I thought. I kept reading everywhere that it was excruciating painful but I hardly felt a thing. Not much more than a papsmear for me. I had some spotting after but no pain. Hope this helps someone… guess everyone’s experience is different.

28 Anonymous { 04.17.07 at 8:53 am }

I had an HSG yesterday, and am having strange sharp (not crampy) abdominal pains on my right side when I stand up. I’m wondering if this is normal? As for the procedure, I really didn’t have much pain at all during and just some slight cramping after. The radiologist told me that everything looks normal.

29 Kade { 05.14.07 at 7:53 pm }

I am scheduled for my HSG on wed after reading all this I am really scared. My doctor told me to take a couple tylenol before. I was reading up on the procedure and it said you are not supposed to have sex for two weeks after does anyone know if this is true?

30 Anonymous { 05.22.07 at 7:24 pm }

I have my HSG this Wed adn am now petrified – more concerned though if anyone knows when you can have sex? some say 3 days some say 2 weeks…

i do not want to skip trying the month of June since we missed May due to business trips…ughhh

31 Tina { 05.24.07 at 8:53 am }

I kept hearing before my HSG that it would be a killer in terms of pain. But I actually felt nothing. I don’t know why. However, my doctor did tell me to relax as much as possible during the procedure (I think I was given Valium, not a painkiller). I do have a high pain tolerance (I went on to have two natural births — which did hurt, so I can feel pain), but I thought I should echo earlier posts that everyone is different — don’t psych yourself out expecting the worst pain in your life, because it’s possible that going in tense could make it worse! My two cents…

32 Anonymous { 05.30.07 at 10:57 am }

I just had my HSG yesterday. I was really nervous after reading everyone’s comments on the internet but it was not that bad at all. The worst pain was later that night after the test — very painful to use any of my stomach muscles. I took 4 Ibuprofein before the test which I think really helped.

33 Anonymous { 05.31.07 at 11:27 am }

I’m having an HSG tomorrow and I absolutely scared now. I keep telling myself it won’t be that bad. Afterall, giving birth is gonna be worse right?

34 Anonymous { 06.01.07 at 7:23 am }

I had mine today…wasn’t bad at all! little cramping when the ink was injected, but other than that it was like having a pap. I was really really nervous after reading all of these comments. I was really lucky or I have a great doctor cus it was painless!

35 Anonymous { 06.01.07 at 5:50 pm }

I just had my test, after reading these posts, I became so nervous, I asked the doc for some anti-anxiety pill. She gave me valium instead. I think the worst part of this all is that I got sick from all the medications I took. In the morning, I took the antibiotic, around 11 am, I took two Aleves, then at 12 noon, I took the valium. I had my procedure at 1 pm. When I got to the hospital, I was throwing up, maybe from all the meds and having an empty stomach and having drank lots of water. So be careful with the meds you take, don’t mix it all up or take it on an empty stomach.

All that medicine gave me a headache and I threw up twice, once in the lobby bathroom and the other, in the radiologist bathroom. It was mostly water I threw up, yuck. I thought I had to cancel the appt. because I could not breathe.

Anyway, the actual test was not bad. The worst part was when they kept moving my legs left to right to take photos. I didn’t feel the dye spray or anything, just a little pain when they stuck that long thing through my cervix, but very tolerable. After, I wore a small napkin, but hardly anything came out, a little blood, but I didn’t see no dye. Was the dye brown, I’m not sure. On the pain scale, I rate this HSG test a 3. On the pain scale for the meds I took before the test, maybe an 8, due to my headache, imbalance, and barf feeling.

Also, it helped that the doc I had was nice, he was gentle and you could tell he was not doing this thing in a hurry. The nurse was the tough one, whenever she moved my legs around in a rough way, I thought that thing was going to come out and rip out my cervix. But like I said, that was the thought and fear, it didn’t hurt as much as others here had perceived it.

Good luck to those about to do this, you can do it! It almost felt like just a papsmear, you know, when they stick that long q-tip and swab around in there.

36 Anonymous { 06.02.07 at 9:23 am }

I had my first HSG on Friday. The radiologist and tech were super nice. The pain for me was about a 7, but only after I left. There was only a pinch when the catheter was inserted and more like pressure when the dye was injected. My results were that one tube looked normal and one looked swollen and blocked. Neither of them spilled freely into my abdomen and I’m a little concerned. I was previously diagnosed with Endometriosis, so maybe there is some scarring. Does anyone know how long the wait is for intercourse? I’ve heard from a couple of days to 2 weeks. Keep me in your prayers.

37 Anonymous { 07.01.07 at 7:27 pm }

I had my hsg done on fri (today is Sun) and I wish that I had found this site sooner. Like many that I have read, this test was so extremely painful; I almost passed out in the middle of it. I went into this test not really expecting to find anything wrong, but was saddly mistaken while in the middle of the test, my doctor asked if I even had a right tube. Of course, this came as quite a shock since I of course assumed that I did since I have not had any previous issues that would lead me to think differently. When i said that I assumed that I did, they then said that there must be a total blockage since nothing was flowing thru the right side. Talk about emotional pain along with the physical pain that I was feeling. I am now just wondering how to find out what it could be and how to solve it; it is hard since everyone including the doctor just keeps saying, “Well you only need one tube to get pregnant”. If they only understood what it is like to be trying and not be successful. Good luck to all that go thru with this test, and hope that it is not painful for all. I agree, I don’t wish this on anyone.

38 Anonymous { 07.16.07 at 3:02 pm }

Today i had HSG, and i had really need pain. I did take a vicodin before the procedure, which did help with any discomfort. I really believe that if your doctor is experienced you will have minimal pain. More important pray!!!

39 Anonymous { 07.16.07 at 9:36 pm }

Had my first HSG today – was very scared like everyone else. However, I have a college friend who is a radiologist and she told me to take 2-3 ibuprofen an hour or two before and have some on hand following the procedure.

It was definitely very uncomfortable – and they had to inject a second dose of the dye to find my other tube (they found both and apparently my fibroid is not distorting my uterus). I just kept telling myself it was worth the discomfort to finally know what was going on – and I tried to stay relaxed and go to my ‘happy place.’ :) My doctor had an HSG while trying to get pregnant – so she was extra understanding.

Afterwards, I felt about 20-30 minutes of typical bad period cramps/nausea/blechy stuff – but then it cleared up (thanks to advil, apple juice and fig newtons!) and since then it has just been some sticky/spotty discharge.

I have my fingers crossed that the old wives tale of getting pregnant after an HSG is true (my friend has heard it a lot in the hospital as well).

Good luck to you all!

40 Anonymous { 08.03.07 at 1:58 pm }

Ladies, I just had my HSG (Aug 3) and I was really anxious and scared after reading all of the horrible stories. It was not painful, but slightly uncomfortable. Me being tense is what made it worse. The worst part was that my cervix was not cooperating and the Dr had to continually probe it in order to insert the cath. Otherwise, it went very quickly and was relatively painless. My tubes were clear so that might have played a role. So, I want to encourage those of you that are scheduled to have this procedure that it is NOT that bad.

41 Anonymous { 08.11.07 at 10:52 am }

I had an HSG yesterday, quite frankly the test was a breeze, I took 400mg of ibuprofen an hour before and I was fine. However about 3 hours later the cramping started and it was severe, much worse than any period I’ve ever had or even after my miscarriage, getting up and walking was close to impossible. I felt pain in both my upper and lower abdomen all night. However today the pain is only in my lower ab and it’s tolerable. I empathize with all you ladies who had a hard time during the test. All the best!!

42 Anonymous { 08.21.07 at 3:23 pm }

I had mine a few weeks ago and had worked myself into an awful state about it. In fact I cancelled it twice – I’d been told I have a very small cervix and that that would make it worse. Anyway,I took some painkillers and didn’t find it painful. Uncomfortable and embarrassing yes but painful no. (My tubes were both open though.)

I’ve since been told that I have an almost inaccessible posterior cervix which menas that an IUI I had the other day was agony. I have another tomorrow. I think the HSG nurse must have been vg as it is largely the same sort of procedure.

I’m just thinking about the IUI and thinking “well it’s over in a few minutes”. Good luck everyone. xx

43 Anonymous { 08.25.07 at 7:20 pm }

I just had my HSG 8/21/07. i went on my lunch hour, being that muy specialist said it was a nothing procedure. Boy, was that far from the truth. When the dr. inserted that cath, it was uncomfortable, when he started pushing the dye in- THAT WAS MY 10!!!! I could not believe the pain!!! I almost broke the assistance hand and boy was i voicing my pain. Turns out, my r tube had a minor block- the dr said that is why it hurt so much. he asked me to go to the bathroom and push all the dye out- as i did this, a yellow/brown mucos-like substance came out (I’m hoping that was the blockage) and had me come back and get 1 last xray. i sat in the waiting room for my xrays and wanted to pass out!!! i drove myself back to work, and when i finally got home, i had a small grade fever and cramps. i lay down for awhile and the was unable to walk properly. my husband had to tend to my every beck and call. i could not do anything. i had spotting up to 8/24/07- which i was told is normal. to finally rest, i took 4 advils… it was the only way i, or my husband, was going to get any rest that night!!!

i want to know if nausea, headache and pelvic pain is normal… since the procedure, i have not been feeling all that great…

44 Anonymous { 08.27.07 at 7:39 pm }

I had my hsg 8/24 and it was very painful and I really felt like i was in labor. I have been cramping and bleeding for 3 days now, i talked to the radiologist and the doctors office twice today and they don’t seem to think I should be bleeding and cramping the way I am and are putting me on hormone replacement therapy to try and stop the bleeding. Has this happened to anyone else?

45 Anonymous { 08.29.07 at 4:28 pm }

i had my hsg today and was very nervous, based on the comments here and elsewhere on the web. i had a sonohysterogram in the past and remember that was mildly painful and was expecting the hsg to be even worse. well it was fine, i did a lot of breathing exercises and had just minor discomfort and barely a cramp. i was advised not to take any ibuprofen or aspirin beforehand and to only take tylenol, if needed, afterwards because ibuprofen and aspirin cause bleeding.

just had to post this to let people know it’s not always horrifically painful. don’t be too scared, it’s all over in a matter of minutes.
oh, and my test was just fine. nothing is blocked! onward!

46 Anonymous { 08.31.07 at 10:06 pm }

My goodness! From these comments, I’m going to assume most of you have never had children. My HMO recommended 800mg motrin 3X before: the might before, the morning of, and one hour before, plus antibiotics the night before and morning of. While it was not picnic, the meds definitely helped.

I had a HSG after an Essure procedure; I’ve got two kids already. The uterus gets stretched in that process, generally making this whole ordeal more comfortable.
Again–not as fun as champagne brunch, but I’ve had worse dentist visits

47 Anonymous { 09.06.07 at 3:19 pm }

Hi all,

I had my 1st HSG today after eight years of avoidance. I am 35years with two ectopic pregnancies to boot. Yes, I know. How sad!! Tired of weeping.

After reading a lot of comments and hearing from friends, I was in a state especially as most have claimed that the tubes being blocked might make HSG more painful since the dye cannot spill out.

Well, my Gynae prescribed some antibiotics for before and after and I got her to prescribe some strong pain killers as well which I took an hour before the procedure.

Today was a terribly emotional day for me and I had worked myself into such a state; crying off and on. It really is so difficult to face the realities of your fertility even if you already are aware of what might come up based on history. Am sure someone out there can relate to this.

I had three ladies; one the doctor, the radiologist and the nurse. I let them know I was quite frightened of the procedure and this is important because they become aware that there’s need to be more delicate.

What happened? I am almost ashamed to say it was a breeze with the slightest of cramps if any when the baloon was inserted. I didn’t even get to be moved from side to side which I have read about a lot, rather, the equipment was swayed from side to side to take the pictures. What was I fussing about? I also tried to look at the screen and chat with the ladies, that helped a lot.

Over between 5-7mins, report not good: tubes blocked, scar tissue found in uterus. What can I say???

Have had slight bleeding and no noticeable soreness the rest of the day.

I think it all boils down to the expertise of the person, the equipment used and some strong painkiller before the procedure and of course practiced breathing.

Better luck to the next person. Now I am looking into my options.

48 Anonymous { 09.10.07 at 11:08 am }

I am scheduled for a HSG next monday I’m really nervouse yikes, I’ll be sure to take 2 extra strength Tylenol tablets…. hope that works for me;) hope I get pregnant soon!….as well as everyone else who’s trying!

49 Anonymous { 09.10.07 at 5:10 pm }

Hey guys, had my hsg today. I put it off for 6 mo’s because my risk of blockage was minimal. Finally, I decided to get it over with in case I need to progress on to injectables. I took 800mg of Motrin and 7.5 mg of Valium one hour prior to the test. I asked my tech questions such as how much dye was to be injected, would they need to dilate the cervix, length of time of procedure, etc. My procedure was quick. Fortunately, I am a nurse and my interest in the procedure itself helped, plus my MD kept me talking the whole time. Everything looked good for me and my tubes were open. I wonder if that has to do with the amount of discomfort each person has. Meaning the fact as to whether they have a blockage or abnormalities. I did experience some cramping during and for a short period after. The most strange thing for me was the bleeding. I was a bit shocked. It was a bit more than spotting. My advice to everyone.. medicate. Not only with motrin or aleive (tylenol will be ineffective) but with some anti anxiety med. Good luck to everyone!

50 Anonymous { 09.12.07 at 12:54 pm }

I’m do for a HSG in 2 week’s my doctor said to take “Motrin” or “Tylenol” I stated to her sounds painful from all I read about it from some post’s. She stated to me everyone is diffrent and I should not be dooped up when I get the precedure. She said it’s better to be aware what’s going on.

51 Anonymous { 09.14.07 at 2:35 pm }

I just had my HSG done three hours ago. I read this blog site and was absolutely terrified going into the procedure. By the time I was on the table, I couldn’t stop shaking. I was expecting so much pain, but was relieved when he completed each step and I was still only in medium discomfort. I took 800 mg of ibuprofen the night before, then another one about two hours before. I made sure a had something in my stomach and had enough water to go with the motrin. I don’t consider myself a trooper or especially pain tolerant, in fact just the opposite. So my attitude prior to the HSG was pretty pessimistic.

My right tube seemed blocked at first, so they had me tilt from side to side, then they put in the rest of the dye, and the radiologist noticed a small amount of the dye flowing out of the right ovary. The doctor was checking for fibroids and anomalies, my case is more about abnormal bleeding instead of fertility. So unfortunately, this won’t be the end of my testing because I need to investigate further with a hysteroscopy to find out what is causing the mid cycle bleeding/pain. The HSG did not reveal much for my doctor.

I wanted to relay my experience to let others know that there is a chance that maybe the procedure might not be too bad for them as well. This blog really freaked me out and I was prepared for the worst, but my experience was tolerable. The worst part of it was when the doctor wiped my vagina out with betadine when the procedure was over, that really stings!

I think reading this site made me expect the worst, but it also helped to prepare me (taking the motrin, making sure I had something in my stomach, etc) The hysteroscopy is next, and again I am kind of scared, I think it sounds a little more invasive and painful, since apparently you “do” get anesthetics for it (?)
Best of luck to any of you out there, I just want to give you all some hope that it may not be that bad.

52 Anonymous { 09.14.07 at 5:23 pm }

Thanks alot for your advice, my hsg is this Mondy=) hope I get prego soon after.

53 Anonymous { 09.17.07 at 5:37 pm }


54 Anonymous { 09.24.07 at 3:27 pm }

Hi ladies. I just had my HSG today, and frankly, after reading all of these posts, I was terrified to the point where I called the doctor early in the morning – just a few hours before the procedure – asking him additional questions as he did not provide any information on how to prepare for the procedure (I am not living in the US, so medical treatment is a little bit different in the country I am living in). As a result of the reading that I did – on this site specifically – I took 600 mg of Motrin the night before and 600 the morning of AND a Valium to calm my nerves. I practiced my breathing before I got there and did the same while I was on the exam table. It really helped. I can’t lie – the metal tool that they used to keep me open to put the catheter in was really painful. When the catheter hit my cervix and the dye was sent up into the tubes, I experienced additional pain, but I held onto the table and curled my toes… not two minutes after, it was over. The doctor was very informative as he showed me the pictures of the dye going through the tubes. The result was good – they were clear. The dye emptied into the abdomen, and I sat up, put a pad in my undies to collect the remaining dye solution, and off I went. I was a bit sore, but shortly after laying down for a few hours, I was up and walking around with no problems. Thanks for the pointers everyone… and I hope that this post serves to be hopeful and helpful for anyone else going through this.

55 Anonymous { 09.27.07 at 1:08 pm }

I have never posted anything before but I just got done with my HSG 2 hours ago. WOW did it hurt and I was given no warning or advise to take anything. Thank you for everyone’s post, I now know for some it is normal to be painful almost to the point of throwing up! I also think the doctor could care less and he made me feel like a big baby! I asked the nurse on the way out about it and she said it varies from woman to woman. Some feel nothing, others pass out, she said I was in between, little did she know I felt like passing out too!

56 Anonymous { 09.30.07 at 7:09 pm }

I am very new to all this infertility business. I have PCOS, and my RE wants me to have an HSG test done, however, I am terrified of it. Just the vaginal sonogram was horribly uncomfortable, so I can’t imagine what this will be like. Question: Do I have to have this test??? Why can’t I try to concieve on clomid without this?

57 Anonymous { 10.02.07 at 8:15 pm }

Hi Girls,
‘Just wanted to let you know –I had an HSG done today and it was not painful AT ALL!!!! You all really had me scared to death and all for nothing! My doctor was very competent/understanding, which did help, I admit. But, it was nothing like what you all had said about severe pain. Anyone out there who may have this procedure done…take heart! It’s not bad :-)

58 K77 { 10.03.07 at 11:03 pm }

Just want to add that HSG is NOT a good tool for diagnosing uterine anomalies such as bicornuate or septate uterus. HSG can certainly tell you that there is an anomaly but it’s pretty unreliable for defining WHICH one. This is significant because a septate can usually be easily removed surgically, and carries a high risk of miscarriage if left intact.

59 Anonymous { 10.05.07 at 5:29 pm }

I had my HSG today, and I was terrified! I have PCOS so this was my first experience with fertility tests. I have to say, it was probably the most pain I have ever felt. I didn’t find the dye too bad, it was the actual insertion of the catheder. I have been home for about 8 hours now, and I am still very crampy, it hurts to stand up and walk around. I hope this is normal.

Best of luck to all of you who have an upcoming HSG!

60 3 yrs and counting { 10.05.07 at 11:16 pm }

Hello I am new to the whole blog thing. I have a HSG scheduled for monday and I am terrified almost to the point of canceling. I am really not even sure if I have a high or low tolerance for pain. I went to the ER and they had to put a cathedar in and I thought that was the worst pain in my life and this is more extensive then that. Even though when I was younger I had bad cramps compared to what everyone else has been saying this is worst than cramps. I am not even sure I am going to go through with the procedure now I might just pray and hope that I get pregnant some day.

61 3 yrs and counting { 10.09.07 at 10:09 pm }

Hello everyone well I did it. The test really wasn’t bad at all. I was so scared after reading this blog that I cried when they told me that my husband couldn’t come back with me and I almost cancelled. It was really quick and I had minor cramping a couple of hours after the test. Thank you all for advising the pain medication first…..that probably had something to do with the procedure being painless. Oh Yeah I almost forgot….everything is clear. :)

62 Anonymous { 10.17.07 at 6:30 pm }

Wow. Glad I found this. I have my HSG scheduled tomorrow, and had no idea about the pain factor. I’ll admit, I am scared shitless after reading everyone’s comments. However, I will def take the motrin and xanax based on the advice. My ovaries started to cramp up while reading this!!! I’ll check in post procedure. Thanks!

63 Martha Elena { 10.20.07 at 11:35 pm }

I had an HSG this past Tuesday and I was petrified after reading so much about it! I was praying the rosary asking the Virgin Mary to please intercede for me before Jesus Christ. I asked my dear hubby to pray for me also. They didn’t allow him in the room so he waited in the waiting room.

Well, as I was so scared, I had initially called the nurse and she told it wasn’t THAT painful, that it resembled menstrual cramps. Well, when the dye went inside, that was true. But, I felt intense pain when the doctor opened my cervix. So much that I told him I wanted to cancel, for him to take that foreign object out and that I’d do without the test. I’m glad he had the correct attitude and helped me get through it. I also took some iboprofin before the exam. That helped a lot. Well, after my cervix was opened, I didn’t feel much pain. I actually felt some very small contractions in my cervix that felt kind of relaxing, very relaxing.

The doctor said that everything was okay. He gave my x=rays and a letter saying all is clear. Now, I’m gonna schedula an appointment with my gyn so that she can advice on the next step. This is our…..4th step. We’ve had (as a couple) the sperm analysis, the CD3 test, the CD21 test, and now the HSG. Are the other tests pending as invasive as the HSG? I pray not.

64 Anonymous { 11.01.07 at 6:09 pm }

Hey girls,
I’m so sorry many of you had a painful experience. I had my HSG today and was very nervous but it really was NOT bad for me.

I took 1000mg ibubrofen and an ativan for the anxiety. I had some mild cramping and it got a bit more intense for about a minute or so but nothing worse than the start of my period. It also helped that I had a gentle, compassionate doctor who I informed right from the get-go that I’m a big wimp. She was reassuring and told me to let her know if I was having pain and she’d slow down. The procedure was over in about 5 minutes and showed that one tube is blocked, one clear.

It did NOT end up being a painful experience for me. So for all of you who have an HSG in your future, please know that it might not be so bad for you either. I would definitely medicate and communicate with the doctor about your concerns. Good luck!

65 Anonymous { 11.10.07 at 8:41 am }

Just had my HSG today 11/9/07. I put it off forever because I was scared. It wasn’t a 10 for me, but it certainly was painful and extremely uncomfortable. It depends on the position of your uterus and cervix and competence of your doctor. My uterus is positioned such that they had trouble getting the catheter in so they had to root around for quite some time, otherwise it would not have been too bad (no blockage). The doctor walked me through each step and the nurse was very kind. I didn’t take any ibuprofen in advance, but now I wish I had. It’s been 15 hours since the procedure and I am still feeling discomfort so just took some advil. Although it was not a 10 in pain, the discomfort is enough that I cannot believe they tell you to “resume normal activity”, I definitely had to spend the day lying down. My fave is the doc telling me that once they remove the balloon the pain will go away, I wanted to tell him “let me kick you in the b**** and when I remove my foot, the pain will go away” 😉

66 not bad! { 11.21.07 at 5:05 pm }

I had my HSG about 2 hours ago. I was very terrified beforehand, but really I can vouch for the fact that it was not that bad. The worst part for me was the pain involved with the doctor trying to insert the catheter through my cervix. It took him several tries to get it, and that was definately NOT comfy. I didn’t really feel anything when the dye was pushed through. My tubes are all clear, which is a relief to know. I was a little embarrassed during, but only slightly more so than during a routine exam. One thing that was a little embarrassing was when I sat up fluid gushed out of me all over the table like I had peed. The nurse said not to worry that it happens all the time. I’m not having any pain or discomfort now. This definately went better than I expected. I should also mention that my HSG was not done by X-Ray. It was done with a transvaginal sonogram instead.

67 sore { 12.21.07 at 10:36 am }

I had an HSG 5 days ago. Have terrible cramping still and bleeding. I have had my tubes tied, an ablation, a leep, colposcopy and a biopsy. The HSG was 100 times worse than all of these combined. It was extremely painful to the point of passing out.

68 Anonymous { 01.14.08 at 5:57 pm }

I had my HSG today and I did not think it hurt at all – and I have a low tolerance for pain. After reading all of these posts I was SO nervous. I took 2 Tylenol about an hour and a half before the procedure and just took deep breaths while it was being done. It was over before I even realized he had started injecting the dye. Honestly, the worst part was the week prior to the actual procedure because of how nervous I was.

69 Anonymous { 01.21.08 at 12:00 pm }

The WORST thing I did before my procedure was read too much information on the Internet. I had my procedure done today and the worst pain was when they inserted the catheter. It felt like strong menstrual cramps and then went away. I took some deep breaths and tried to stay calm, which really helped. Don’t worry about this–it’s easy and over quickly. Take two Advil before you go.

70 lieanngar { 02.13.08 at 7:04 am }

I agree, reading these comments and information scared me, but to each his own. My pain is not necessarily your pain. I did mime yesterday and yes it was a little painful, I was weak didn’t return to work, but that doesn’t say you will experience the same thing. All I can say is, just relax, they will or should provide you with painkillers and something to relax your muscle.

71 LaMissEnSuisse { 02.17.08 at 3:39 pm }

I wish someone had told me to take a painkiller before my HSG! The Dr had warned me it might be “slightly uncomfortable” but after suffering from endometriosis and cysts for so many years I thought I could deal with pain no prob… yeah… no. It really hurt when they inserted the cathetar, I was gripping the side of the table, and then as the dye went in it just got worse and worse. My right tube is completely blocked, and so they tried to push more dye in to unblock it and that didn’t work and was just unbelieveably painful. I was completely taken off guard, it’s such a weird pain, made me want to vomit.
As others have said, I think a lot of it had to do with it brought me straight back to the miscarriage I had last summer. I was lucky to have such nice nurses, because when I stood up to have the upright xray I threw up and then passed out – don’t think they were expecting that.
That was 5 days ago and I’m still spotting and I feel really unfomfortable.

72 Ellie Bradley { 03.04.08 at 6:18 am }

It has been so useful to read all these comments. I had the HSG done on Thursday 28/2/08 and wish I had read all this before. I wasn’t given any pain killers before – I thought they might have given me some but they didn’t and I really wish I had. I nearly passed out, my forehead was wet and clammy during it and I was sure I was going to be sick. I was crying out in pain like I was in labour (haven’t been in labour before) but am sure it can’t be worst than the HSG. I swore also so if any of you have also done that, you are not alone! (Having said all that, so many people have said it is not painful so you may not have the same experience)

On Sunday night 2/3/08 I started having the most terrible cramps like awful period pains. It is reassuring that some of you also had pain a few days after the HSG as you start worrying that you might have an infection or something. It is now Tuesday and I am still in pain – awful cramps and feeling sick – I hope it goes away soon – maybe I should ring the hospital about it. The pain is in my uterus but also very painful on my right side. When I saw the x-ray on the screen, there was a little white circle within the right tube – I felt so wobbly after the HSG that I didn’t really think to ask but i am guessing this must be a blockage?

Has anyone else had this before? The doctor said he was able to get the dye through so I guess that is good but he did not say the tubes were clear. If there is a blockage, do you know what they will do next? Can they remove it and if so, how do they do this?

I would really appreciate information from any of you on this matter – it would be so useful – I really want to know about this white circle as I am not seeing the doctor for a month and just feels too long to wait.

Thanks in advance and if you are in a similar situation, I am feeling for you.

73 Lorrie { 03.13.08 at 5:18 pm }

My doctor told me the HSG would be on about the same pain scale as a menstural cramp. He perscribed 2 Ponstans “just in case”.

Let me tell you, I get horrible AF cramps each and every month, and I don’t think I’m that much of a wimp. The HSG was the WORST pain I have ever gone through… I felt as though someone was twisting a hot knife up inside me. I don’t know if part of the reason I found it so horrific was that I was so grossly unprepared for how much it would hurt, but whatever.

After all that, the best diagnosis my RE could give me was that my left tube was for sure good, and my right was “probably fine”. Excuse me?? After going through a test that put me through all THAT, I don’t even get to know for certain? He explained that the tube sometimes spasms from the pain (you think???) and that a LAP would be in order to find out more.

If the LAP is anything like the HSG (and I’m betting it’s worse) I can hardly wait.

74 BUNKY { 03.14.08 at 6:20 pm }

I am 42, have only one tube as lost one to an ectopic last May and have been trying since with no success.U had an HSG yesterday morning. I had read all of these emails on the pain and many others besides this blog and was terrified. I can tell you it was not bad at all. On a 1-10 pain scale it was a 2 at most. Personally I find a pap smear worse. The catheter did not hurt- just felt it entering the body, the iodine did not hurt at all- just a very slight sting for about one second. My doc told me to stop reading the internet so much. I had to post to make those of you so worried not worry like I did! And my tube was clear – (still odds are against me as very high FSH but nice to know one tube is good to go if the stars align..)

75 Mrs. Higrens { 03.18.08 at 11:36 am }

HSG Attempt 3/17/08 (Happy St. Patrick’s Day!) – the doc could not get the catheter in due to my tight and right-angled cervix (even after taking drug which should have softened it) and had to clamp and dilate it manually – that’s more than just a slight pinch, especially when he has to step away and just leaves everything hanging. After the 2nd try (the first one fell and he caught it so it was no longer sterile), I had a full blown panic attack. (hyperventilation, nausea, tingling fingers and feet leading to stroke like loss of control of my hands – scary!)

I do have a history of anxiety when it comes to medical procedures, and had not been given anything like Valium. Don’t know if that would have helped or if I was just predisposed to the reaction based on my prior endometrial biopsy.

Next cycle I’m going to attempt this again, but will be getting intravenous happy drugs per the doc’s recommendation. It will make the procedure easier on both of us!
(also, has anyone had the catheter inserted in the doctor’s office and then had to go to the hospital for the dye/x-ray portion?)

76 esmy8 { 03.26.08 at 3:02 pm }

OK, seriously…anyone who has been brought to tears reading about all the horrible experiences others had, I want you to keep 2 things in mind. The first – people are more likely to write of bad experiences than good. (How many books are about how good life is and how many are about some problem or pain?) The second – it REALLY might not be that bad. I just had mine earlier today. I took 800mg of Advil an hour before. I had myself worked up to tears NUMEROUS times because everyone kept telling me how painful it was going to be. Well, I am hear to tell you that I had very little pain. I’ve heard alot of people say the injection of the dye was the painful part. Not for me! The only way I knew it was going in was because there was a cold, pulsing tube between my legs. The painful part for me was the device they used to hold my cervix still and the catheter. Yes it hurt. It didn’t bring me to tears or anything (and believe me, I WILL cry if something hurts). I’ve had many dentist visits that brought me to tears, but this did NOT. On a scale of 1 to 10, I’d say that pain was a 6 maybe a 7 at worst. Honestly, though, that was only for say 2 minutes…TOPS. Once the speculum was pulled out (and the catheter was left in) I was much more comfortable. Again, NOT that painful. I wasn’t even lightheaded afterwards (and I was for the SHG). I was actually bopping around quite readily once it was done. I will say that my uterus and tubes were completely normal. This may have had something to do with it. The Advil probably helped too. It’s been 4 hours now and I haven’t had any cramping at all. The worst pain I’ve had since it was done has been my cervix hurting a bit. Nothing bad though. Just annoying. So, ladies, any of you cowards like myself, it is distinctly possible that yours will be FINE. It’s so short. I hope you all have as great a doctor as I had. Oh and one last thing. The catheter and cervix holding thing did NOT feel like menstrual cramps. It was more like pain…like “ow that hurts.” I’m assuming the menstrual cramp part comes from the dye, but since I didn’t have that, I’m not sure where that comes in. Good luck all! The answers are going to help a lot. Keep your eye on the goal.

77 Robyn { 03.26.08 at 3:11 pm }

Hello everyone, I just had my HSG done today and I have to tell you, after reading everyone’s experiences I went in today and was above and beyond nervous. But I have to say IT DIDN’T HURT AT ALL IT WAS REALLY NOTHING MORE THEN A PAP SMEAR. my tubes weren’t blocked and the doctor didn’t see anything abnormal. Good luck to thoes who are going.

78 goaliechyk { 04.03.08 at 1:30 pm }

Thank you all for the information! I had my first HSG test today. I have to say, my doctor didn’t suggest taking anything before, but the Dr who did the test suggested taking some after as there could be some (minor) pain as the dye was absorbed. My experience was actually not very traumatic. On a pain scale I would have to put it as about a 2. Yesterday I had a pelvic ultrasound and the pain of not being able to pee after so much water was wayyy worse! I just lay on the table, closed my eyes, and relaxed/sang songs to myself in my head – it worked for me! Good Luck to everyone going through this.

79 patricia { 04.07.08 at 4:11 pm }

I’ve just had my HSG done today. It was painful but not THAT painful. After I was done thr doc asked me to hang out in the waiting room for 30 min. I am glad I did. After 5 minutes sitting there I”ve fainted and it was pretty bad. The wose at all is that my right tube is blocked. The dam die didn’t go through :(

80 Karen { 04.10.08 at 6:20 pm }

I am having my HSG tomorrow and am quite nervous, especially after reading all of the comments. I have VERY LOW pain tolerance. But, I am also grateful that I stumbled upon this site because I will be taking pain meds prior to the procedure. I will post agaain after the procedure.

81 april { 04.11.08 at 9:35 am }

I had my HSG yesterday. It sucked. The dye part did not hurt me at all and just very mild cramps almost just felt like i had gas. And i was afraid the dye would hurt the most. The catheder wasnt that bad but was uncomfortable. The ballon part was THE worse for me. I cried out a bit in pain during that part. The ONLY good thing about this procedure is that its over very quick.
I cried through the whole thing, LOL
But i hate any medical procedures

82 Karen { 04.13.08 at 12:28 pm }

I had my HSG friday and it was a breeze. Based on what I had read, I was quite concerned, as I have a very low pain tolerance. I did take a percoset pain pill 45 min before the procedure. I also told my Dr. that I was concernced about what I had read regarding the level of pain others had experienced. My Dr. assured me that a lot of it has to do with the Dr.’s experience and the way the test is performed. He also told me that he adds a little anesthesia to the dye, which most other doctor’s don’t do. He also said too many docs and radiologists push the dye into too quickly. So, I felt a slight pincj when the catheter went in, a little pressure with the balloon and warmth when the dye was administered. There was some slight cramping. Overall, it was an easy test. I had no problems afterward, very slight discharge of dye and no bleeding. Went out that night, no problems. So, I must believe that my Dr. really knew what he was talking about and what he was doing.

83 Mrs. Higrens { 04.23.08 at 11:35 am }

I wanted to update…from my 3/17/08 experience you would think it was the worst thing ever.

I went back today (4/23/08) to my RE instead of the local OB/GYN, and boy what a difference. Based on my prior reaction (panic attack), the RE called in RX for both Valium and Lortab (pain med) to take an hour or so before the procedure.

Another difference, the RE did the procedure directly on the X-Ray table w/o a catheter, just a metal tube pushed up against the cervix; the OB-GYN procedure involved having a catheter inserted in his office near the hospital, and then you had to get to the hospital yourself.

With the Valium and Lortab, I barely felt anything (cold speculum though) until the dye went in, and then it was like a mild cramp. My husband drove me home, and I took a nap. I’m feeling pretty good 5 hours later.

The worst thing for me this time has been the slight nausea associated with the antibiotic the RE prescribed as a preventative.

Oh yeah, it probably also helped that I didn’t have any blockages.

84 Anonymous { 04.30.08 at 1:57 pm }

HSGs are hideously painful.

I’ve read posts where women had their tubes, cycles messed up because of the HSG. One woman’s tubes became so inflammed by the HSG she was rushed to the ER.

It’s an invasive, horrible procedure. If you want to check out your tubes, get a transvaginal ultrasound first.

85 Anonymous { 05.01.08 at 9:02 am }

I had my first HSG last week. I was a total bundle of nerves. I was shaky and stuttering … all that good stuff. I took 800mg Advil about 30 minutes before I went. Once they got me in the back, they had me change into a gown and took my vitals. Then it was time for the HSG. I told them I was nervous and they were all very kind and comforted me very well. I did feel the HSG, but it wasn’t any worse than the cramp you experiance with a pap smear for me, and it only lasted about 5 mintues. The RE injected a local anesthetic into my cervix – so I’m sure that helped. Once it was over – I was fine. I went straight home and did housework. No pain since. I did spot for a couple days afterwards, but was told that was normal.

86 Anonymous { 05.06.08 at 4:36 pm }

HSG yesterday. I had a load of meds to take – valium, vicodin, a muscle relaxer and motrin. I was SO scared that I cried the entire way to the clinic.

What hurt the most was inserting the catheder. However, I had two biopsies of my cervix years ago without painkillers and that hurt much worse than the HSG did. It felt like an injection pain that would not go away. I told the doc that it hurt and he moved things around so it was comfortable.

He removed the speculum and I was able to close my legs and put them down on the table, which was a very welcome position. I did not feel a thing when the dye was being put in. Also did not feel a thing when I rocked from side to side. The next thing I felt, the catheder was being pulled out and I was done!

On a scale of 1-10, I would give the entire procedure a 7.

87 irismagnolia { 05.08.08 at 4:15 pm }

I had the test done today & read the board before I went. I took 4 200 strength Advils at 9 this morning & an hour before my 2 PM test time I took 2 more 200 strength Advils.

The test wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be and I’m a person who dreads having her annual GYN exam completed & I consider myself as having a low threshold for pain. The cramping I experienced was mild (I’ve had menstrual cramps worse than that)& I was surprised at how fast the test went (probably 5 minutes max). The worse part to me is when they opened me up with the speculum (it was more uncomfortable than painful).They did find out that my right ovary was blocked (I had an ectopic pregnancy there 7 yrs ago). I haven’t had any more cramping as of yet (knock on wood)and its been 3 hours since the test.

88 babs { 05.08.08 at 6:28 pm }

I had my HSG today, and yes,it is painful. The pain starts when they insert the balloon, it feels like mixture of bad cramps and realy bad gas pains. Forunately, it lasts for literally 3 minutes and they found no blockages. The nurses were the greatest. One nurse had one done herself and became pregnant 6 weeks later, and the other nurse had a sister who became pregnant weeks after as well. All I can say is the pain is definately worth the piece of mind you feel after. After trying for 14 months, I feel better then I have in a long time knowing my body is working well and there are no blockages.
I understand if you are nervous, I was as well. I did not take any pain medicine before, but I did have to take steroids because I am allergic to oysters.
I am glad it is all over and done with.
Wish me luck girls!!!

89 Catherine { 05.08.08 at 9:19 pm }

I just had my HSG today, and like many PPs, was quite nervous due to the many reports of how painful it could be.

I took 800mg ibuprofen and a couple of Excedrin, an hour before the procedure. The doctor was great and talked me through everything he was doing the whole time.

The worst part was when they insert the dye at first and you get that big cramp, but the examination lasted approx 10 minutes (I guess) and it was really very uncomfortable the whole time. Not to the point where I felt like screaming or crying, but it was really, really uncomfortable and I wouldn’t want to do it again. They had me roll over on my side and back again a couple times, which I think made it seem to last longer.

Afterwards the doctor showed me the slides and explained what they saw, which was that fortunately I don’t seem to have any blockages. Then I could get up and get dressed, but I did feel a bit weak and dizzy for a few minutes. I was glad to have my husband there to drive me home, but I probably could have done it myself if I had rested a while first.

I still felt a bit weak for most of the afternoon, and took more ibuprofen 6 hrs after the procedure because I could feel more twinges in my cervix.

Glad it’s over! Good luck – you will survive!

90 CCB { 05.14.08 at 1:46 pm }

I had it yesterday. Took four advils and did fine. I felt cramping as much as during an IUI, very minimal. A few hours later when the advil wore off, I got a bit crampy, but took a couple more advils and was fine. My procedure took less than 5 minutes. I was in and out of the room in under 10. Maybe it depends on where you go? I was at an IVF clinic and they do these all the time.

91 Michelle. { 05.14.08 at 7:44 pm }

I had mine yesterday and it wasn’t painful. My RE performed it. He told me to stay hydrated that day, take 600mg ibuprofen 2 hours before the procedure, and gave me 2 Valiums to take one hour before the procedure. The worst part was when he cleaned my cervix with Bentadine, but it didn’t hurt, I could just feel the scratchiness of the sponge. I had light cramps for maybe 15 minutes afterwards.

92 Michelle. { 05.14.08 at 7:47 pm }

I forgot to add that I didn’t even feel the catheter go in, or the dye. But my tubes were clear too, so maybe that had something to do with it. And the Valium was for my uterus–it is a muscle relaxant and helps prevent lots of cramping and spasming. Plus it relieved my anxiety, so it was great!

93 Broken Uterus { 05.16.08 at 4:25 pm }

I just had my hsg (May 2008) and it was not fun to say the least. I was very nervous beforehand which didn’t help.

I checked in at the Radiology department and this girl that looked like Audrina from the Hills came and got me. She brought me to a changing room and told me to take off everything from the waist down (I got to keep my socks on though). She gave me a gown to put on and a bag for my clothes. I changed and sat down on a chair outside of the changing area. Audrina came back and brought me to the x-ray room where my doctor was getting his instruments ready. It was a large, dimly lit room and had a huge x-ray machine with a very hard table next to it. The table had a pillow for my head and a sheet draped over the end of it. I was told to lie down on the table with my legs bent and my feet at each corner (no stirrups). My doctor slid another sheet under me and then he started putting stuff in my kazoo. First, there was the ice cold speculum (oh!) which he locked into place (not a pleasant thought), then he told me he was going to clean my cervix three times. That felt like a pap test times three (ouch!). He then grabbed my cervix with a tenaculum (OUCH! – it was like a prolonged pinch) and he widened the speculum (not a big deal at that point). He then put in the catheter (MF!). Once he had that in, he slowly removed the speculum and the tenaculum. After that was out, he asked me to slide back and to put my legs down. That freaked me out because I didn’t feel like I could move. I did though. As soon as I was back enough on the table, the x-ray techs (there were 2) lowered the x-ray over me. The machine had a curtain on one side which was there to protect the techs I guess. However, it made me feel like I was in some horrific magic show. Anyway, the doctor said he was inflating the balloon (?) and then he started pushing in the dye. He asked me to tell him when I was having fun. Yeah, right! No time for jokes!!

Unfortunately, it didn’t work and the dye came right back out, so then we had to start all over again. Yes, ALL over again.

I winced and yelled a lot throughout. I made Audrina hold my hand. I was glad that my husband wasn’t there because he probably would’ve decked the doc. The second go round didn’t work either by the way.

For any nervous nellies out there who have to have this done, ask for a Valium beforehand and try to see if the doctor can deaden the cervix. I think this would’ve gone more smoothly and it might have worked if I hadn’t been so nervous and if I hadn’t tensed up everytime my cervix got messed with (which was a lot)! I did take 3 Advils ahead of time, but I never got to the cramping part so I can’t say if that did any good.

94 Anonymous { 05.16.08 at 11:39 pm }

I had my hsg a couple of days ago and I have to agree whole heartedly that it was one of the worst pains I have ever felt. In anticipation of the pain, I took two advil an hour before the procedure but apparently they did not work. My gyne had to change catheters after wasting 15 minutes trying to get the first one in to no avail. The pain almost made me say that’s okay, I don’t want another baby anyway (almost, but not quite). Well, the good news is that preliminary results showed everything normal which means I still don’t know why I’m not getting pregnant. I do know that I do not want to go through that again.

95 Lee Anne { 05.21.08 at 2:57 pm }

Had mine this morning, and it was a total non-event. I felt a pinch when my doc inserted the catheter, but that was that total discomfort – definitely NOT pain. I’m sorry others have had pain, but it doesn’t happen to everyone, so don’t panic if you are scheduled for the procedure. I took 800mg of ibuprofen about 1.5 hours before, and it probably did alot to help. That and a great doc! Thanks Dr. Schenk!

96 Anonymous { 05.22.08 at 7:55 pm }

I have an HSG scheduled next Thursday and reading some of the comments scare me. I know everyone is different. I’ll post my experience after the test.

97 anonymous { 05.28.08 at 10:43 am }

I had my HSG yesterday and it was about a 3 in the pain level. I had a motrin 800 and 2 ibuprofen one hour prior. It took 15 minutes to do the exam. The MD and assistants were very nice and comforting. I tried to stay relaxed, and I think it helped.

98 Anonymous { 06.10.08 at 8:34 am }

I had a HSG and wanted to share my experience. The nurse at the fertiltiy centre told me it was a horrible test and to take two panadol and two advil an hour before.

All it felt like to me was having a pap smear, then I felt three period cramps and that was it. I was told I would spot for a few days and probably bleed after sex.
My tubes were clear, so I assume that contributed to the painlessness of the procedure.
We had sex the next day and I had no bleeding or spotting.

I just wanted to write that although it is a horrible procedure for some women, I found it pretty much painless.


99 Anonymous { 06.10.08 at 2:17 pm }

I had a HSG in June 2005 and got pregnant in July 2005 after 3 years of trying. Now it is June 2008 and just had another HSG last week after 8 months of trying for #2. I also started clomid this month for the first time. Hope the 2nd procedure works like the first one! Both my HSG’s were painful but only lasted for several minutes. I took 800 mg motrin an hour before. Felt fine later that day. It helps to relax and not tense up. It is painful…but it is definately worth it!!!

100 Rhonda { 06.15.08 at 9:31 pm }

My husband and I are currently going through fertility treatment and of course I had to get an HSG. I was so worked up over this procedure that I was crying the night before and everything. However, I am more than happy to say that is was nothing!!! I took 800mg of motrin before the appointment and I pretty much did not feel a thing. The worse part was the speculum and after that is was cake. In fact, I did not even know I was done so quickly. The ultrasound the actual fertility doctor did on me was more painful than the HSG. So I truly mean don’t sweat it! It is not even half as bad as it sounds! I did not even have cramps, but there was some bleeding afterwards but that went away quickly.

101 Anonymous { 06.18.08 at 8:04 am }

You guys had me horrified at my upcoming HSG test, but I am happy to report that it was nothing like what I was fearing. There was some mild cramping, but nothing that anyone couldn’t handle. I am not super woman either – I have a low pain threshold, but I am telling you it is nothing as the comments have suggested. I took some advil after the procedure and the cramping went away. I did my regular activities that afternoon and have been fine ever since – no lasting pain or cramping. Don’t let these comments worry you. It is not that bad.

102 Anonymous { 06.20.08 at 10:18 am }

After reading this comments I could barely sleep the day before the test! But I am happy to report it was not that big of a deal, in fact, I found it less painful than the water sonogram, which was also not that bad. I am sure everyone is different, but I think for the majority of women, the HSG test will not be a big deal.

103 Anonymous { 06.23.08 at 10:40 pm }

I can see that people have had variety of experiences….I had my HSG last week. After having discussed it at some length with my doctor and reading the comments on this and other forums, I was fully prepared for the pain. In the end, it wasn’t too bad. I had it done by a Gynae who told me when the pain was coming and how it would feel “you’ll feel a pinch”..”Now you’ll have pressure”..”Now I’m injecting the dye”. The dye is the wrost part. It felt like my pelvis was being pushed into the bed….but it was momentary. Then, something happened. I apparently fainted. When I came to, I was so nautious I couldn’t stand up. I had to stay in the hospital for an hour and a half – during which time I also threw up. The doctor later told me it was a ‘Vasovegal’ episode…Apparently some women experience shock when something is inserted into their cervix – all the blood in their body rushes to the area and they faint. I spent the day in bed at home. It’s very uncommon they assure me. Only 1 person a month apparently experiences this – but I thought I should share in case it happens to you too!

104 Anonymous { 07.02.08 at 1:52 am }

Oh great, I have come across this site and I have my HSG tomorrow at El Camino Hospital in Mountain View, CA. If it really comes down to who is doing this. It would be nice to know who actually did the procedure.
I am so scared and my husband is like, so non-chalant. I am having sympathy pelvic pains just reading the comments. It is past midnight and I am scrambling to find meds. Avil and Motrin make me throw up… So I am out of luck there. Maybe a few cramp pills and a muscle relaxant. Lord only knows someone is gonna OD. The longer this tread gets the more meds people are taking. Sigh.
I like the DR. who mixed in a little pain releif with the dye. Nice touch.
I hope my tech is as good.
I will update. Trying not to sleep, so tomorrow does not come so soon. So nervous.

105 Anonymous { 07.03.08 at 1:29 am }

I’m just wondering, for you any of you who have had an IUI, is the HSG a worse procedure? I’ve had two IUIs and it sounds similar to an HSG. I am scheduled for an HSG next month. Thanks for the info!

106 Anonymous { 07.03.08 at 9:42 am }

OK, I got my HSG done yesterday at El Camino Hospital. It was day 10 in my cycle. The radiology nurse was very nice and she tried to make me feel like it as all going to be ok, but of course I was not having it. My husband looked rather nervous,(bout time.) She explained the procedure to me and I asked questions, mostly about Pain.
Do people scream? Do they cry? can I hold your hand? Can I pee again? How big is the device? is my cervice closed? Can I have sex after? Why dont they put something in to calm you? Can I be put under. I think I drove her crazy. It must have been the medication. :) I took 2 midol (motrin makes me throw up) and 2 muscle relaxants. Note: I am not avocating taking a bunch of stuff before you go. Lord only knows I dont want to be the cause of an OD.

At any rate the Dr. came in he was Indian. He looked like a friend of mine. At any rate he started in on the usual: there will be some pressure. I told him stop saying pressure when you mean pain. Then he said there might be some uncomfort when I put the device in the cervice and inflate the balloon, but this is just standard procedure. I told him, let me stick this device in his urethra and then tell me how standard procedure that is now. Im sure at this point he wanted to kill me. lol. Again, I was not in my right mind.

Well the final countdown had come. I could prolong the procedure any longer. I assumed to position. I grabbed my husbands hand and part of the pillow that was under me. He put the speculum in and swabbed my cervice with the cleaner. Uncomfortable, but nothing you have not felt at your yearly pap.
Then he put the catheter in. That freakin hurt. That is when I started screaming! AHHAHAHH HAHAHAH HAHAHA SHIT HAHAHAH HAHAHAHA AHA SHIT!
I looked up at my husband and he was hold my hand but had his entire body and face turned away from me. I like what the hell type of support is this. hmmm Mental note to self: must have anyone but him in the room when I give birth….
Then they started putting the dye in. AAHHH HHAHAHAHA HAHAHAH damn!
The doctors says do you want to stop. I like Hell NO cause I am not going to start again. Just do it JUST DO IT!. he does one final push then reports everything looks good, ‘your tubes are clear. I think you had a mucus plug because I had to push the dye a little harder’. They ask my husband if he wants to look at the screen, he yelps no. They take the device out. Instant relief!!! The pain starts going down. I get up I’m all smiles and no longer the crazy patient. I apologize and tell everyone thank you. My husband shakes the doctors hand as if he has performed a miracle…Poor guy. Well maybe he did. At least we both have a funny story to tell now.

I get off the table with all the towels in between my legs and go to the bathroom and put on a pad that they provide. I come out and then and say goodbye.

I did it. I did it. And you can too!!! Would I do it again? Yes. If it was necessary, now that I know what it is like. I would just drug up some and screeeeaaaammm and get it over with. But I did it!!!!!! Thank you all the others who shared their exprience.

107 Anonymous { 07.03.08 at 6:23 pm }

After trying to conceive for 13 months, I went to my doctor yesterday to express my concern. Due to the fact that I am completely irregular (anywhere from 14-42 days) he wanted to check my tubes first and make sure everything was clear. He told me that tomorrow I would go for a hysterosalpingogram. The nurse took blood from me and told me my appointment was for 9 the next morning. It so happened that I saw him on my 9th day and he didn’t want me to waste another month, because he wants me to start clomide next month.

I heard from several people the pain that I would have, but honestly at this point as long as I get pregnant I could careless about pain. My experience was a little different from most of yours.

I wasn’t told to take type of medication, they actually told me not to take, eat, or drink for 4 hours. In all, I wouldn’t call the procedure painful (at least it wasn’t for me). It was more of a pressure than pain. When they told me I would have menstrual like cramps I wanted to die because the pain from that is so bad it wakes me out of a deep sleep. The most pressure I felt was when the balloon was being inflated. The dye did give me cramps but they were extremely tolerable. The turning on each side felt strange but was not painful to me.

Ater the procedure was done I went to get up and there was some mucus on the table. At that point, I freaked out a little, not knowing what it was. The doctor said it was just a mucus blockage. If that happens to you don’t get alarmed.

I spotted for about 2-3 hours. My doctor told me to start sex 24 hours after due to the fact that women sometimes get pregnant after this procedure.

If I could give any advice, it would be to go in there with the thought of having a baby. Some people conceiving is extremely easy, while others it is frustrasting and emotionally draining. The end all be all is that this is one step closer to conceiving. To me that was what was going through my mind, I think it helped a lot.

108 Tamika { 07.14.08 at 2:41 pm }

I had a HSG done today at 10:00am and it is know 4:36pm and I am at work. The pain was 2 on a scale of 10 for me. The only cramping was from the cather being inserted after that the ink went in and flowed away. A normal HSG was what I had and I carried my results away for my Fert.Spec.Can’t wait to move on.

109 Nyx { 07.15.08 at 12:19 pm }

Unfortunately, mine was not a breeze, either. An HSG is likely going to be anywhere from uncomfortable to painful if you’ve never had a vaginal delivery or had your cervix dilated before.

First, the speculum they use is HUGE. It is very, super uncomfortable when that thing is locked into place.

Then, the clamp (tenaculum) on the cervix is very uncomfortable.

Dilation of the cervix and insertion of the catheter is, frankly, painful and no way around it. I’ve had a cervical biopsy with no anesthetic, and this was more painful than that. I had light bleeding afterward, I’m sure because of all the jabbing at the cervix.

Insertion of the dye was a hot sensation that caused immediate cramping and a faint feeling like I was going to pass out. Apparently, I had no blockages, though.

Of course, my RE sucked. Made me wait on the table for more than an hour before starting the procedure, and did not give me a heads up about what was going to happen (so I’d just feel this startling pain, no “you’re going to feel a pinch” kind of warning). Hubby not allowed to go back with me during the procedure, either.

Also, ibuprofen does not work. Anything OTC will help with achy, cramping pain, but is useless against sharp sudden pain. Like, you can’t take 3-4 ibuprofen and then fall off a bike and not feel it. The ibuprofen helped some with the cramping after, but was completely useless for the discomfort during the procedure. I wish I had something stronger lying around the house, or had something prescribed.

I don’t know. Not the worst pain I’ve ever felt. But definitely not something I’d ever do again if I could avoid it. Light bleeding the day of, with cramping for 3-4 hours. Still some spotting and occasional twinges of cramps on day 2 after the test.

110 Anonymous { 07.15.08 at 9:50 pm }

I had my HSG yesterday and I have to admit that it wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought it was, even though it still stunk. I’m the type of person that makes everything out to be horrible and had made myself sick at what I thought this was going to be like. I cried the whole way to the hospital, during admission, getting changed into the gown, through the procedure (it took less than five minutes), and then absolutely lost it once it was over. I know this sounds ridiculous but I was very stressed out. I must have looked really bad since they allowed my husband to come along, which I guess isn’t allowed very often.

A lot of the “emotional stress” was due to my experience with an endometrial biopsy nine months ago, which was by far the most gawd-awful pain ever. That “simple” 10 minute procedure took over an hour and a half due to issues my cervix had with the all the different catheters they tried; then it took almost a week to heal enough so that I stopped spotting and feeling like I wasn’t terribly bruised. I was convinced that the HSG was going to be 10x worse. In reality, it was the other way around.

As far as the HSG procedure went, I didn’t have much more than discomfort, until the dye was injected then it was like severe cramps and they lasted for about an hour (actually got worse once I sat up). However, I took 800mg of ibuprofen an hour before which helped so in this instance DRUGS – of the legal variety- ARE YOUR FRIEND! Don’t try to tough it out, it’s not worth it. As far as spotting, I had none and since everything was okay I’m assuming that most of the dye went into my stomach cavity since there wasn’t much ‘leakage’ after I cleaned up in the bathroom.

So if anyone has to have this done, and you’ve already had the “e” biopsy done, then I would rate the biopsy a 10 on the pain scale and the HSG a 3 to 4. If you have been fortunate enough to for-go the “e” biopsy experience, then the pain scale would probably be like a 7. I would also recommend having the procedure be done by a dr that has experience with this test and the “equipment” vs the radiologist, which I’ve heard is way more painful. I was lucky in that my dr actually reserves a block of time in a radiology room 3x a week for these tests. She did the whole procedure (with an entirely female team at my request) which not only helped pain wise, but also emotionally. Hopefully this helps…

111 Anonymous { 07.16.08 at 7:01 pm }

Don't believe the hype! I had my procedure done on Monday, June 14. It was not painful at all. I did feel a tiny cramp as they were injecting the saline solution-but nothing close to the pain of menustral cramps. I did take 800 mg of motrin 1 hour prior. I was also given Doxycycline to take 1 hour prior and day 2 & 3 after the procedure. I did feel a little lightheaded immediately after and the day after the procedure. I would advise going to the procedure open minded without preconceived ideas. My husband did go with me-so it is good to have a hand to squeeze just in case.

112 RBC { 07.17.08 at 1:55 pm }

I just had my procedure done today and I can tell you the worst part is the anticipatory anxiety. It is a very tolerable procedure and quite quick. When the balloon was inflated at the end of the catheter, it caused some mild cramping likened to menstrual cramps. Very tolerable. The actual injection of dye was about 10-15 seconds. I did get some jaw clenching pain for about 20 seconds from the injection of the dye, likened to the cramping I had during my miscarriages. It went away very quickly. It has been two hours now and I have a dull ache in my pelvic region. Overall, not the most pleasant experience but tolerable and very quick. AND THE BEST PART IS YOU GET RESULTS RIGHT AWAY. My results came back normal with no blockages, fibroids, or polyps. If I had to do it over again, I would without the significant anxiety. Be sure to take some ibprofen ( I took 600 mg before and 200mg after). This will help reduce the cramping.

113 so yung wilson { 07.28.08 at 1:07 pm }

Had my HSG two weeks ago today. I agree with other that it was the worst pain I’ve ever experienced, and am glad to hear that the pain wasn’t peculiar to me and that childbirth isn’t as bad :-) I now understand when mothers tell me that one just doesn’t care who sees what during labor … the pain put me in a completely different frame of mind almost immediately. Like others, the doctor had some difficulty getting the tube where it needed to go. But it lasted only minutes. Still am spot bleeding some so called the doctor’s office today. The nurse assured me that it’s normal to spot bleed during the month after any procedure in the lady parts.

It was emotional, being my first procedure of any type at a hospital, and I would suggest having your partner or some one else who comforts you, to go with you. (I was alone and wished I had my spouse with me.)

Thanks to everyone for posting and sharing. Good to know I’m not as wimpy as I thought.

114 Anonymous { 07.30.08 at 6:54 pm }

I had the HSG test today and it was the worst pain I ever experienced in my life. If doc tells me to do it again I’d tell them to go take a hike! It was so damn painful and no one told me to take any painkillers before hand. It also turned out that my cervix was closed and RE had to force it open! I will NEVER do that again! BTW I’m feeling the worst cramps right now and it’s been 9 hrs since this was done.

115 Anonymous { 07.30.08 at 7:26 pm }

Because I got myself very worked up by reading posts on this site prior to my HSG this morning, I felt the need to leave my own feedback to hopefully calm someone else’s nerves. For me, the worst part was BY FAR the anticipatory anxiety that came from reading all of these horror stories. Maybe I just got extremely lucky, but for me, the test was a breeze. It lasted about 5-7 minutes and it felt like mild period cramps– not even the intense period cramping you might have on day one of your cycle. I did have to shift positions for them a few times which was slightly uncomfortable, but it was all over before I knew it. In fact, when he said, “That’s it; we’re all done”, I was shocked. I said, “Wow, that was so easy”. My RE and the nurse both looked at me sand said, “I don’t think we’ve EVER heard anyone say that.” So, maybe I did just have an abnormally pleasant experience, but I wanted to let you all know that it’s not incredibly painful for everyone. Best of luck!!!

116 Anonymous { 07.30.08 at 8:34 pm }

I had my first, and hopefully only, HSG yesterday. I had wonderful doctors and nurses. Everyone was super friendly; however, I was totally nervous. I didn’t read anything about an HSG before hand because I didn’t want to be freaked out…but I wish now that I did. It was horrible. I was in so much pain and almost passed out. I had severe cramping the rest of the night and light spotting. Today I am sore and very tender in that area. I was wondering if anyone else experienced pain and cramping for a day or two after the procedure? I appreciate reading the different stories. I don’t think people should say things like “don’t believe the hype, etc.” because I think it is different for everyone-especially if you have a blockage or something else hendering the exam-it may be painful; it may not-it’s about as vague as one can get I guess. For me, terribly painful, glad it’s over, still uncomfortable, and I do have one tube that was clear and one that wasn’t, so now what??? I see a my GYN in a few days~

117 Anonymous { 07.31.08 at 4:46 pm }

I just had my first HSG and it wasn’t that bad. I took 800 mg of Ibuprofin 45 minutes beforehand and I was fine. It was uncomfortable, like bad menstrual cramps, and the dye going caused some cramping too, but nothing severe. I had some cramping for about 10 minutes afterwards, but I’m fine now and just went for a 5 mile run.

118 Anonymous { 08.01.08 at 10:49 pm }

I’m glad I found this site when I was looking for information about an HSG. Because so many people wrote about the pain factor, I really expected to feel pain . . . but I didn’t. I took 1000 mg of ibup an hour before (they made me wait an hour as well, so it ended up being two hours before). The tech who prepped me showed me all the instruments beforehand and explained the entire procedure. The doctor I had was very young (which made me nervous), but he was gentle and told me everything he was doing. He didn’t move me around (although beforehand they said they were going to) because my tubes were open and the dye spilled out quickly. I felt clammy and lightheaded when they injected the dye, but I might have just psyched myself out. The balloon was not painful, nor was the catheter or the dye. It was just like having a pap smear. The actual procedure lasted about 10 minutes. He showed me the results right after. It was kind of cool. I agree with some who have written to remember the big picture: you’re doing this for a baby. My husband had varicocele surgery on both testes, so I didn’t feel like was as big of a deal.

119 Anonymous { 08.07.08 at 7:05 pm }

It was not at all painful.I got really scared reading all this stuff and could not sleep for 3 nights.It just took 5 mins for the procedure and it was not painful at all

120 Anonymous { 08.08.08 at 12:27 pm }

I had mine done today at 9:15am. Its not very pleasant but its not THAT painful at all. I took an Advil an hour before and it was a bit crampy during the procedure when they start moving you around but its totally tolerable. My results were normal and im still confused about how long to wait for sex. When my gyno referred me she said that you do it on the day 8-10 of your cycle so that day 12-14 you can start having intercourse. So im guessing its ok to do it couple days after.

121 Anonymous { 08.09.08 at 4:06 pm }

When I had my HSG it was not unbearable pain but it did bring tears, as i could not touch my stomach during the test. I found it more mentally distressing as it has lead to one of my complications for my problems being identified. I have a blocked tube which was diagnosed on the day, and for which i have to have a Laproscopy op for. After the test my pain continued, bad stomach cramps (like what i normally experience on my period) for a couple days, the spotting i experienced from my HSG lasted a day.

122 Anonymous { 08.11.08 at 9:58 am }

Just had a HSG done, I’d prepared for the worse and taken 2 Advil. I was pleasantly surprised.. it was not painful at all. Just a very very mild cramping feeling when they inject the dye. I was in and out of the room in like 5 minutes. I guess every person reacts differently. My tubes were clear.. perhaps it would have been more painful had they been blocked.

123 Anonymous { 08.12.08 at 1:10 pm }

I just wanted to leave a quick comment for anyone reading these stories and getting horrified.

I had my HSG scheduled for Monday and made the mistake of reading some of these stories the Friday before my appointment. I thought I’d prefer to be prepared for what might happen rather than just take my doctor’s word. After reading some of the stories I was terrified and thought about it all weekend.

I calmed myself down enough to get on the table and laid there with fists clenched anticipating some horrible pain. The doctor had some problem getting the catheter in, said I had a narrow cervix, but I barely felt anything more unconfortable than a typical pap test. The only pain I felt was when the dye was injected but it just felt like a strong wave of menstraul cramps for the 2 minutes it took for the test.

Fortunately I had the test performed by my RE so he was very gentle, so was the tech. They had the screen next to me and explained everything they were doing so I could see and understand.

The test was over in 10 minutes and the cramps went away the second the test was over. I felt a little “blah” later but no cramping. I did not have any blockage so I’m sure that helped keep the pain low.

I took 3 advil an hour before my appointment and just kept calming myself reminding myself that this test was a very small and necessary step for something I want really bad.

I feel for those of you who did not have an easy experience. I wanted to share my story to help encourage other women to go through with the test. Everyone’s experience is different but to me I feel 100x better knowing my tubes are not an issue.

Good luck to everyone in their attempts to get pregnant!

124 Maggie { 08.14.08 at 11:58 pm }

Just a quick note, I had HSG performed on Wednesday Aug. 13 and wanted all to know that the experience was uncomfortable but not downright painful for me. I realize we are all different and have different pain tolerance levels. I consider mine to be pretty low and wimpy. I think something that helped out a lot for me and my state of mind was getting a prescription for valium (just one to take before the procedure) from my OBGYN was a good decision and a huge help. The valium helped calm my nerves and made the procedure much smoother and easier than it would have been had I been tense and nervous. Nerves always make any medical procedure more painful I believe. I also took 3 advil before the procedure which helped too. During the HSG I asked that they explain each part of the procedure so I knew what was going on and what to expect next. Truly this is no more uncomfortable for me at least than getting your yearly PAP smear, it just takes a bit longer and you have some mild cramping to deal with. I felt pretty drained and worn out too for about 24 hrs after. Could be the procedure itself or it could be nerves. Anyway, for me this was not a nightmare. I now know what it entails and if I have to get it done again I won’t need a valium because there is nothing to be nervous about. It is a pretty straightforward procedure and the best part is it is over in 10 MINUTES. So take heart and try to be brave….but get a valium from your Doc if you need one. They help. Good luck to all!

125 Melissa { 08.17.08 at 7:54 am }

I feel better after reading about everyone else’s experiences. My mom had this done twice and it didn’t bother her at all. My doctors told me that it would feel like period cramps. Wrong! I was in pain from the minute the radiologist put in the speculum to the time when he finished the test. I felt bad too, as he was quite young and handsome and sensitive to my discomfort. I uttered a few curse words and kept asking if it would be over soon.

I didn’t take any ibuprofen, valium or otherwise as I was driving myself home after the test. I’m sure a relaxant really would have helped.

I cramped a little bit for the rest of the day and spotted for two days afterward. What freaked me out was when I started spotting again five days after the procedure. All of the horrible possibilities of “spotting between periods” flew into my head. After reading some of your experiences, it seems as if strange spotting might be more common than I thought and not necessarily something to get all worked up about. That being said, I will still call the doctor tomorrow but at least I won’t ruin my Sunday by worrying about the spotting.

126 Sarah { 08.19.08 at 11:08 am }


After reading all these comments and searching the internet about the test I really dont want to do this. I have had a child before, but I had a c-section, my cervix was never fully dilated. Is that going to make a difference?
Will they let my husband come in with me? I feel sick I’m so nervous.

127 It wasn't bad! { 08.20.08 at 6:06 am }

I had my HSG test day before yesterday. It really wasn’t that bad. I just tried to relax and it wasn’t bad! Felt like severe cramps but you only have to tolerate it for a few minutes. I am still having some slight bleeding. But I’m hoping it will go away by tomorrow or the next day. Don’t worry!! It only takes a few minutes! Everything went good for me and I’ll start on fertility meds soon!

128 Jenny { 08.20.08 at 5:02 pm }

Sounds to me like this experience is as unique as the people who go through it. I was frankly very frightened after reading many of these posts, but my actual experience really wasn’t so bad. Embarrassing and sort of lonely, of course, but only slightly uncomfortable. I told the radiologist and the tech that I was worried before the procedure began, and I think that prompted them to pay more attention, warn me before a potentially uncomfortable stage of the procedure, and check in with me as things went along. (I appreciated that a lot and would recommend communicating beforehand if you’re scared.

Unlike people in other posts I’ve read, the worst for me was about 2 hours later (severe cramping). I thought I was in for a very bad time, but it went away completely after I took some Naprocin. In retrospect, it would have been helpful if I’d been told to take it beforehand.

My advice after having read your posts: If you’re nervous, tell the people doing the procedure beforehand. Bear in mind that no-one in that room WANTS to hurt you. They want to do a good job and have you be OK. Let them know you’re a person, and they’ll be more than likely to help you through it.

129 Anonymous { 08.21.08 at 12:45 pm }

I just had my HSG done about 2 1/2 hours ago. I, too, was very concerned after reading some of the experiences here.

I was prescribed two tabs of Doryx (an antibiotic) to take this morning; unfortunately, it made me sick. While the pharmacist said to take Doryx on an empty stomach, my doctor said, for tonight’s dose, take it with dinner. I’m sure that will prevent any nausea or vomiting.

About an hour before the HSG, I took 800mg. of ibuprofen (this time *with* food in my stomach) as well as 5mg of Valium that my doc had prescribed.

As for the HSG itself, everything went just fine. All I experienced was some mild discomfort when the speculum was inserted — comparable to the prep for a pap smear. The betadyne washing of the cervix felt weird, but again, not at all painful. I barely felt the catheter being inserted, nor the balloon being inflated and, although my doctor said I might experience some cramping when she injected the dye, I felt nothing.

It was quite a surreal experience to see my uterus on a TV screen.
Fortunately, everything is normal and it looks like we will be able to proceed with IUI as hoped.

Again, it’s about 2 1/2 hours after the procedure and I haven’t had any after effects aside from light spotting; I’m not sure if it’s blood or just the dye.

Good luck to everyone undergoing this test! Please don’t get overly worried before you go in; my concern about having this procedure was far more painful for me than undergoing the procedure itself!

130 Anonymous { 08.21.08 at 1:23 pm }

“”TERRIFYING ~ HORRIBLE ~ WORST PAIN EVER!!!!”” I’m glad i didn’t let this page influence my decision of getting this procedure done!

Maybe it is different for everyone, but i was fortunate to have a very quick procedure with no pain. Just cramping for less than 2 mins. Then it immediately went away when the procedure was finished. I just had the procedure done about 1 hour ago and walked five blocks home afterwards…no problem. No more cramping but im still spotting! Good luck ladies!!!!

131 Anonymous { 08.21.08 at 4:05 pm }

I must admit I was scared out of my mind after reading these posts. However, my experience was good so I promised my dr I would post my experience for other people. I had my HSG yesterday and the only pain I felt was some very minor cramping after they placed the catheter and then minor menstrual type cramping for about an hour afterwards. The whole procedure from start to finish took only about 10 minutes. I think the worst part of it was having to walk from the room to the bathroom holding a pad type thing under my gown!! I am still having some discharge, but no more spotting and no pain. Good luck everybody =)

132 Anonymous { 08.22.08 at 11:58 am }

I had my HSG done yesterday (8/21/08) and LUCKILY, I had not found this posting…I don’t know if I would have gone through with it. The test wasn’t too bad for me at all. The tech there explained everything that was going to happen before the Dr. even got in there, so I was prepared. I did take 1000mg of Acetaminophen before hand and besides a slight sharp pain when the catheter was inserted; the cramping during the dye injection was very tolerable.
I was very surprised however at the amount of blood that came out immediately afterwards. Not to be gross, but my inner thighs were covered. It is now the following day and there is just a slight brown spotting. My stomach feels slightly tender, but all in all, the whole thing was pretty easy.

133 The Greenwitch { 08.23.08 at 2:12 pm }

I just want to tell all the women reading this site in pure terror, like I did, that from what I experienced, it wasn’t that bad!!! I had no blockages, but I can’t believe anyone could equate it to child birth! We haven’t had any kids yet, but if child birth is that easy, bring it on! I had my test done yesterday and I was totally scared, nervous, anxious, and panicking about the whole thing for over a week. There was some pain I think when she was inserting the balloon but it was about a 6 or 7 maybe and it only lasted for about 10 seconds. The rest was nothing at all to worry about and I consider myself a pretty big baby. I just wanted to add another positive experience to calm those that are waiting in horror of taking their hsg. I did take an Ativan to calm the nerves and four motrin an hour before hand, which might have helped. My husband drove me home, I took a long nap, and felt perfectly fine when I woke up and even better today. So don’t worry!!!

134 Anonymous { 08.26.08 at 8:56 am }

Okay I read alot of these comments and can not argue because every women’s body is differnt. But, I did ALOT of research on this and actually it took me two years to finally work up the couarge to get this HSG done.

I regret waiting so long I finally went last week. I was a nervous wreck but ladies just prepare yourself and stay postive and just know this is for the better. If you go in fighting it won’t be pleasant.

I was fine it was uncomfortable just like a pap exam getting the clamp in but then I hardley felt the catheter. I just kept concentrating on the ceiling and thinking of other things. I felt the ballon slighty. The doctor was great and the nurse he talked me through it all. Then before I knew it he was injecting the ink which just felt cool.

I think you experience pain only when your tubes are blocked so I did not experience that at all.
Just remember ladies this is for a good cause and unfortunatley this is what we women have to go through sometimes. Good Luck as I move on to the next step.

135 Anonymous { 08.29.08 at 3:52 pm }

I had mine done yesterday. I was really super nervous, so the doctor had some issues with the speculum. I felt only the very slightest of a burning sensation when he inserted the catheter. It was really no big deal. What was painful for me was when he inflated the balloon. One of my tubes is blocked and this is why I was uncomfortable. Actually I am still experiencing some cramping on the side where the blockage is located and some mild uterine cramps.

136 Anonymous { 08.30.08 at 10:09 am }

I had an HSG done about two weeks ago. I had severe pain and was bawling on the table. I became very short of breath and almost passed out. I am still experiencing cramping. Is this normal? Should I phone my doctor?

137 Anonymous { 09.04.08 at 1:52 pm }

Okay, SO, I just had my HSG a few hours ago, and after reading the posts on this website yesterday I was literally in tears and extremely terrified. I am a HUGE baby when it comes to pain and even the thought of a PAP test makes me queasy. Well, I am glad to report that this test was nothing what I imagined from reading the experiences of others. I expressed my concerns to the nurse, who was very comforting during the whole process. The entire process once they put the speculum in lasted about 3 minutes and didn’t hurt a bit. I would say it’s more of an uncomfortable feeling, exactly like an annual exam. I didn’t feel any cramping or anything. Mind you, I took some Xanax before as well as 2 naproxen sodium (Aleve) tablets beforehand. I strongly recommend taking something for your nerves because it did help A LOT. Luckily, I had no blockages, but the Dr. said that sometimes dead cells slough off and can build up in your fallopian tubes and this test flushes that all out. The fear and anticipation of having this test done (I was supposed to do this test last month and put it off because I was so scared) was WAAAAAY worse than the actual test itself. So for those of you that are freaking out, I would say take a Xanax and just DO IT! It’s not that bad, honestly!

138 Anonymous { 09.06.08 at 5:06 am }

I had my exam last Thursday afternoon. I did not take any medication before. It hurt only when they inserted the catheter and it was more like a sharp pain, Afterwards it was just uncomfortable. The nurses were very nice and. The radiologis told me my tubes were clear which was a releif. Afterwards I had cramping and bleeding but went back to running errands. I came home and while cooking dinner felt my throat swelling not too much felt like I was gcatching a cold, my body was achy and then felt nauseous. Right away I took a Benadryl thinking it could be an allergic reaction to the iodine. Did not finished dinner and went to bed. I felt super bloated, still crampy and got chills. The next day I felt better no more chills but still bleeding. I guess I must have had somekind of allergic reaction to the iodine, dye, etc. Has anyone had any of these symptoms?

139 Wendy Power { 09.06.08 at 7:04 pm }

I had my HSG yesterday morning (9/5/08). I took 2 Aleve beforehand, which probably helped. They had a bit of difficulty inserting the catheter but things went smoothly after that. Injecting the dye was really uncomfortable, like a horrid menstrual cramp, but that lasted maybe 20 seconds. All clear, everything looked normal. I cried afterward, in relief that all was normal, and that it was OVER. Onward!

140 Anonymous { 09.09.08 at 1:21 pm }

This site freaked me out big time! I was a nervous wreck before my HSG today, as I tend to be a big wimp. I took 800 mg of ibuprofen an hour before, and I didn’t feel any pain at all! In fact, I asked my RE if he’d inserted the catheter yet, since I didn’t feel anything during the insertion. It was a little bit uncomfortable during the dye injections, but nothing even reaching the pain scale. So if you’re anxiously awaiting your HSG, remember to take some ibuprofen, but try not to freak out (like I did), because it’s not always painful!

141 Amy { 09.10.08 at 2:29 pm }

Recipe for success: 4 ibuprofen 10 hours before procedure. 1 valium in the morning to relax. Another 4 ibuprofen 2 hours before proceudre. 2 valiums (the smallest dose) 1 hour before procedure. Plenty of food with pills so you don’t get sick. With luck, this all equals no pain. After reading this blog, I was so nervous I cancelled twice. It got to where I just wanted to get it over with so I didn’t have to think about it anymore. It didn’t hurt one little bit. It felt like a pap smear – and one where the doctor did a good job, not the one where you wondered how recently they had learned how to do this. The dye felt just the tiniest bit warm, but nothing uncomfortable. Must have been the valium. Also, the x-ray tech said ibuprofen always helps and reading the internet doesn’t. By the way, if you are having this done at Kaiser on Franklin in Denver, it is two very experienced, gentle, nice ladies who do the x-ray.

142 Anonymous { 09.10.08 at 10:00 pm }

I had this today and it was totally no big deal. It felt like mild cramps. The part that hurt the most was when they inflated the balloon but even that was no worse than having cramps. I took 4 ibuprophen before so I imagine that helped.

When I got there I told the nurse I was nervous and she said ‘oh did you read about it on the internet?’ and I said ‘yes.’ She said that there was nothing to worry about and that it was not likely to be like anything I’d read. Which was true!

143 Anonymous { 09.11.08 at 8:05 pm }

I had my HSG on Fri.9/5 and it was uncomfortable but not unbearable. I actually felt alright afterwards. No one told me not to have sex for 2 weeks after the test. Had sex on Sat. 9/6 and started bleeding Sun. 9/7 and have not stopped. It is now 9/11 and still bleeding like a normal period. The doctor said that it was normal for someone who does not get their period regularly to bleed heavier after an HSG. I am starting to get worried. Has anyone else had a similar experience?

144 Anonymous { 09.13.08 at 7:29 pm }

Thank you to everyone who posted and gave suggestions. I took 800 mg of Ibuprofen, and one valium. It really did the trick I didn’t even feel a tickle. The Dr. said my cervix was tiny (great) and he could barely get the catheter in.. he kept asking if I felt anything but honestly I couldn’t. I didn’t feel much other than a brief bloated feeling, when they inserted the dye. I had taken the day off so I had my hair and nails done :) I did have one tube blocked so who knows what’s next in this journey for me. But it is important for women to share our experiences. I wouldn’t have asked for the valium or taken the ibuprofen if you ladies hadn’t suggested it. Good luck to all of you… and God bless

145 jess { 09.16.08 at 9:05 pm }

o.k. here i go ( i one week) Thanks for all your words, to get me ready for this. At 1st i didn’t think anything of it. so now i know take 3 big fat pills and you’ll be fine!!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks lady’s

146 Anonymous { 09.17.08 at 2:01 pm }

I had my HSG today and came home quite dissapointed …it didn’t work! They tried for at least 5 times to fill up mu uterus and the tubes but the dye kept spilling out! Couldn’t reach the tubes..my uterus is fine as for the tubes if I want to know something about it (!?)I should consider surgery !?
Anyone had similar experience?

147 teresa { 09.17.08 at 5:31 pm }

I took 2 and a half aleve tablets about an hour before. I was so nervous from reading all the comments that I was shaking. The nurse was very comforting and talked me through. I’m sure she could see that I was terrified. Very uncomfortable and heavy cramping when balloon was inflated and dye was pushed in. Was quite distracted by looking at the screen. Cathater fell out one and had to be re-adjusted. It was done before I knew it. I put this off for over a year because I was so scared, but I think it was well work the few short minutes of pain. I am such a wimp. If I can do it, anyone can!

148 Anonymous { 09.18.08 at 7:39 am }

I just had an HSG and I must say that for me it was NOT painful, just uncomfortable (uncomfortable like wearing too small jeans after Thanksgiving dinner). I don’t have any scarring or blockages, so maybe that’s why it did not hurt. Like other gyn procedure, it helps to relax and not stress. I took the 800 mg of ibuprofen beforehand, as suggested. No bad aftereffects, just some bloating. Don’t get too worried reading these posts!

149 Anonymous { 09.18.08 at 1:26 pm }

I just had my HSG done this morning. I didn’t think it was that bad at all. I went in with these horrible preconceptions of how much it would hurt, but it wasn’t bad at all. There was a little pain, but no worse than moderate menstrual cramps. I did take 600 mg of ibuprofen beforehand, so that most likely helped. Anyway, after the procedure, I got right up, put my clothes on, and drove the half hour home alone. I didn’t feel any more pain afterwards- at least not yet, but it’s only been about three hours, so it may hurt again later. I didn’t get dizzy or have any weird reactions like I’ve read about other people having. So that’s my experience… thank you for sharing yours.

150 Anonymous { 09.22.08 at 6:28 pm }

I had my HSG done this morning; until last night I was not worried about the procedure at all but after reading a couple of blogs I was a little nervous. I usally dont have my husband come with me to the doctor but asked him to come with me this time.

I took three advil 45min before and it was uncomfortable but not at all painful. I am lucky no blockage everthing normal. So I guess the factory is open for business. Now I just need to ovulate.

I think unless you usually have real painful cycles or have had any uterine issues or infections don’t get too worried about the procedure.

I will say on the $$ side of things…I spent all last week checking my insurance coverage and my patient responsibility. PLEASE LADIES do your foot work before going to the doctor or to do a procedure. My doctor gave me a script for the procedure and listed three locations for me to get it done. I waited for my cycle and scheduled an appointment with the local hospital who schedules a doctor to do it as out patient. Well, I thought to call the doctor’s business office (performing the HSG) and discussed my coverage and my responsibility in advance but they then told me the hospital would have its own cost so I did the same with the hospital.. all in all I almost canceled the procedure when I found out that my responsibilty would be between $300-$500. Luckily I called my doctor and one of the receptionist recommended a local radiologist group that performs the service in house not at the hospital. My total responsibility was $63 big difference.

151 Pam { 09.23.08 at 3:27 pm }

I had my first HSG procedure yesterday morning (9/22/08). Nobody suggested taking something before – I highly recommend it. The procedure itself was pretty painful. It didn’t help that I could watch the dye in the screen – as the surge of dye went in it hurt a lot AND I could see it on the screen. Gross! They say that if you have a problem it’s more painful a process. My right ovary is blocked – maybe that’s why it hurt so much. By the time I got home (10 minute drive), I could hardly move and got into bed thinking I was going to vomit and pass out. The extreme pain lasted for about 1/2 hour, and then subsided as 4 Advil kicked in. I slept it off and didn’t do much for the rest of the day. Today I feel like I’ve been kicked in the stomach. No pain, but I feel so bloated and gassy. I’m still waiting for my dr to call me to discuss the specifics and what-to-do-from-here… but my dr doesn’t share my sense of urgency.

152 Anonymous { 09.25.08 at 12:28 pm }

I have had terrible menstrual cramps every month my whole life, and the pain with the HSG was as bad or worse as the really bad cramps. The three alleve I took didn’t help. I should have gotten a prescription pain killer. Afterward, my entire body felt tired and heavy. After a big milkshake and nap, I have had cramping on and during the next day.

153 GinaBabe { 09.26.08 at 10:35 am }

I just had an HSG and it was NOT a bad experience at all. I read this message board and was so nervous for a very painful procedure but had just the opposite. They start by numbing your cervix – using the speculum. Then they place the dye in, put the machine over you and begin. When they shot the dye in it was uncomfortable cramping for about a minute. I took deep breaths and in about another minute it was all over. I bled for an hour or so afterwards and that was it. Remember to take 800mg of ibuprofen an hour before you go and you will be fine. Goodluck!

154 Anonymous { 09.26.08 at 9:02 pm }

I had my HSG yesterday morning, and I will tell you it was very extrange, but it was bearable, it was uncomfortable when they used the clamps and inserted the catheter, because I was very tens, immediately I stated to feel some strong cramps and I thought they were injecting the dye, but no, as soon as they started to inject the dye, I felt and intense menstrual cramp but I will tell you that it is absolutely bearable. After the test, which the results are OK Thank God!, I did not feel pain but was very weak all day, went home and slept until the next day. I am spotting but feel fine. So my best advice is try to relax as much as you can and take some pain killers before so your muscles are relaxed, and good luck!

155 Anonymous { 09.26.08 at 11:16 pm }

I had my HSG this morning and it was nowhere near as bad as I feared. I took a xanax an hour before hand, as well as 4 ibuprofen. Honestly, for me it was less uncomfortable than a pap smear. Part of the reason it went so well is that I had a very warm and comforting staff working with me.

156 Laura { 10.01.08 at 4:53 pm }

I found your blog on a search for HSG. Thank you for your very informative description of how it goes. I am just starting on the rollercoster of fertility treatments. I am waiting for my period to get my HSG, and I am nervous. I normally have to get my cervix cauterized after any procedures. Now I know what to expect, and that helps VERY MUCH!

Thank you!

157 Caroline { 10.20.08 at 8:32 pm }

Hi, I had an HSG last week October 2008. Luckily I didn’t read this blog before the procedure! I had instructions from my RE to collect a script for Doxycilin for 5 days (3 days before procedure and 2 days after) and to take 600mg of Advil before the procedure. My husband drove me to the clinic and I had to go back with the nurse on my own, which was quite daunting. I had to strip down and put a gown, hair net and foot covers on and I was led to an OR. I laid down and had to put my feet on the edge of the table, my RE inserted a which was of course uncomfortable and then I had the cold wash then the cathater, none of this bothered me after having so many ultra sounds, pap smears and 2 babies via C-Section – all dignity goes LOL! They started to put the dye in and I saw it fill up my uterus (which was awesome) and then the tubes. I did get 2-3 menstrual cramps which after taking a few deep breaths was ok. I would probably rank it a 2-3. Then after the tubes had spilled over (luckily no blockage) the cathater was taken out and I went to sit up. The nurse wanted me to lay there for a few minutes but I felt ok. They did dislodge a mucus plug which the doctor was pleased about. I got up, got changed put a pad on and left with hubby. I had a few slight cramps later, but advil did the trick. Then I had spotting just when I wiped after going to the bathroom, light pink, nothing was left on the pad. We did sustain from having sex due to the risk of infection. I did take is easy the next day becuase I have a horse job and it is physically straining. I have my IUI on Wednesday with an 18.5 and 17.5 follicle, so fingers crossed! Just think of that beautiful baby you will all have whilst laying there, it is just one hurdle you have to get over to move on – Good Luck girls!!! If anyone wants to ask any questions, just email, i’m here to help. jhranch@cfl.rr.com

158 1st time blogger { 10.23.08 at 2:40 pm }

I found this site about 3 hours before my HSG (I have fibroids). It was nice to read about other experiences, however I was slightly nervous…especially since I've never done anything like this before except for yearly pap (no kids yet).

I just had it done a couple of hours ago and thought I would share my experience. The normal, get undressed, 2 gowns, get on the table and spread em’ thing took place…my Dr. and assistant were great and explained everything to me. He put the speculum in and was having trouble with my cervix. There was slight discomfort while he moved it around a bit, but then it was fine. He entered the catheter (slight cramps, but not unbearable…I took 800 mg of Motrin an hour before).

They brought the X-ray tech in, we looked at my fallopian tubes on the screen & everything seemed to be going ok, then.. I awoke to 3 people standing around me, I had passed out! I was a little woozy once I woke up. Not sure how long I was actually "out" and they said my name for 20 secs or so before I came too. Not sure what caused this…I was told not to eat 4 hours before, so I didn’t and took the Motrin an hour before. Maybe mixture of stress and taking pills on an empty stomach. My doc said this happens to 1 in 20 women.

Oh well, I’m ok now. Just thought I would share.

159 Anonymous { 10.31.08 at 8:25 pm }

Well, I did kick up a bit of fuss before the procedure… cried in the parking lot and told my husband that I wanted him to try the thing too :) .

I am on the third day of a 7 day antibiotic course.

Some waiting later,
I went into the room. After the initial introduction, I asked the RE if it will hurt she said “No”.

She asked me to relax and kept telling me what she was doing and showing my uterus on the video screen.

She inserted the speculum (like pap smear).

She then told me to totally relax. Which I happily did.

She then told me that I might feel a prick while she inserts the tube that will carry the dye.

But I did not feel a thing.

Then she said she will insert the dye and would stop for a bit if I found it uncomfortably crampy.

Within seconds my uterus filled with the dye. I felt very mild cramping while it was filling up and no pain at all.

There were no blocks.

It was over in 12 seconds and was asked to turn from side to side.

Then I actually came out grinning ear to ear.

Now I almost see it as a uterus wash.

Almost all the dye came out within an hour.

I am writing this nine hours after the procedure. I feel mild discomfort but keeping warm helps. I am not too concerned as I know what is causing it. I might need a back rub.

Take care, be super calm. Being in control initially and voluntarily working with the doctor helps. I let the doctor do her thing.

160 Anonymous { 11.03.08 at 5:27 pm }

I went for my HSG this last Friday. It was slightly painful but the best thing you can do is take a pain pill or advil before, and take DEEP breaths as the procedure is going on. My doctor prescribed a pain pill but i forgot to take it so took some advil before I went in.I was freaking out but started taking deep breaths and calmed down. It still hurt a little because they had to adjust sizes of the catheter (and spray hurricane spray) but it only hurt when the catheter went in.

I have to say that my OBGYN was fantastic through it all, asking if I was “ok” and kept talking to me and checking on me. The nurse in there did they same thing. They were great and made me feel so confortable,as comfortable as you can be. All is clear and my OBGYN called to make sure I was doing good that day. I had slight cramping but other than that, just fine.

Oh, and she did say that I had a small cervix and she’s seen the procedure dilate it and people get pregnant because of it. Fingers crossed!!

Best of luck to all the ladies and remember…deep breaths!

161 Anonymous { 11.05.08 at 6:18 pm }

I survived my first HSG today! I was so scared going into it, because of what I had read about it. However, it was not nearly as bad as I thought it would be. I think I’ve had period cramps that were worse than the procedure. I understand that women are different and some probably do feel more discomfort than others. I’m also wondering if it has something to do with the doctor and his/her experience and technique. The worst part was the insertion of the catheter. The rest of it just felt kind of weird and awkward but not painful. I did take 500mg of Hydracodone prescribed by my doctor, one hour before the procedure and I’m sure that helped. It’s been 3 hours since the procedure and I am perfectly fine. No pain of any kind what so ever. Thankfully, the results of the test were very good and I will now move to IUI.

162 Anonymous { 11.07.08 at 11:00 am }

I had my HSG done about 6 months ago. The actual test took 5-10 minutes and really wasn;t that bad… The kicker was the radiology tech was quite incompetent and informed the gyne to begin prep and the radiologist was ready. That was not the case. I waited in a prep position for over 30 minutes. That was the part that hurt. I learned that day to not let anyone touch me until everyone is present. I had heavy bleeding for two days and cramping for two weeks. I believe the extensive amount of time with pressure on my cervix is the cause of the problems post procedure.

They found the the tube on the left was clear (dye flowed easily through) and the right did eventually have dye flow but it took a little bit of time. They also identified my uterus as “heart-shaped” and later found it to be bicorniate…

I urge you to be advocates for yourself. There is no reason to prepare you for an outpatient procedure such as this without everyone ready to go.

163 Anonymous { 11.15.08 at 3:00 pm }

I usually don’t post comments on blogs (I love being an anonymous reader!), but felt I needed to as much of what I had read here before my HSG had me SO NERVOUS AND SCARED I could hardly stand it. I was terrified going in after reading all the comments. My MD had prescribed an antibiotic before, and encouraged me to take Advil about an hour before the procedure. I took 800 mg about an hour before. Hardly felt the speculum and catheter going in at all. The only discomfort I had was when they injected the dye — some mild to moderate cramping for a minute or two — but nothing to be scared about. For those reading this who need to have an HSG: please talk about your fears with your physician, and take Advil ahead of time. You’ll be okay!

164 Kim { 11.17.08 at 4:58 pm }

I had my HSG done 4 days ago and I was terrified before I went, I heard that it was extremely painful so I took 600 milligrams of IB prophen and a xanax because I have sever anxiety. I had a great doctor and nurse which made me feel a lot more comfortable, the most painful part for me was the catheter and it felt like very light period cramps (a 1 on the pain scale) and I didn’t feel the dye being injected at all, I had asked my doctor to inject it slow so that might have helped, the pain for me never got worse it was just the light period cramps that lasted for a few hours after the test was over. I think the worst part was stressing for the few days leading up to the test wondering how it was actually going to feel. I hope everyone else out there who needs this test has an experience like mine…good doctors, nurses, quick and painless…Good Luck to everyone.

165 Anonymous { 11.18.08 at 9:53 pm }

I read the comments posted here prior to having my hysterosalpingogram yesterday and I was completely horrified of what may happen. HOWEVER, I want to assure you that the posts here did not mirror my experience. Was the procedure uncomfortable? Yes. But, I did not experience the tremendous pain that was described by others. It was like moderate period cramps- totally manageable and I even had to lay on the table longer due to equipment malfunctions. I want any reader to know that most of the people who post have had bad experiences- the majority had no pain; which is why they are not posting or talking about it. So no worries! Just relax, you’ll be fine! Onto IUI in the next week!

166 Anonymous { 11.19.08 at 10:29 am }

I had an HSG 2 days ago and it was not bad at all. I had very little pain before and after. I think it helped that my doctor explained everything to me while he was doing the procedure and he had no complications. I am so glad that I did not read these posts before hand or I would have been scared to death!

167 Anonymous { 11.22.08 at 8:28 am }

I was scared to death after reading these posts last night. Had the HSG this morning and I dont know what all the fuss is about. I took some anadin extra 2 hours before I went and couldnt really feel a thing, no worse than a smear test. So my advice to you is ignore the negative comments, go in with a positive attitude and get it over and done with. Good Luck xxx

168 Anonymous { 11.22.08 at 12:36 pm }

I feel terrible for all the women who had such a bad experience and posted about it.

I did not have a bad experience. Why? Because I was lucky and I took a pain pill. I cannot stand the people who post and say, “Don’t believe the hype!” and “Oh my goodness, what is all the fuss about?” Those are women like myself that were lucky the catheter went right in and or the doctor was experienced/caring.
Then they post, patting themselves on the back for what was only luck and circumstance. They make it sound like they are just more mature and not panicking like all of these “hysterical” (interesting word huh?) women.

I am so grateful to this site because I was told all the same B.S. “All you need is advil…”, and “think positive”. I read what everyone has posted here and I realized it is basically half good experiences, half bad. I decided I would prepare myself for either scenario.

None of us can control who we get as a doctor,(I could not) how our body reponds, and if the catheter will be lined up perfectly or have no problems going in.

My fertility office did not prescribe painkillers. I feel women are being victimized here and there is a real lack of concern. Just like they used to be counseled way back when to “lie back and think of England”. What is the harm in prescribing a stupid pain pill? It should be required. If this test was done on men, the docs would be falling over themselves to make sure the guy was nice and comfortable. Women are done a disservice. Gee, prescribe one pain pill or hope for the best? The attitude of the docs (and some family members)is dismissive.

I went into self-protection mode and called my family doc and told her I was having this done and I wanted percocet. She resisited a bit, but I insisited. She gave me a valium, and two hydrocodone. I felt two was a bit stingy because if she gave me enough to last two days would I try to sell them on the street? I am too polite, because I severly cut my foot and was given ONE percocet at the hospital. The nurse stood over me forcing me to take it. I told her my foot was still numb from anesthesia, and could I take it later? I guess she thought I would run out and try to sell that percocet too! As a result, I woke up screaming at two am, and the hospital said if I wanted more pain pills, I would have to come back to the ER. It is shameful how women are treated. but I digress…For the HSG I was grateful I obtained the two pills!

After much thought and talking with friends, I was afraid if I took the valium and hydrocodone I may slip into unconsciousness. My friends and I decided I should give up the valium, take 800mgs ibuprofen the night before, first thing in the morning(with the antibiotic), and an hour before the procedure. I also cut the hydrocodone (a big pill) in half and took that one hour before. I also ate a small breakfast two hours before I took the final pills.

Let me tell you, that pill was what enabled me to walk into that place and volunteer to get this done. I felt protected in that if I got an a-hole of a dr., I was prepared. It relieved so much stress. I also brought the 800 mgs ibuprofen and the rest of the hydrocodone with me, and threw the valium in my purse just in case!

I got to the facility (do not pee beforehand as they may take a urine sample.) I was feeling good, but nauseated I think from the hydrocodone. Went into the changing room and had to remove all the bottom garments. I could leave my top on. I walked out, and both the nurse and doc were there with sweet, smiling faces. They were very kind.

I told the doc I had taken a half of hydrocodone and I had cryosurgery done 15 years ago. My body resisted when she put in the speculum, so like everyone else says I took a deep breathe thinking “calm” as i inhaled and “relax” as I exhaled. I imagined myself back at home in bed to get through the entire trip leading up to the procedure.

She said, “It went right in” and I thanked God I was so lucky and grateful. I have not gotten the complete results yet, but I think she said it went up and in both tubes. I told her I had read that some women posted that it was a terrible experience. She then verified those posts by telling me some have a very difficult and painful time, and they cannot get the catheter in and she was relieved mine went in.

She also told me that if you are required to go to a radiologist, many times you are not getting an OBGYN and they do not perform many of these and they can be more difficult. She also said sometimes the radiologist offices do not even have stirrups or a towel/paper on the table!

My advice is to get pain pills or valium no matter what so that you are prepared. If you are going to a radiologist, just be prepared and bring your own sanitary pad and wipes. I would also call them and ask if the doctor has perfomed this procedure and how often.

I was able to go to a fertilty clinic where all doctors are OB-GYN’s, but I had to call my insurance company to be certain they did not require me to go to a radiologist. I also rehaersed in my mind what i would say to the doctor if it was a person who i felt was unkind or rough and made a pact with myself I would tell them to stop and I would leave!(so bizarre they do not allow any one to come with you…)

As I said, I had the pain pill, so I only felt discomfort when the catheter went in. I felt the dye being injected. Even with the hydrocodone, I felt cramps a tiny bit as I was getting dressed. I then took another 800 mgs ibuprofen(4). Because of the meds, I was not in pain. I did feel drained of all energy and I went straight to bed. I was nauseated, but did not throw up. I would never recommend that you go back to work after this unless you are an athlete who was trained in Romania, Russia, or China. If you take cold showers and sleep with the window open on winter nights you may also qualify to go back to work. I was beat, and stayed in bed and was too tired to even care about TV. I never took more pain pills, only ibuprofen.

I was able to scoop kitty litter, feed the cats and dog, drain noodles for dinner,(my husband lifted the water onto the stove) and do the dishes that evening. I took 4 advil about every three hours because I could feel the pain coming back. I also felt I did not want to bend down alot or lift heavy things.

I went to bed at 10 pm, and when I woke up the next day, felt much better, but still took three advil as soon as I woke up. I had more energy and I feel if you must go back to work the next day, you can do it. It is now the day after the procedure, and I have yet to see any dye come out, so i hope it isn’t stuck.

Take a pain pill, take the day off, prepare for the worst, set your boundaries, and you will be ok!

169 Anonymous { 11.23.08 at 5:04 am }

I have my HSG tomorrow and I am so glad to have read some of the more recent positive comments.

The above comment is unfair, personally I was glad to read the more positive comments and I shall be going in with a positive attitude.

“Then they post, patting themselves on the back for what was only luck and circumstance”
Who do you think you are making these sorts of comments, I dont want my HSG to be a case of luck – I want reasurance that everything will be OK and I want to be as relaxed as possible.

170 Lollipop Goldstein { 11.23.08 at 10:31 am }

I keep up all comments unless they are off-topic or offensive. Therefore, people get to see a wide-range of experience. I was actually quite grateful to the person who posted two above who wrote: “Then they post, patting themselves on the back for what was only luck and circumstance. They make it sound like they are just more mature and not panicking like all of these “hysterical” (interesting word huh?) women.”

The truth is that everyone will have a different experience based on the skill of the doctor, the tip of their uterus, whether their tubes are blocked, their pain threshold (amongst other reasons). I do notice that the people who say that the procedure was a piece of cake generally took something beforehand.

I think beyond the actual pain associated with this test (and for me, it was more painful that delivering twins vaginally. Why? I don’t know. But I wouldn’t rate birth–FOR ME–as painful as the HSG and a lot of that could do with the mental state: looking forward to something (the twins) vs. simply a procedure) is the emotional pain. For many women, it is the first test they will take in regards to infertility. It can be an emotional moment to take that first step.

I am thankful that there is a wide range of experience; that some people get to have a pain-free procedure. But everyone needs to remember that their experience is their own experience and cannot speak for anyone else. And when you read this thread, it is to gather information and be prepared (mentally and physically) for the HSG. It is not a promotion of how your own experience will go.

That is what I have always loved about Operation Heads Up–it is a chance for people to tell other people their story. And you can take away from it the information to apply to your life. But it will always remain their story; their experience.

171 Anonymous { 11.24.08 at 10:46 am }

OOPs! I posted above I got some hydrocodone pills…I don’t even know what those are! I guess I was still tired. I took OXYcodone!

I do believe whether you have pain or not is based on luck and taking a pain pill.

Those who come out saying “I never should have read these posts, it was so easy..” Do not realize how lucky they are.

I told myself to think positive, but after coming here I saw it was not enough. I confided in family members how I was scared, and they told me to get off the internet and “think positive”.
I trusted my gut and ignored them! I have learned so much here!

If you do not have a blockage, or any problem with the catheter going in, can you really use a condescending tone like, “Please, it is not painful”.? (Yes, I admit not all are condescending, but many of them are).

Is it the women’s fault they have a blockage? They cannot control that factor.

These people actually say, “Don’t believe it is painful, it is not.”

It may not be painful, it may not hurt at all, and you should think positive. But do not deny that it CAN be painful and it largely depends on whether you get a painkiller, a good doctor, no blockages, etc.

Who do I think I am posting my message? I am a woman who used to believe everything a doctor told me. I trusted every doctor and thought I was an idiot who should not ask questions.

I do not want to go into something lying helpless on the table while the rod is in my cervix and someone says, “Its not that bad.”(Thanks for the details ladies!!!:)

I am intelligent and entitled to an opinion. I am entitled to post here.

I am thankful to God or the universe or whatever belief system works for my procedure going so well.

Why did it go well for me and not for others? LUCK!(and the info I got from all of you)

After my procedure, I thought of all the women who suffered (whose posts I had read)and I sent out love from my heart to theirs.

They suffered because they could not get a pain pill,(or were told not to bother) they suffered because someone was rough or uncaring. Their posts have made my life richer; they gave me gratitude.

They did not deserve th pain because they all trusted their docs and went in without being taken aside and told, “Wait a minute, before you do this take a pain pill, just to be safe.” OR “Whatever you do, at least take the 1000 mgs of Advil” Something to let them know it could be bad!

I know it could have been an awful experience had I had a small opening or a blockage. I feel for them.

Who do I think I am? I had an OB-GYN say to my face immediately afterwards that she was relieved the catheter went in for me and there was no pain. We celebrated together and she let out a huge sigh. Why? She then said that women do suffer in this procedure and she has had to see it.

The ones who don’t prepare and assume it will be perfect, and don’t even want to know about any difficulty: Why even come here to read? You’re all set, you don’t need to come to a message board.

Yes, I also noticed the ones who said it was a breeze would comment at the end, “Oh yeah, BTW I took two valium beforehand…”

If I can help one woman speak up for themselves and get that pill, or whatever else makes them comfortable, I will be returning the favor that all you women did for me.

I want to thank those of you who suffered so and had the courage to post.
You are wonderful!!!
Thank you from the bottom of my heart for speaking out here, and helping me to speak up for myself and because of you, I had only a little bit of pain.

172 Anonymous { 11.24.08 at 3:44 pm }

After being terrified and putting it off for months, I just had an HSG and wanted to say that it was not bad absolutely painless, just uncomfortable. I was so scared about the pain that I mad excuses for 4 months, 4 months that I wasted and can’t get back. and regret losing.

I think that most of the people that write on this site is people that have had bad experiences. Not everyone has bad experiences, so please don’t worry about it and please don’t put if off for fear of the pain. My tubes were not blocked, so it felt like a pap smear.

My advice is to take pain killers, don’t drink coffee, and take a natural calming anxiety medicine. And it will be over in a blink.

Good luck.

173 Anonymous { 12.05.08 at 12:06 pm }

I had an HSG this morning – about 5 hours ago. I was really scared after reading a lot of these comments so I took 3 Advil the night before and another 4 Advil about an hour before the procedure. I also took a valium so that I would not be tense. Even with all this preparation, this was the worst pain that I have ever felt – it was ten times worse than the worst cramps that I’ve ever had and more of a sharp, deep pain. However, the good news is that the pain only lasted a few minutes. As soon as the dye was injected and the catheter was taken out, the pain was completely gone. I have had a little mild cramping since but nothing bad at all. The doctor and the nurse were super nice and there was not blockage so everything went as well as could be expected. So overall, bearable but quite painful for a few minutes.

174 mlr { 12.05.08 at 1:02 pm }

So I had my hsg today (12/5/08). I took 3 extra strength tylenols about an hour before it. It felt like a regular pap until they inserted the balloon thing, then it was pretty crampy, but only for maybe a minute. I would mostly describe it as unpleasant with a minute or two of cramps. I know it varies woman to woman, this was my experience with it. :) Hope this helps to not scare the bejesus out of someone :)

175 Anonymous { 12.08.08 at 11:35 pm }

I have a severely septated uterus – it’s divided into two chambers – so I got to experience an ‘easy’ hsg on one side and a painful hsg on the other side.

On one side the dye went into the tube no problem – nothing hurt.

Then the radiologist couldn’t get the dye into the other side, due to the septation.

As she pushed hard it didn’t fell like a cramp, but really sharp, like a pain switch was turned on. Just when I thought I’d say stop my RE told her to.

My RE was observing with two interns due to my strange uterus. He took over and started the procedure again for the other side, and he did not hurt me. And that tube was clear too.

There was bleeding but I was fine to go shopping after, but when I got home – that night was like a bad period.

It was OK for me.

Thank you to the poster who was talking about it not being luck as everyone has different problems and doctors. I agree. I also found people dismissing others pain because they were ok condescending.

The RE told me to take 4 Advil the night before and 4 the hour before.

You can do it.

176 jamiesbaby { 12.18.08 at 10:44 am }

ok i had my hsg test on the 5th nov it was absolute agony and my tubes were blocked so im gettin keyhole t un block them i ended up with an infection caused by hsg and i am just outa hosptal was in 4 4 days on a drip my doctor kept telling me it was a urine infection so 4 past 5 wks ive bin really ill i would never get this again and i ADVISE if u are unwell aftr this do not let ur doctors fob you off i have to take antibiotics 4 another 11 days then get scan t c if infection has cleared i was the 1 in 500 who develop severe infection due to hs test ……..

177 Anonymous { 12.21.08 at 11:56 pm }

I had commented at the beginning of November that while the HSG was pretty uncomfortable, it wasn’t as bad as I feared, thanks to lots of Advil.

My RE had given me an info sheet ahead of time about the procedure, and one of the things it mentioned was that there is a reported slight increase in fertility for 2-3 months following the HSG.

We’ve been trying to get pregnant for years. Nothing has worked. I had my HSG 11/10, ovulated about a week later….and I’M PREGNANT!!!!

It may be just a fluke that it happened right after the HSG, but I can’t help but wonder if that didn’t have some part in it! :)

Good luck to everyone else facing the HSG!

178 Leah { 01.01.09 at 2:49 pm }

I had an HSG the day before yesterday and was pretty scared before going in. They had me take 600mg of Motrin an hour beforehand, but it turned out that my cervix was really tight so they ended up giving me three shots directly into my cervix to counter the pain I would feel with the clamp and catheter insertion. Those shots were the worst part of the whole procedure, but more of a brief, surprising pain rather than a strong, lasting pain and after that I didn’t feel anything at all.

I had some slight spotting that day and yesterday, but now today I’m having bleeding, like first-day-of-your-period bleeding. I’m not sure if that’s normal or what. No pain, just the bleeding. Weird. But everything looked totally normal, which is good, I guess. One more thing to check off the list.

179 Anonymous { 01.08.09 at 6:44 pm }

I had a Hysterosapingogram today. I have had five iui’s in the past and personally the iui’s were worse than the HSG test.

I have read what the others have said about the test and my experience was very similar. The most painful part is when the clap is placed on your cervix. This is my advice – My Dr. had me cough as a distraction when he was placing on the clamp…..surprisingly enough even though I knew he was putting it on and I was coughing to cover the pain you concentrate on the cough and it does distract you. I barely felt the clamp. The catheter has a small balloon that inflates within your uterus. That is the one thing that I did feel. It was a gradual cramping that you can breathe through. If you relax and breathe it’s much easier.

Just remember to relax and don’t believe all these horror stories about the test…..I would have rather been at a movie or a nice dinner, but it wasn’t bad at all…..

180 Leola { 01.16.09 at 7:05 am }

I had an HSG on the 11th of this month. The leaflet I received about the procedure stated “The HSG can cause mild cramping, a bit like the beginning of a period” It then said “you may take paracetamol or whatever you take for period pains, before the test, if you wish” ( I live in the UK and the leaflet was issued by the hospital I attend)

This was a huge understatement! It was truly agony and I was literally crying out with pain.
My uterus filled with the dye, but due to blockages at the entrance of the tubes it did not go further . . The Dr suggested that this could be due to the entrances of the tubes contracting and proceeded to give me a small intravenous injection of muscle relaxant before trying again. This did not make any difference, and as the Doctor put more dye in, the pain became increasingly unbearable. Eventually they had to stop because of the pain.
(For all those who imply that those who suffer with the HSG are hysterical, I would like to add that I usually have a pretty good pain threshold.)

My purpose in writing this is not to scare anyone, but just to raise awareness. I was thoroughly unprepared for the pain of the HSG. Thinking that it would cause mild cramping at the most, I was not particularly worried about having it done and only took 400mg ibuprofen an hour before.
If I had known then what I know now, I would have been much better prepared and would have gone to my GP (General Practitioner ~ UK healthcare system) to get suitable pain relief beforehand.
As it is, I feel disappointed that I wasn’t prepared. If I had taken adequate pain relief I may have been able to endure more of the procedure and it may have been more useful than it was.
At the end of the day it comes down to many factors, and the experience and pain will be completely individual. Just be sure to be prepared incase you are not one of the lucky ones who experiences a pain free HSG. x

181 Anonymous { 01.18.09 at 11:15 am }

I had an HSG back in April 2008. I took 2 motrin 2 hours before the procedure and was expecting the wors pain from reading all the other comments. Thankfully my tubes were open. I will describe my pain as menstraul cramps. absolutely nothing that I couldn’t handle. I bled a little and continued spotting for a few days. I did go home and rest after the HSG and I recommend doing so as well. Try not to hvae any other plans after your HSG because you never know how you will feel. I am happy to say that I am now in my 2nd trimester. I know it’s eay for me to say but try not to worry too much before your HSG. The pain will only last for a few minutes. Good luck to everyone.

182 Anonymous { 01.24.09 at 4:38 pm }

I had the procedure done a few weeks ago. I had very bad cramping when the die was inserted. I did take pain pills before the procedure. My results were inconclusive. The die never entered the tubes and kept flowing out vaginally. I know that was not suppose to happen. I was prepared for the pain but it was still breath taking. Next time I will ask for a muscle relaxer.

183 Anonymous { 01.26.09 at 5:36 pm }

TAKE PERCOCET! I just my HSG this morning and I felt no pain, absolutely none (and I have a low threshhold). I was expecting the worse, but apparently, the percocet numbed me completely. I do have pain this evening, but it’s manageable with some Motrin. Good luck!

184 Anonymous { 01.26.09 at 10:00 pm }

I will be going through my 3rd HSG next Thursday (Feb 5) and I have had pain and no pain. The 1st one the doctor (male) did not give any meds before procedure very painful, 2nd time the doctor (female) gave me vicodin and valium, so out of it do not remeber walking in the hospital, so there was no pain. Just to let everyone know both test gave the same results no blockage in remaining tube, one removed due to ectopic pregnancy, but good thing after 1st HSG got pregnant but had miscarrage. I am now 39 years old and the man that I have been dating has talked about having more children (he has a daughter), so I have been talking to a fertility specialist and I am starting the process all over again. HSG to see what is going on inside, if everything is alright then will start fertility drugs. I will go as far as I need to go with this doctor, because the other two doctors did nothing else after the HSG. So, no matter how painful the procedure is going to be next week I will endure all of it because I would like to have a baby, since I do not have any children and I have started hearing the clock tick away.

185 Anonymous { 01.31.09 at 10:57 am }

I had my HSG on Wed. morning. When I started reading the first comments, I started crying because I wish I had read up on the procedure beforehand. I was one of the ones who was only informed to “take some advil” and there might be “some cramping”. Not to scare anyone, but I can say that my HSG pain was only second to breaking my collarbone skiing.
I have a high pain tolerance (rugby player), and I don’t normally take anything except advil if I am in a lot of pain. I was in a hurry to get to the procedure and forgot to take any advil. I wasn’t very worried though because I have never had any problems with pap smears and had cryosurgery a few years ago without much discomfort and like I said, no one, not even the ones doing the procedure seemed to be worried it would hurt.
The radiologist was friendly, but when it came to the procedure he was not gentle at all. I wasn’t nervous at all until he inserted the tool to open me up and even that hurt. He started jabbing it in and out and then had to get a different size. It only got worse after that. Though he did try to talk me through it I was in so much pain and trying to be a good sport that all I could do was silently cry while trying to relax because I knew it was only making things worse. I thought that I must have blockages because the nurse said before that there might be pain if that was the case, but the radiologist said afterwards that everything was normal. I was too embarrassed for crying, and too uninformed to ask questions at the time.
I went on to work, but have had an empty sort of cramping since but it has been bearable. I thought it was getting better. It is now Sat. morning and my husband and I decided to try to have sex, but we had to stop because he was hurting me and causing sharp cramping that was worse than anything I have been having. It’s been two hours and I still feel like I am having bad menstral cramps. Noone told me not to have sex. I will have to call my gyn on Mon. to get some answers.

I have to agree with others that having the knowledge to take something beforehand and getting a competent and understanding radiologist probably makes a huge difference in the experience one has. Good luck to everyone and thanks for letting me share.

186 Anonymous { 02.03.09 at 2:18 pm }

I’ll admit I was absolutely terrified after reading all these accounts of the HSG. Actually, I think cried a lot and I put the test off for 5 months. I finally scheduled it and just got back from it a few minutes ago.

I did take 800 mg motrin last night and I took another 800 mg an hour before the test. I was really worried about the catheter going through the cervix and all that. Though I was scared, I tried to keep relaxed and I also tried to visualize my cervix being relaxed and open.

I had mine done at Chesapeake Medical Imaging in Annapolis, MD. They were very very nice about me being nervous. They didn’t allow my husband in, but the tech held my hand and distracted me by asking about my ring, etc. The doctor was very good – I didn’t feel the catheter at all, whether by his skill, my biology, or my visualization actually working. The dye itself was a very strange pressure, uncomfortable, like someone pressing on your full bladder. But not horrible. Oh, and the speculum wasn’t worse than a normal one, and they didn’t use one my cervix at all.

It was a little uncomfortable when they scooted me back under the x-ray and straightened my legs out. But not that bad.

I was able to see the dye go through the tubes and they were clear, so I didn’t have much in the way of cramping. The motrin may have helped with that too.

That was pretty much it since I was clear. They took everything out and I was done. I have a little bit of pressure still, but it’s not really cramping. My monthly cramps are horrible, so maybe my pain tolerance is higher?

Anyway – thank you to everyone for posting your experiences. At least I went in prepared. But my experience was really not bad at all. I’m headed back to work now. :-)

187 Anonymous { 02.04.09 at 10:39 pm }

I had my HSG on Monday and after reading all of these comments I was terrified! My doctor prescribed 550 mg of Naproxen for me to take which definitely helped. The insertion of the catheter didn’t hurt but felt uncomfortable. When they blew up the balloon, the cramping started which did feel like bad menstrual cramps, but no worse. Of course, that was with a prescription pain killer so I imagine with nothing it must be pretty painful. Make sure you take something and ideally ask your doctor to prescribe a painkiller for you. Both my tubes were clear so I might have had a less painful experience than some other people who have blockages, but it really was not nearly as bad as I expected. I think it’s good to go in there prepared to experience some pain and discomfort, but everyone’s experience is slightly different and hopefully it won’t be as bad as you think.

188 Anonymous { 02.05.09 at 7:41 am }

I just had my HSG yesterday. After reading the other comments on this site I was so hysterical about going. I was instructed to take 4 Advil about an hour before. So I did and I went in there and it was not bad at all. She told me everything she was doing and there was just some minor cramping when everything went in and for a little while after. Uncomfortable yes, but not very painful. I was fine the rest of the day and went out to eat and went shopping. My period cramps are much worse than the minor cramping I had afterwards. I know everyone is different, but I wanted to share my experience to maybe settle some nerves for others. Years ago I had a biopsy of my cervix that was 100 times worse than this. So don’t freak out – it may not be that bad for you!!

189 Anonymous { 02.07.09 at 4:15 pm }

I had my HSG yesterday, and all I can say is BE PREPARED!! I went in expecting it to hurt, and I was not let down. The part that hurt the most for me was when the dye was injected. It was one of the worst pains I have ever felt – worse than slamming my finger in our heavy patio door. It did go way fairly quickly, but that initial pain was enough to make me cry instantly. I actually called my doctor that morning to see if I could get something stronger than Advil prescribed before I went in, and they said no. I just wish the doctors and nurses understood what an emotional test this is and they would have mercy on us. I would have gladly taken something to make me a little loopy if it would have prevented the pain that I felt. The good part was, besides being a little weepy afterwards, (I was just glad that it was over) I felt pretty good, drove myself home and had a good cry. Good Luck if you are going to get this done, I hope you are one of the lucky ones that it doesn’t hurt for.

190 Anonymous { 02.09.09 at 1:44 pm }

I am here to report a very anti-climactic HSG test and, hopefully, calm some of my fertility-challenged sisters’ nerves out there.

I hate needles, blood, hospitals, tv shows that feature any of the above, and anything foreign being stuck into my body. I faint easily.

I read ALL the posts about the HSG tests on Saturday night, and got myself worked up quite nicely for this morning’s (Monday) test. I followed the advice given on this blog – took 400 mg of Advil the night before, another 400 mg an hour prior to the test, and picked up a fave herbal anti-anxiety supplement (ignatia amara – at Whole Foods, etc.) on the way to work before the test.

I was fortunate to have my RE give the test, which I chose to schedule after 6 failed IUIs (diagnosis – advanced maternal age – 37 – and low sperm count). I was also fortunate to have a very kind, very experienced, and female lab tech who actually held my hand during the first part of the procedure! I was also fortunate to have my hubby allowed in the room, and he was very reassuring to me.

I won’t go through a long description of the test, as it’s already described numerous times on this blog, but I will say that I did NOT have my cervix “clamped open” as some women have described here. Perhaps that accounts for my lack of complaint. It was uncomfortable and awkward – men just don’t get it, do they? – but the only pain I felt was a tiny, very brief sharp pain as the catheter entered my cervix.

Bottom line: This test is worth it to rule out any tubal blockage. I am happy to report that my tubes are open. Now to figure out what to do next to get pregnant…

191 Anonymous { 02.13.09 at 1:02 am }

I just had my first, and hopefully last, HSG a week ago today. I was only slightly prepared for what to expect. I had had to reschedule two HSGs, as my period fell right over the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays, and I wasn’t about to add THAT in the mix.

My husband went with me, and it was nice to have him there to hold my hand. I guess I just wasn’t informed about how long it would last. Yes, the pain was sharp and deep, about as painful as my second miscarriage cramps. BUT, I was mentally “going to a place” that I expected it to last much longer. It literally took less than a minute. So, yes, it hurt, but it was over so fast…much faster than I was prepared for.

I had some cramping the rest of the day, but only mild. I felt fine from then on. The test showed that everything was fine, which I guess is good news, but doesn’t help explain my two miscarriages last year. But my doctor just said everything looked great…so we go forward from here.

The test is bearable. Yes, the radiology tech said that it can take longer and hurt more if you have problems, so I’m sure that is a factor, too. But overall, it was over quickly.

192 Scoop { 02.16.09 at 1:53 pm }

After my HSG last week, I have learned two things:
1) if I am fortunate enough to get to the point of labor, I am definitely requesting the epidural. If labor is anything like the HSG, I can’t imagine enduring that kind of pain for more than 5 minutes.
2) Pain is relative. If you are like me, i.e. low pain threshold and some menstrual cramping, the warning of an “unpleasant” or “uncomfortable” procedure could mean “excruciating; ” as in I almost fainted and vomited.

All that said, I am glad I did it and would second all the great advice from others: relax as much as you can, and (at least for me), take something stronger than Advil prior to the procedure.

I also experienced a very unsympathetic, business-as-usual attitude from my nurse. I honestly think she thought I was faking it!

193 Anonymous { 02.17.09 at 2:21 pm }

“”the warning of an “unpleasant” or “uncomfortable” procedure ALWAYS means “excruciating””

194 Anonymous { 02.18.09 at 12:06 pm }

I came across this blog yesterday when doing some research about what to expect in an HSG. Upon reading everyone’s experiences I was quite in a frenzy about having to have it done the next day.

Well today came and I had the test done and I just wanted to share my experience. I found it not that painful at all. To me, it felt like a visit to the regular OBGYN. There was a little bit of pressure, a slight pinch and then slight cramping when the dye ran through my tubes, which they warned me would happen.

I took a couple of Advil before the test and came into work after. No pains, no discomfort.

So to those of you who are fearing the worst, fear not! It’s really not that bad. Of course everyone is different, but there was a girl in the office who had it done before me and reported the same thing I just did.

Good luck to all who have to do this.

195 Anonymous { 02.18.09 at 6:11 pm }

Hey everyone! I had my HSG today and I literally felt nothing. It was easy and quick and I had kind nurses and a friendly doctor. I took Aleve 30 minutes before the procedure, which may have helped, but it really wasn’t uncomfortable at all, and was no more embarrassing than a PAP test.

I felt VERY minor bloating/cramping later that day, but it wasn’t anything that bothered me.

I just wanted to encourage those of you who are reading this blog and are scared out of your minds because of it like I was. So many people have had hard times with HSGs, but I didn’t and maybe you won’t either!

196 KLE { 02.19.09 at 1:52 pm }

My husband and I have been TTC for 10 months now and the HSG was the final test in our series of tests. I had my HSG yesterday and am actually glad I did not read these posts until after is was over because I would have freaked myself out beyond belief. I did know that it was advised to take a painkiller beforehand so I had some leftover Tylenol with codeine which I took about an hour and a half before the test.

The nurse was really nice and comforting and my RE explained what was happening each step of the way. The insertion of the catheter was uncomfortable but in no way painful. When the dye was injected I experienced some cramping. My RE showed me the results right then and there and said I have a beautiful uterus (nice complement right?)and completely open tubes. I could see the dye spilling out at the ends.

I had some discharge that evening and there was a tiny bit of blood in it. Today I woke up with cramping that has diminished throughout the day and now all I feel is pressure in my abdomen.

Overall this experience was not as bad as I some of the stories that I read on these posts, but I would not want to go through it ever again. I am really hoping that it cleaned out my tubes and we can conceive now.

197 justformenow { 02.21.09 at 5:08 pm }

I had my HSG yesterday afternoon 2/20/09….It was the worst pain I have ever gone thru in my life….The cramping lasted the entire time of the test and it was a cramp like no other….Waited to sit up for a few minutes because I would have gone down….Slight bleeding afterwards but nothing else…Tubes entirely clear so that is good news…

198 Rachael { 02.23.09 at 10:38 pm }

Wow. I know enough to know that we’re all different, but I go in to meet with the RE tomorrow about my septum. Thankfully, I already know it exists (after 1 miscarriage). I’ll be asking for a lap/hyst, tyvm. I’m not interested in this craziness.

199 Anonymous { 02.24.09 at 8:26 am }

I went for my HSG yesterday and i was very nervous.
If im honest it was slightly worse than i expected and the first part is just like a smere.When they insert the long thing with the dye in its like a sharpe feeling right up inside.Then the bit were i did find quite painful was when the inserted the dye.This is NOTHING like perid pain… expect more like like sharp little pains,however…
I had a very light bleed yesterday and felt faint after.Today i have been fine with very slight cramping but nothing else.
I have to agree a bit part of this is the emotinal side as i guess you feel that youve been violated in some way but we have to remember that us woman that are trying dor babies…this is a vital part of the research and can only help us in the long run…good luck and dont worry to much

200 2SetsOfTwins4Me { 02.26.09 at 9:29 pm }

um yeah i should of never read all these comments yesterday because most women said the test was painful and i was very nervous going in.
i had an HSG test done today because i had a tubal ligation last month and because i have so much scar tissue my doc didnt know if he had the clamps on good enough.
anyways it was painless to me, i was waiting and waiting for the cramps to start and i never got any. the only thing thats uncomfortable is when they inserted the speculum. And my tubes are totally blocked. it was neat though watching it on the screen.
anyways my radiology tech said everyone is different and she said she finds that the majority of the women who say it hurts hasnt ever had children

201 Liana { 03.02.09 at 1:34 pm }

I’m having my second HSG next Monday and had to go searching to see if my first HSG (last July) could have possibly been even half as bad as I remember. I’ve read through the comments here. Oh well. This is how this goes.

202 Anonymous { 03.02.09 at 3:12 pm }

I had talk to two ladies prior to going in for my HSG who said oh its no big deal at all. One who even said she took the day off but it ended up being so simple she really didn’t need to.

So I went in thinking no big deal. I have a high tolerance for pain. I did take 600mg of ibruprofen prior to going in just in case. I didn’t research before I went in but I wish I would have.

I wasn’t prepared for the pain!!!
The radiologist first tried to get the tube through my cervix and it was a sharp pain that was bearable. He couldn’t get it through so he had to call an obgyn to come down to assist.

She ended up getting it through which was very painful. But the most painful part had to be when the ballon was inflated. It was the worst pain I’ve ever felt in my life. I was in so much pain and crying. Then the pain goes down just in time for the dye to be pushed through which hurt almost as bad as the ballon inflating.

My results aren’t offical yet but it appears only one tube is open. And my cervix appears to be small. Just from my observations looking at the screen.

My advice: prepare for the worst and hope for the best. I’d much rather have went in thinking it was gonna hurt like it did and be surprised when it didn’t, than what happend to me.

203 Anonymous { 03.04.09 at 6:24 pm }

IT IS REALLY NOT THAT BAD!!! Since I had NO IDEA what an HSG was, but am a little nervous about the entire TTC process, I made the SMART decision not to read ANY blogs before having it done to keep my anxiety at a minimum. Thank God I did that because this blog would have probably made my hysterical! Apparently it can be quite painful and uncomfortable for some people, but I did take 800mg of Advil and felt just menstrual type cramps for 30 seconds. It’s really not worth this much stress, especially since each person’s body reacts to the procedure differently.

204 Anonymous { 03.09.09 at 5:00 am }

Hi everyone,
Maybe you all will think Im a big wuss. I went on Thursday for my first HSG (after not being able to conveive for a few months). It was the most painfull experience I have ever had (I have obviously not given birth yet).

My gyne kept thelling me to relax, but the more she said “Relax” the less I was able to “Relax”…in the end (after 40 minutes of trying and severe pain) she recommended I do it under general anesthetic.

I went today (Monday) for the “procedure”. It was so much better and absolutely painless. I had a few needless stuck into my hand, but atleast they were bale to perform the test.

I would really suggest having the HSG done with general anesthetic, especially if you can’t relax and they can therefor not conduct the test.

Good luck!

205 Aleasha { 03.11.09 at 11:42 am }

Wow, I’m actually glad I did not read this before I had mine done. The worst part for me was the young tec who preformed the procedure. I was a complete mess afraid of it hurting and I felt very mild discomfort mixed with some slight embarrassment. My nurse was AMAZING and aside from the cath slipping out twice before the bollooning part, it was a breeze.

206 Anonymous { 03.19.09 at 6:00 am }

I had my HSG done yesterday and all I can say is: Have male gynae’s had one of these?! how can you say it’s ‘uncomfortable’ – it’s painful! I took 100mg of ibuprofen – i felt everything, it felt as though my tubes were being ripped out… on the upside my result is normal – no blockages or anything, but why can’t i fall pregnant is the same age old question… well, alas my drama is not over, I have had nosebleeds, nausea, vomiting, increasing cramps and pain in my lower abdomen, muscle aches and pains, excessive tiredness and I feel lightheaded. Called my doctor 30 minutes ago and his receptionist only said – SEE HOW YOU FEEL LATER AND CALL US BACK. Women know their bodies – something is wrong and I do not want to wait like i did last timew to find out i had a ruptured ectopic after my doctor said – ‘relax and see me in the morning – i would have died as i already lost 3 litres of blood by the time they rushed me to hospital. Now my question is – if this is such a delecate procedure and you stand the risk of infection after an HSG, why gamble with someone’s internal reproductive organs when they’re telling you they feel ill? wait and see how sick you get before they treat you?!

207 Anonymous { 03.25.09 at 6:18 am }

I had my HSG 2 days ago and it was the worst pain I have ever experienced, at like a 20 on a scale from 1-10. It hurt so bad and actually sent me into a state of slight shock during the procedure, with my blood pressure dropping to 60 over 40 for a while. 2 days later, I still have light bleeding. I took 600 mg of ibuprofen 30 minutes before the procedure, but it did not help. I had to get a shot of Toradol after the procedure for the pain. They ended up seeing that my left tube was blocked & that may have been what caused the extensive amount of pain. I was not put on antibiotics though which worries me if that is what they are supposed to be doing.

208 Bryler { 03.26.09 at 10:10 am }

I just got back from my HSG at Nassau Radiology. As a result of reading the comments many posted here, I was prepared for the worst and on the verge of tears when I sat down on the table. I was relieved and pleasantly surprised. My experience was one of slight discomfort … I would say it was a bit worse than a pap smear coupled with light pressure/cramping. From what I understand if they have trouble getting the tube in there is a more painful procedure which follows. I also understand if you have a blockage it can be more painful. I took 4 motrin 1 hour before the procedure – so this may have helped as well. The nurse and doctor who perform the HSGs at Nassau Radiology (Hilton Ave.) were very nice and talk you through everything. Good luck ladies and don’t be afraid!

209 Anonymous { 03.27.09 at 7:09 am }

Hi girls.. I did my first HSG test 5 days ago.. To me it was painful and I spotted. I had an etopic pregnancy 7 years ago. I found out when I did the test that my left tube is partically blocked, they could not unblock it, my right tube is perfect. I was wondering if any of you have gone through this and have gotten pregnant since then.. Let me know..Thanks

210 Anonymous { 03.31.09 at 3:25 pm }

Hi all,
I had read this blog just before I was to do my HSG (which happened on Oct 7, 2008) after about 8-10 months of TTC. (Thank you for all the information and comments!) I read most of the comments and figured that I’d be somewhere in the middle on the pain scale…I was in for a surprise, though. It was one of the most painful things I have experienced. I am not trying to scare anyone…..everyone’s experience is different, I believe.

I don’t know if it was more emotional, since we had been trying to schedule an HSG for months and my regular clinic (having been renovated) didn’t have that facility anymore. Finally, I met my OB at another clinic where she didn’t have her regular nurse or equipment. When they inserted the catheter, it was very uncomfortable and I experienced cramping…but it wasn’t bad…bearable. But the clincher was the dye…it was the worst cramping I have ever felt…menstrual pain in comparison is a cakewalk. It was like a giant hand squeezing the life out of my uterus. I was yelping and about 5 mins later, almost begging them to stop. I am quite sure I would’ve thrown up, had they not finished soon.

The cramping eased up as soon as the equipment was out of me, but I had soreness in my abdomen for a couple of hours and minor bleeding after that. They found that I had some scarring in my left tube. (And on top of that there was a foolish nurse who freaked me out by saying that since one tube was scarred, my chances were halved by 50%….which I confirmed later with my OB that it was so not the case!)

But the good news is that I got pregnant in November 2008 (missed the Oct cycle due to the HSG, so technically conceived in the first cycle after the test) and the baby is due in August 2009! :-)

My OB mentioned that sometimes the tubes get blocked by residual endometrial tissue…nothing to cause any harm, but that tissue doesn’t let the sperm go through. Inserting a dye is a way of ‘flushing the pipes’. Well, I guess it worked! Hang in there…and wish you all good luck!

211 Felicia { 03.31.09 at 10:20 pm }

Had my first HSG today and I hate that I only now found this blog. I was totally unprepared for what to expect. My Repro Endocrinologist is a male and I really think he underestimates the level of discomfort experienced. He described it as a “simple procedure.” Not once did me mention pain or discomfort.

First I guess my situation was not normal. Both tubes were blocked and the catheter slipped out during the procedure. He was also trying to force my tubes to open to created a lot of pressure using the dye. Needless to say I nearly jumped off the table. I think had my situation been normal, it may not have been so bad. The worst by far was insertion of the catheter. The insertion of the dye was more like constant severe menstrual cramps.

I wish I had taken Motrin prior to because taking it afterward really helped. It is now 10 hours afterward and I am not having any cramping.

I started my own blog to keep my sanity. Feel free to follow.

Good luck to you all.

212 Jill { 04.04.09 at 1:34 pm }

I had my first HSG last week. It was reccomeded by our fertility dr after two failed IUIs. I had a similar test over the summer but instead of dye they used air. That one was rec. by my gyn but my fertility dr said the HSG is much more accurate especially considering my history of having my appendix removed as a child. The air test this summer showed no problems and we thought the fertility issue was with just my husband. Well, after the HSG lo and behold, my right tube is completly blocked with from scar tissue likely from the appendectomy. All this time and money on other tests and proecdues to find this out! I’m angry about that, but at least now I know where the main part of our fertility problem lies. As far as how the actual HSG went, it was far less painful than the similar test I had done this summer with the air. I took three 220mg Aleve and half of a 7.5mg Vikiden before hand and I think this was the key to success. It wasn’t a picnic, just cramping. My fertility dr. has reccomended that I have my right tube removed. Has anyone else ever had this situation? I am going for a second opinion this week.

213 Anonymous { 04.08.09 at 2:14 pm }

Hi Everyone,

I just had my HSG a couple of hours ago. I had spent so much time “researching” this and the pain associated with it online for weeks. I was freaked out, like most of you were/are. Well, turned out that for me, it was not that bad. Totally uncomfortable though. I took 3 ibuprofen about an hour before. There were like 5 dudes in the room and one lady, so that was a bit strange, but they all did a fantastic and gentle job. They didn’t use stirrups, which I was quite pleased about. I just had to “spread ’em” so to speak. After they got the catheter in, they took out the speculum (yay! that’s the worst part) and let me lay my legs down flat, which was much more comfortable. I didn’t really feel any cramping until they injected the dye, and that just felt like a warm deep cramp, but didn’t last long (to my relief). I don’t think I had any blockage, so that is likely why the pain was not bad. My tips would be to take IB first, then remember to BREATHE deeply and *try* to relax during the procedure. Tensing up will only make it worse. You’ll get through it.

Right now, I’m a bit crampy, and wondering what I’ll feel like when the ibuprofen wears off.

Good luck to everyone!!!

214 Anonymous { 04.08.09 at 3:43 pm }

I just had my HSG done and I read many blogs and medical descriptions of what was being done but nothing prepared me. It HURT. Those of you who didn’t hurt, be thankful. I have passes a kidney stone without any pain medicine and I thought that was bad. Although, I was lucky enough to have great nurses and techs in the room with me and a husband who was ready with drugs when I got done.
However, to all you ladies who are going to have it done. It is all relative. It may hurt you and it may not, but it is still worth it. The pain is over within minutes and lets face it, we are women, we can do anything!

215 Anonymous { 04.08.09 at 7:39 pm }

If you are going to have an HSG…stop reading the posts on this site; they will terrify you. I just had mine today and was nearly crying in the waiting area because of all the horror stories I read on this site. I took 600 mg of ibuprofen and 1000 mg of tylenol 1 hour before the test.

When the catheter was placed in my cervix, I felt pressure like I had to urinate but NO PAIN. When the dye was injected, I felt NO PAIN. I was embarassed about how scared I was before the test…it was not a big deal at all.

I think it helped that I took the medications before and I also had it done by a reproductive endocrinologist and not a radiologist. Bottom line…don’t let this site terrify you. It’s NOT that bad!

216 missingababy { 04.14.09 at 10:44 pm }

I’m curious about whether you can have multiple HSG’s. i was told you can only have one.. Any comments please.

217 Anonymous { 04.15.09 at 6:21 pm }

I took 1000mg of Tylenol before the procedure. While I’m sure it helped, I still experienced cramps, especially when the dye was injected. Definitely an uncomfortable experience. I felt immediate relief when the radiologist removed the catheter.

218 Anonymous { 04.18.09 at 12:08 pm }

I had my first HSG yesterday…I think the bottom line is, it effects everyone differently, and there is really no way to know how painful it’s going to be for you until you actually have it.

The part for me that was the worst was having the catheter inserted into the cervix. It took the doctor a good 10 mins to get it in. The nurse told me it’s usually harder to get it in in women who have never given birth b/c the cervix is tighter. The pain was a pretty sudden sharp burning/cramping sensation. Once it was in it wasn’t bad, the dye started to go in and I just felt really full and slightly crampy. Once it was in it only took a few minutes, and soon as he took it out it felt better.

It was definitely emotional, which I didn’t really expect. I had to choke back tears from the pain during the procedure and then had a good little cry in the car afterwards. Having had a miscarriage a year ago and trying to conceive ever since, I’m sure it was just a lot of built up emotion. Looking back, it probably would have been a good idea to bring my husband with me, and I would recommend to anyone who’s going to have an HSG to do the same (husband, partner, bff, etc.)

I’ve had a slightly crampy/sore feeling ever since the procedure (about 20 hrs ago) and some bleeding that has seemed to subside.

The doctor who did the hsg (not my regular obgyn) was kind of a stiff, and by the way the nurse was talking him through it, it may very well have been his first HSG. Although I could see the xray screen while they did the procedure, he didn’t tell me anything about the findings, and just said he’d review the films and give them to my doctor. The nurse was cool though – once he left she took me to the computer and showed me the films. The right tube did what it was supposed to and filled with dye right away. The left, although it eventually filled, did so much more slowly. Anyone experience this?? I have to wait til Monday to hear what the doctor says about it.

My best advice is don’t get worked up about the procedure, as it’s totally different for everyone. I took ibuprofen before hand, and looking back it probably would have been better to prep with something stronger, just in case.

219 Michaela { 04.24.09 at 8:15 pm }

I might end up sounding like a pansy after this, but I had my HSG 4 days ago, and I am still traumatized! I pride myself in being someone who can handle pain, and I NEVER cry in public, but WOW. I’ve never experienced anything to that caliber before, and I’ve had heart surgery that I had to be awake for! I was praying that I was going to be someone that didn’t experience a lot of pain but unfortunatly I was. I think it all depends on the person. I took 800mg of ibp and not so much. I tend to be someone who uses humor to push through things but I wasn’t joking when I told the doctor, that I have the option for anestesia at the dentist when I need a filling! I hope this was all worth it and I at least get to be one of the lucky ones who get pregnant after the procedure, but walking out of there I was vowing never to even use a tampon again! Might be a little bit longer before we can start trying to get pregnant again!

220 Anonymous { 05.01.09 at 10:15 am }

hello all. I had my HSG test this morning and felt nothing! Sure the speculum is annoying, but the procedure lasted only a few minutes and I didn’t even feel the dye.
Reading the earlier posts had me freaked out beyond belief – but trust me, it really wasnt bad at all.
i took 800 mg of advil this morning and am spending some time on the sofa today, i could have totally gone back to work.
deep breaths – it will be over before you know it. Fear not fellow if’ers!!

221 Anonymous { 05.05.09 at 6:27 pm }

I just went and had my first HSG today. I prepared with 800mg of Advil an hour ahead of the procedure. I was REALLY nervous as I had a hysteroscopy years before which was the most pain ever. The dr is wonderful and explained everything to me. I layed back and closed my eyes. I kept waiting for pain and soon enough the whole procedure was over. The dr did have a hard time with placement of the cath- I guess my uterus is very tilted- but i felt just a small twing. I got the results right then and everything was perfect! I commented on the lack of pain, and he said I must have a high pain threshold. I think the key is to stay calm and let all your muscles relax. Good luck ladies, you never know!!

222 Anonymous { 05.10.09 at 9:02 pm }

Hey all! I had my HSG several days ago and just wanted to let you know that I would give it a 2/10 pain scale rating (not that I’ve ever experienced a 10.

I took 600mg of ibuprofen about an hour or so before. I also didn’t have any blockages.

It was a tad embarrassing and the doctor dropped the first catheter so we had to wait and talk awkardly for about 10 min as the nurse went and found another one.

Just breathe deep and talk some ibuprofen.

223 Leila { 05.15.09 at 9:58 am }

After reading everyone's comments before I went in this morning I was #*&$ scared! I just came back from the hospital where I had my HSG and I have to say it was much better than my first time which was traumatic. Here's what I think helped.

1) Tell your doctor about your pain threshold – I explained to the doctor AND nurse how my first time was awful and they promised to go easy.

2) Take a painkiller – I took 800 mg of ibuprofen about an hour before. I still felt cramping but it may have helped some (even if just psychological)

3) Deep breath and visualize – When they were putting the speculum in (always the wort part for me) and then locate my cervix, I took deep breaths and held both my hands tight.

4) Remove the speculum – the doctor removed the speculum once the catheter was in so I would be less uncomfortable.

5) TELL THEM NOT TO USE THE CLAMPS ON YOUR CERVIX – the doctor told me that some doctors use clamps once they locate the cervix to pull it so they can insert the catheter in. He said it's rather barbaric and that's what can be quite painful. The new catheters are thin apparently so the insertion of them should not hurt at all. The nurse who was with me confessed that she knew some doctors who still used the clamp (they are like tweezers apparently that they use to pull the cervix up). SO…make sure you check with the doctor who's doing your procedure that he does NOT use clamps / tweezers. The doctor who did the HSG on me took some time to locate my cervix by pushing hard on my abdomen in different areas but I'd rather he take the time and do that than use the tweezers.

6) My obgyn asked me to take an antibiotic half hour before the procedure. I forgot but I took it after.

7) I took the rest of the day off so I can rest and not feel pressured that I have to rush back to a hectic day of work.

So that's it. I hope this helps and oh one more thing…don't read too many negative comments before you go in :)

224 Anonymous { 05.15.09 at 11:14 am }

I am very glad I didn’t see this site before I had my HSG yesterday or I would’ve been terrified.

I did find a lot of these comments hilarious, though (now that I’ve already done it).

I can’t believe the books etc that describe the pain as “mild cramping.” I thought it was near-excruciating.
The good news is that the whole procedure was probably 5 minutes long, and after that, no pain at all.

I suggest scheduling something fun afterward the procedure, or while you wait for your report. I went out for cupcakes and then came back for my x-rays. Lying on that cold metal table while someone messes with your privates is slightly more tolerable when you know soon you will be stuffing tiny frosted cakes into your mouth.

225 Anonymous { 05.22.09 at 7:25 pm }

I had my HSG test today. A few days ago, I had read many of these comments and realized I was blissfully unaware of how much this could hurt!!!

I was advised to take 800mg ibuprofen an hour before hand, which I did do and I think it was a life saver.

The worst part of this procedure for me was the speculum and the MDs trying to use the speculum to visualize my cervix. It was very painful. It felt like they were digging and scraping in there. They could not have gotten that thing placed correctly fast enough!! They attached the catheter with suction, which was uncomfortable, caused a pinching sensation and also some cramping. Once they started to inject the dye, the test went really fast.

Most of the afternoon following the test, I have felt fine, but I can tell the ibuprofen is beginning wearing off. I feel some cramping/aching and soreness in my pelvic region. I have been spotting lightly and leaking dye, as I was warned would probably happen. I would characterize the pain as a 5 on the a scale of 0-10.

By no means was this the worst pain I have ever felt, definitely uncomfortable. My tubes are clear too, so that makes the aching a little more bearable.

Good luck to all out there who have to have this test done, remember the ibuprofen and deep breaths!

226 Anonymous { 05.26.09 at 2:18 pm }

After reading several people’s HSG stories on this blog, then experiencing my own HSG just hours ago, I wanted to respond to some of the comments:

1) “HSG’s are only painful if your tubes are blocked”
Response: Mine tubes were completely open and it was very painful, particularly when they pushed in the dye.

2) “The reason some people have pain is because their doctor is no good and didn’t know what they were doing.”
Response: My doctor was trained at Stanford and Northwestern, and works for one of the top rated OB/GYN offices in the country. Alas, it hurt like a mo fo.

3) “It only hurts for people who haven’t had children”
Response: Take the time to read through the posts. Many women with children reported feeling severe pain.

4) “The women who felt pain must have a really low pain threshold.”
Response: People, I run marathons–for FUN. Trust me, you run for 4 1/2 hours in a row, you’re going to feel pain. I am far from being a pain wimp, and I experienced severe pain in the HSG.

All that said, I want to offer some encouragement:

1) Not ALL women have pain when they have this procedure. There seems to be a whole range of experiences on this blog, from “worst pain in my life” to “I felt nothing.” Though I’m sure there are a few people who’ve posted on here that may have exaggerated the degree of pain they felt or didn’t feel, I’m willing to guess that most people are honestly reporting their experiences.

2) For those of you who say you’ve put off having the HSG because of the “scary” things you’ve read on this and other blogs, I feel for you. But despite the severe pain I felt during the HSG (I’d say mine was a 9, on a scale of 10), I’d HAPPILY do it again if that’s what it’s going to take to get pregnant. And on top of that, I think it made me feel even stronger and more resolved in our efforts to get pregnant.

So for all of you ladies out there reading this trying to decide if and when to have your HSG, I say go for it! There’s a very good chance that you won’t have a painful experience. But even if you do, just do it as soon as possible and get it over with. Hopefully it gets you one step closer to having a child.

Good luck, everyone!

227 Alli { 06.01.09 at 6:36 pm }

Good advice. The HSG was much more painful than I anticipated… I only heard that I'd have some cramps, but the pressure when they enter your cervix is pretty uncomfortable. When they inserted the dye, I was told my blood vessels quickly sucked up the dye so they couldn't see if my tubes were open so they added more dye, but everything was fine. They asked me to move my hips to each side to "swish" the dye to see if it was actually going through the tubes. While it was pretty uncomfortable, I only took 2 advil before the procedure, but advise an 800 mg ibuprofen, it was worth it to have peace of mind, and to know that if there's something there that needs to be corrected, you're being proactive, and well on your way to becoming pregnant. Also, I don't know if this is accurate, but after I explained this procedure to my mom, she thought it sounded kind of like the way contractions feel. ANyone else who has had a baby agree? Anyway, good luck, and don't be scared. It's worth the unpleasant trip no matter what!

228 Anyanka { 06.05.09 at 9:35 pm }

If you have not given birth before, I would highly recommend that you have your regular doc test your cervix or dilate it, and schedule the procedure for the earliest possible day in case it doesn't work. I tried to have an HSG on a Friday and I was not expecting it to be a lengthy procedure. Unfortunately, the balloon kept popping out of my (apparently tight) cervix for some reason, so they must have tried poking it into me at least 10 times and moving the speculum around to try to get another angle for about 45 minutes. That's 45 minutes with the giant speculum in and open, ladies. I have a high pain tolerance, but it wasn't even pain at that point — just severe discomfort, plus my legs were not in stirrups so they started shaking from the strain of having to sort of hold them half-up so they wouldn't get in the way of the x-ray machine. Eventually, the radiologist had to stop trying because my cervix was so swollen from all the poking. I have to go back and get dilated and try it again on Monday. This is all bad timing because Monday is the 10th day of my cycle (when you should start having intercourse w/Clomid) and you are not supposed to have intercourse for two days. So in short, my advice is, to be safe, get dilated first and do it during the week so that if they need to do it again, you don't have to wait three days. Now I'm nervous for the next time!

229 Angie { 06.16.09 at 4:05 pm }

I just had my HSG and I have to say I wish I had not read the comments here as I was extremely nervous before the procedure. Of course, everyone is different, but I had no pain whatsoever. I did take 800mg of Motrin one hour prior to the procedure.

I know some people have a lot of pain, but please, if you have this scheduled, don't worry until there is something to worry about. It might be completely painless.

BTW, tubes are happily completely open and a large uterine polyp (easily removed) is probably our infertility issue.

230 Kimberly { 06.16.09 at 8:49 pm }

Hi, all!

After putting this test off since 10/08, I finally bit the bullet today and had my HSG – I'd been in a low state of panic for days over this (and actually canceled once before, back in April). HOWEVER, I am THRILLED to report I had not one iota of discomfort! – I took 400 mgs of Advil <12 hours prior to the test and an additional 800 mgs +/- one hour before. I supplemented with 7.5 mgs of Valium and felt great before, during (speculum placement, catheter insertion and dye infusion) and after – I've had FAR worse periods/PAP smears! No residual cramping afterward, a minimal amount of spotting (which now appears to have ended, 12 hours later).

My left tube was open and flowing freely, uterus A1, right tube 'sluggish', 'weak', '50/50'. No blockage per se as the dye did flow and there was no dilation but the left tube is very dominant. Test over in 3 minutes. I am in the NYC area and had heard from my RE that the radiologist who performed the test is known to have a light touch. He was lovely.

Good luck to all in their ttc journey – I'm 39 years old and my husband (37) and I have been ttc for one year with no luck thus far… :(


231 Anonymous { 06.17.09 at 3:23 pm }

Had mine yesterday. I was extremely nervous because my friend had just hand one a month ago and she said it was extremely painful. I called 2 hours ahead to have them Rx vallium, but they didn't get it to the pharmacy in time and dilly dallied (dropped the ball) in taking 2 hours to get back to me (only 1/2 left b4 my appt) THEREFORE, I took 800 mg of ibuprophen like the nurse said AND 750 mg of Hydrocodone that I had from getting my tooth pulled the day before. I've had a couple of bad experiences with drs/dentists so I wasn't going to take ANY chances. Well I believe the medicine worked like a charm because I litterally felt NOTHING. NOT ONE THING. I felt the speculum like a pap smear but that was it. I got it done by my RE and not by any techs. If I was u I'd demand getting it done by your RE and not any techs or other flunkies and please ladies STOP GOING TO MALE DOCTORS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! they don't have a fucking clue. sorry but you couldn't pay me enough to go to a male dr. I feel so bad for some of the people on here who have had the cold treatment by them. DO NOT TOLERATE THAT BEHAVIOR FOR ONE MINUTE. YOU ARE PAYING THESE F'ers TONS OF MONEY THEY SHOULD BE KISSING YOUR FEET. Find yourself a sympathetic and wonderful female doc and you will thank the stars above. Females KNOW the anatomy and they KNOW what a crap/etc FEELS LIKE!!!!!!!!!!! I'm so thankful I have my doc. (Klein at SRM) I'm glad I red this AFTER I got my HSG tho. I learned something new: I didn't know about the "easier to get preggo after an HSG) so we're going to try in a day or two. My tubes did release dye but were somewhat slow to so I had to go back today and get another picture to see if they had released all the way. (no "procedures" just a picture) I get my results tomorrow. Good luck everyone.

232 Anonymous { 06.19.09 at 9:07 am }

My HSG was horrible. It was a deffinent 10 on the pain scale.
I was told to take 3 Ibuprofin prior to the procedure, It did nothing for the pain.
The radiologist could'nt get the dye through my tubes. After about tem minuted he said "both are blocked" and walked out of the room. I was left on the table sobbing because of the pain and the news of my tubes being blocked, thankfully the nurse had enouph compation to hold my hand and try to comfort me. It was one of the most horrible experiences of my life.
P.S. My gyn decided that I should have a laperoscopy and tubal dye study to see why my tubes were blocked. Well, It turned out that both my tubes were open and the dye flowed right through. I was told by my gyn that sometimes when the HSG is painful it can cause tubal spasms that block the flow of dye.

233 Anonymous { 06.30.09 at 1:46 pm }

I just had my hsg done and I was scared to death because of all that I read about the procedure. I took 800 mg if ibuprofin an hour before. The only discomfort I felt was when the doctor was trying to locate my cervix. Other than that it wasn't that bad.

234 ridiculous { 07.03.09 at 9:40 am }

hey everyone – read this blog before my hsg and it scared the crap out of me.

for nothing.

had the test yesterday, and the most uncomfortable part was the insertion of the speculum.

the actual procedure took about 5 minutes, and was no more painful than period cramps. i'm a little bloated and crampy today, but it's nothing severe.

235 Anonymous { 07.07.09 at 8:50 am }

I had my HSG last week and I read almost every blog on here. Sometimes there is a thing as too much information, as I was scared out of my mind and so worked up over it. The nurses could tell too that I was nervous. In all honesty it was painful after they get you all "situated" just as they do when getting a pap. When they insert the balloon thing to shoot the die was probably the worst. It was a shooting pain and severe cramping, but it doesn't last long. Only a few minutes. You can do it!!!! I am the person that has a hard time getting blood taken and I am deathly afraid of needles and I did it. Make sure to talk to your doctor and let them know your concerns and just ask a lot of questions. I think that for some people it is the worst pain because this was the only thing they have ever really experienced. I had never had a procedure done before or given birth or had to go under the knife, etc. So naturally it is painful and uncomfortable and nerve-rackingly scary for those people. I just kept telling myself that if I want a baby, this is probably nothing compared to that!! Its a few minutes (if even) of pain but have someone you love waiting for you in the waiting room that will take you home, buy you a good lunch and watch movies and make you feel wonderful all day. Good LUCK!!!

236 Anonymous { 07.13.09 at 2:53 pm }

I had an HSG last September – and after reading the comments on the blog, I was prepared for the worst.

But I was pleasantly surprised. Sure, there was a shooting pain when the die is injected into your uterus, but it lasted about 5 seconds for me. In fact, the nurse and my doctor looked at me and said, "Wow good job, sweetie!" There's definitely that moment of pain, but it is NOT bad at all. My periods are worse! I didn't have cramps or anything the rest of the day; and I even went back to work!

Just wanted to cheer up someone's day!

237 Alchemilla { 07.22.09 at 3:59 am }

Wanted to say thanks for all of the information and comments here, as usual it was all a lot more helpful than everything I'd gleaned from my consultant prior to the procedure. As it turned out I was lucky, it was fine. I'm giving most of the credit to the radiologist who performed the procedure and made me feel happy throughout (I'm not tough but it really didn't hurt).

I realised on arrival in the waiting room that I had forgotten to take my painkillers, at which point I turned white and started to brace myself, but it wasn't painful. It was like a 20 minute cervical smear with an addedd twiddling around feeling, as they twiddled. I found the pictures interesting and I think looking at them crystalised my partner's understanding of my IF problem (he couldn't really miss it up there).

Afterwards I skipped happily to the car, thinking I had got away with a relatively easy time only for 15 minutes of period-pain-type agony to kick in. Grr. Fifteen minutes was it though and then back to normal. Onwards to the next hurdle!

238 Anonymous { 07.24.09 at 7:01 pm }

Had mine today – did not read this blog before and I did not take painkillers. I actually Googled HSG and "severe pain" to find this blog, because I couldn't believe how painful this was and that it couldn't be just me. I actually almost threw myself off the table. This was after over 45 mintues of trying to insert the catheter past my cervix — once they finally got that far, it was like a shooting pain, and more discomfort with the balloon. What really killed me was the dye going in – it was hot. I wasn't sure when it was going to stop. They kind of paused when I lurched off the side, and I just yelled keep going and they pulled the camera thing over my uterus to take the pictures. I broked out in a sweat and felt like I was going to throw up. They lowered the head on the contraption when it was over to make sure I wasn't too dizzy. No serious cramping afterwards, just a little soreness. I wonder if a muscle relaxant might help during the part with the dye. I think the key may be to take some pain meds and maybe even a muscle relaxant. This makes me wonder if I could stand natural childbirth.

239 sick in Decatur, IL { 07.28.09 at 10:08 pm }

ausbeI just had my HSG yesterday. I was not nervous in the least bit. I was told it would be a simple procedure and that I should be able to go back to work immediately afterwards.

What a crock! It was THE MOST PAINFUL EXPERIENCE OF MY LIFE!!!!! And I'm no stranger to pain having a history of recurring softball size ovarian cycts on my right ovary when I was 13, 5'5" and 100lbs (from which mutiple ER docs sent my parents and I home with the assurance taht I was just getting ready to "experience the miracle of nature" and "become a woman" before my pediatrician diagnosed the problem).

My doctor was the one inserting the catheter and administering the dye. There was a radiology tech in the room at the beginning and- supposedly- a radiologist in the next room over about to come in. I was told the procedure would only take about 1-2 minutes. My doctor did express that she was not happy to hear that her nursing staff had not instructed me to take any ibuprofen ahead of time. She talked me throught procedure and what to expect. With the word of the tech that the radiologist would be in instantaneously, my doctor proceded with the catheter. It was uncomfortable but not unbearable while she trie to weave her way through my cervix… then BAM! An unimmaginable electric shock. Like an explosion in my abdomen. The doctor said she was in the right place and to just hold on a bit longer for radiologist to come in and take the pics.

10 minutes- I'm not kidding you – 10 minutes I lay still with that pulsating pain writhing through my body waiting for that radiologist to show. I kept trying to breath and stay calm. My doctor kept trying to talk me down. I began just weeping. I was nauseous and fought vomiting with all my might because I didn't want any more abdomenal cramping. I seriously considered ordering my doc to stop the testing and just say forget- a baby is not worth this- but I figured if I had come this far…

Finally the tech tracked down another radioligist to come in and finish the procedure and put me out of my misery. He came in, my doctor injected the dye and BAM!! Again!!! IT GOT WORSE!!!!!

And about 45 seconds later it was done. I was so sick though, I had to lay still for about another 10 minutes. Crying the entire time. Cramping. Room spinning.

I didn't stop cramping until late last night. It still hurts to move and laugh, but it's a different kind of hurt now.

And the result… guess what. My right tube is blocked. Probably due to scarring from those cysts when I was 13. The other half may still be working though.

I don't know if it was worth it though. I do know, I will not go through anymore tests of this nature if I have a say in anything ever again.

240 Alyssa { 07.31.09 at 12:06 pm }

I had my first HSG test today (Actually after three years of trying to get have a second child, this is the first fertility testing that i have had done) so I was very nervous, especially after reading some of the comments on this blog. I am happy to report that I was only mildy uncomfortable, I didn't experience any pain. I did start having cramping almost immediately afterwards, however it is not worse than my monthly menstrual cramps. I also feel tired, but i think that was from not sleeping well due to nervousness. My only real complaint is that I could not watch the screen as they did the procedure. I will have to wait until my doctor gets back to me next week for the results. I really hope that this test alone is enough to help boost my fertility.

241 trying in Manhattan { 08.04.09 at 10:24 am }

I had my HSG procedure this morning. After reading all of your reviews on here I was both expecting the worse as well as thinking it may not be so bad- so thanks to all of you that have presented the spectrum of what HSG may feel like.

Based on the comments, I took 1000 mg of Tylenol the night before and 1000 2 hrs before my test. Once I got to the clinic the doctor sat with my husband and I and explained the procedure. I had a pregnancy test done and the nurse escorted me to get changed. Both the nurse and the doctor were very empathetic and nice throughout the process.

Once in the radiology room, I lied on the bed, with my feet in high up stirrups- for me this was the most uncomfortable part of the procedure. the humiliation you feel subjected to..

The rest of the procedure was fine- some mild discomfort at being poked and probed, but I didn't even feel the dye going in. All my tubes were clear and this may be why it was a fairly painfree process for me. Probably just a tad more uncomfortable than the typical pap smear.

Afterwards I was planning on taking a taxi back but felt fine enough that after stopping for some coffee, I took the subway back home and 3 hours later, feel just fine :)

242 Anonymous { 08.04.09 at 10:31 am }

Hi everyone, relax! The procedure is NOT as painful as you thought it will be. I had my 1st HSG yesterday @ 3 PM. It was uncomfortable rather than painful. I took 4 Advil one hour before the procedure, and everything went fine. If you don't want this to be a painful experience, please take some pain killer…Advil or Motrin…which are ibuprofen. Good luck to everyone and everything is going to be fine.

243 Lily { 08.15.09 at 9:16 am }

I had my HSG two days ago and it was the most excruciating pain I have ever experienced. It was so bad that my brain couldn't even form thoughts–just bright lights and splotches of color that somehow represented incredible pain. It seemed like the test lasted forever and the worst part was when my RE made me roll from side to side to get x-rays from different angles. I already didn't think the pain could be worse, but moving made it so much worse. When it was over, I was trembling, sweating, and panting from being in such terrible pain.

I had very little pain after the procedure, just mild cramping. But I have had panic attacks and trouble sleeping since then because it was such a traumatic experience.

What makes me mad is that my RE acted like it was no big deal. In fact, he told me, "You look nervous. This won't be bad." Afterward, he said that the spasm or blockage that closed off the my left tube may have made the pain worse because he had to insert more dye. I just can't believe that he put me through that with nothing for the pain.

What makes me extremely angry is that I called his nurse the week before and asked if they could give me something before the procedure. She very condescendingly said, "What do you think you need that for?" She acted like I was being ridiculous for thinking it might be painful and she told me to take some ibuprofen. That stupid bitch should die a slow and painful death.

If I'd had any idea that it could be so painful, I would have made them sedate me or refused to do the test. Even if it lasted only 5 minutes, it was a totally unacceptable level of pain. No dentist would give you a root canal without novacaine, so I'm not sure why doctors think it's okay to put women through something like this without anesthesia.

244 Anonymous { 08.17.09 at 12:37 pm }

I had an HSG today (Monday) and had myself so stressed out after reading all of the comments on Friday…great way to start the weekend, huh?? My Dr. prescribed me an antibiotic and some Ibuprofen to start taking on Sunday (600 mg 3xday). I was so nervous going in I felt like I was going to pass out. It felt nothing more than a pap to me…even when he was injecting the dye. I cannot stress enough – ALL of us experience pain different, but please DO NOT freak out by reading some of the horror stories on here. I wouldn't even call the pain "mild cramping". It was nothing compared to my regular menstrual cramps!! Good luck to everyone needing this procedure. Now I'll *patiently* wait for my follow-up with the specialist to see what's going on.

245 Sarah { 08.20.09 at 7:41 am }

I was SOOOOO scared after reading these posts. I worked myself up BIG time. When I got in there and had to undress I started to cry. My mom was with me.
It was an x-ray room with no stirrups. That was the uncomfortable part. My Dr had me scoot to the bottom, she inserted the speculum and put the catheter in. She then had me scoot back and the radiologist came in. WELL the catheter came out. Not my lucky day. The 2nd time inserting wasn't as bad as the first. I had a nice nurse who was holding my hand the entire time. It was not painful, I didn't have a balloon I don't think. Then the radiologist came back in and then walked out..I was like what the heck…it was over. That fast! I had no blockages everything was perfect, it only took like 2 sec for the dye to flow in. Maybe that's why I never had a cramp or anything. SIMPLE. I got myself SOOOOOO worked up. When she told me everything was fine, I was crying non stop because of joy. My day 3 blood test came back good too! Not a bad experience…don't worry. I will say I did take motrin and xanex (which is prescribed to me for stress). It really is fast once they get the catheter in.

246 Anonymous { 08.23.09 at 8:22 am }

Hi Ladies,

I had an HSG done a while ago, and I can say I didn't feel much pain. I took 600mg of ibuprofen beforehand. I didn't even know they were done, and I got up from the table right afterwards.

Of course, my tubes weren't blocked, and I imagine that would add to the pain. However, I read somewhere (not sure if its true) that women have an increased fertility for the first 3 months after an HSG, due to the tubes being cleaned out. Maybe concentrate on the benefits instead of the pain?

I think if you go in thinking it will be painful, it will be!

247 ariali { 08.24.09 at 11:43 am }

I'm going in for my HSG in just under 2 hours. I hope everything goes well I'm a bit nervous but think I will do fine I'll update this after i have it done and let you know how it goes.

248 ariali { 08.27.09 at 12:28 pm }

Hi everyone, well I went in for my HSG On August 24th and I'm very happy to be able to say that I didn't have any pain. I was quite scared going in after reading these posts about how many of you have had a really bad experiences. Everyone is different and I hope that those of you that are still to have the procedure dont get detered or scared from having it because of the posts on this site. I do want to thank you all for taking the time to post them though, at least I knew what I could expect as far as the the good and bad go. I am also happy to announce that I had not blockages and everything is fine, with the exception of PCOS(that was not diagnosed through the HSG).

249 Anonymous { 09.03.09 at 1:25 pm }

I had the HSG last April. My DH and I were both so nervous about the results. Before I went in I joked with my DH and told him that should he hear me scream to come get me! It was a joke that I shouldn’t have made. It was the most painful procedure I have ever endured. It was just so painful. At first it felt like severe pms but then when she inserted the dye I started to feel this sharp pain and the screaming began. I could not stay still and was grabbing on to the pillow behind my head to bite on to it. It was so bad I was begging her to stop. She completed the procedure, thank God, I did not want to go through this again. By the end I knew that something must be wrong for it to hurt this much and I was unfortunately correct. The doctor pointed to the scream and showed me that whist one side was damaged the other was completely blocked off. The left was blocked off and the right was damaged. I started to ache even more, but not the same kind of pain. It was a more severe kind of pain deep inside my heart. I could hardly walk I was in so much pain. My DH was in front of the door and looked pale. He heard the screams and thought something was definitely going wrong and he could not do anything. I don't wish this kind of pain on anyone.

250 Anonymous { 09.08.09 at 9:06 am }

Like so many others, I was freaked out about the HSG. When I was told I needed one by the Dr. and that it was the most painful of the tests (and she gave me two painkillers to take prior), it sent me on a tailspin. Particularly since I'm in Holland, where the strongest thing they will give you for massive pain is Tylenol. No joke. So her telling me it hurts and giving me painkillers had me quivering for 1.5 weeks while waiting for the appointment.

This blog didn't help.

The reality: at most uncomfortable. I can't say it was totally nothing but close to it, the worst part was having the catheter inserted. After that, it was ok. On a scale from 1-10, it was about a 4 – if ever so momentarily.

Don't get freaked out.

I did…and I regret it. Actually, I was so freaked out I also popped a valium prior to the procedure. Maybe that is why it didn't hurt – I was totally relaxed.

251 Anonymous { 09.10.09 at 3:37 am }

Had my HSG yesterday and did not find it difficult at all. I took 800 mg advil and 1 mg ativan (anti-anxiety drug) one hour before the procedure. I think that helped a lot.

I also asked the tech. to distract me with conversation and we chatted about our love for Indian food.

To me – it was no worse than a pap.

252 Anonymous { 09.11.09 at 6:34 pm }

I've been reading the posts for the past few weeks- I had to wait 2 cycles to get my HSG because they were all booked last month. I really worked myself up prior to the appt based on what I had read. When they asked me to sign the consent, the resident told me it shouldn't be any worse than a pap smear. I really wanted to believe her so I tried to convince myself that all the blogs were wrong. Unfortunately, she was wrong. It was definitely more uncomfortable than a pap smear. There was cramping when she inserted the catheter and worse cramping when the dye was inserted. I wouldn't want to do it again, but it was definitely bearable. It only lasted a few minutes and I didn't have any cramping or discomfort afterward. They gave me the results right away and told me everything looks normal. In a weird way I wasn't very relieved because this was our last test in the initial work-up and nothing else has come back abnormal. My biggest fear starting the testing was that we wouldn't be able to identify the problem, and that would decrease our chances of finding a successful treatment. it's so frustrating. we have our consult next week, so I guess we'll wait to see what the RE has to say. Good luck to everyone out there!

253 Anonymous { 09.14.09 at 8:23 pm }

Hey All, after reading all these stories I was very nervous about my hsg today. I don't want to discount anyone's experience, I'm sure for some people it was very painful. Mine really was not that bad. I felt a little cramping when the catheter was inserted, as well as when the dye was pushed in and the balloon inflated. That was it. The cramping reminded me of light period cramping.

I have had some more intense cramping since I got home. It's not unbearable, but its not exactly great either.

The radiologist who preformed my test was really nice and let me know right up front that I was the one in charge and that I could call it quits at any time if it got too painful. She did tell me the test does tend to be more painful if your tubes are closed. Mine were open, but that could be why some people have much more pain with this test than others.

I was also told that the test could be performed during a laproscopy. If you know that there are other problems that need to be dealt with through a lap, you may want to have the hsg done then. At least you could eliminate some pain and discomfort that way.

Anyways, like I said I don't want to discount anyone's pain or brag that my procedure wasn't that bad, but I just wanted to bring a little balance to the discussion and let people who are going to be having an hsg know that you won't necessarily have a bad experience. I don't know if you really can know how it's going to go before you go in, but there is no sense fearing something you don't have any control over. Just remember, you're in control – if it gets painful tell them to stop.

254 Rachael { 10.08.09 at 10:01 pm }

My HSG was a terrible experience. I twas excruciating. I practically had an out of body experience! I didn’t feel good for 2 days afterward…I think due to the shock. I’m glad I did it for the information it gave me though. I just wish they gave women something for the pain.

255 Jin { 10.24.09 at 4:47 pm }

I had my HSG yesterday. The radiologist performed the exam and it wasn’t too bad (and he was male, to the person who was saying male doctors are awful). The only pain was 1) insertion of speculum which was huge and 2) when the dye hit my left ovary (no pain from right ovary). I scheduled it for cd 8, and since I normally ovulate on cd 12 I knew that 1) my cervical os would be open and 2) my left ovary would give me some pain (since it started hurting a day or two before the procedure). My regular gyn did a cervical exam on me during our infertility consultation 2 weeks prior and that hurt like hell! Most likely because he was trying to open my cervical os during the time where it’s pretty much shut tight (middle of 2ww).

My advice – if you chart your cycles and are an early ovulator, schedule it as close to ovulation as possible (but still have a few days open for sex afterwards). It should be easier to get the catheter through. And the cramping afterwards suck.

256 nixy { 10.26.09 at 9:13 pm }

I had an HSG today, and from all the comments, I knew to take Advil before I went. I started out on the wrong foot, because the doctor was 50 minutes late (I think she forgot about me because I was her first case, and she walked in with coffee).

The doctor had to re-insert the cervical clamps and catheter THREE separate times because it kept slipping out when she removed the speculum. Each time was more painful from the last. I would highly suggest finding out how many of these procedures the doctor does on a regular basis. My husband said he was about to rip the catheter away from her and hit her with it.

The entire procedure only takes a couple of minutes, but I found it very painful, and brought me to tears. I also wasn’t prepare to bleed heavily for the rest of the day (though that’s probably because of the clamp issues). I wish I had brought some pads with me, because the ones they had at the hospital are really uncomfortable.

I had cramps for the rest of the day, but have been able to work.

257 Mai { 10.30.09 at 12:37 am }

I had my HSG done today. I was pre-warned by a good friend that the pain could be pretty intense and to take 2 ibuprofens before going in. Uh, that didn’t even come close to taking the edge off the pain. They had to use a tanaculum to move the cervix, it looks likes scissors w/tongs on the end. OMG. You have no idea. On a scale of 1-10, it was a solid 8. And now, 12 hours later, Im still bleeding and now passing clots. I called my RE after 3 hours, and they gave me the runaround. Ugh. Im glad it’s over and things are structurally normal, but the pain. No thank you.

258 D { 12.10.09 at 7:03 pm }

I had an attempt at the HSG last month and I’m still traumatized. It was more emotionally than physically painful. The repeated jabs at my cervix was uncomfortable. The multiple positions that the doc tried was a bit embarrassing – on my back, pillow under the hips, and believe it or not even on all fours!!! Needless to say, the catheter wouldn’t go through my cervix. I couldn’t wait to get back to my car to cry. Now I’m searching the net for answers, suggestions, remedies, support. Congratulations to those who had success!! Those who are going to try the HSG, just make sure you prepare for emotions that you didn’t know would come out.

259 anonymous { 01.24.10 at 1:30 am }

i need to schedule an hsg in the nyc/rockland/westhchester vicinity. i’m having trouble finding a place with a female radiologist that will perform the test. i have enough anxiety about having this done, i don’t want to have to deal with having some guy i’ve never met before down there on top of everything else. if anyone knows of a place with a decent female doc, i would be so grateful!

260 Gil { 03.03.10 at 10:28 pm }

I had my HSG a couple of years ago as one of the early diagnostic procedures for our infertility. I was terrified, but we had to start somewhere! I read a lot about the procedure beforehand, so I knew what the process involved. I also knew that I never have pain with regular pap smears so that was a plus. My doctor prescribed antibiotics before (and after) the procedure. And he said I could take a couple of tylenol before (and after if needed) as well.

I got up on the table, and the dye was injected with no problems. I watched it spilling into the fallopian tubes on the monitor and the RE pointed out exactly what my husband and I were looking at. It was really neat to watch actually. There were no blockages, so I’m sure that contributed to the fact that I had minimal pain.

As for my pain, it was like having bad period cramps. It started shortly after the dye was inserted and I felt cramps on and off for a couple of days. I had some initial bleeding afterwards, because of slight irritation to the cervix, but nothing drastic. It did require a pad though. And although I took the rest of the day off work, that probably wasn’t necessary (I have a sit-down desk job). But everyone is different and blockages or abnormalities mean that you may experience some pain, and obviously as some women here have said, it can be severe. Ibuprofin or some sort of painkiller and anti-inflammatory medication can give you lots of relief for a couple of days if you need it. And if you have lasting pain or problems after your HSG, it’s best to go back to your RE and mention it because that wouldn’t be normal.

Good luck ladies!

261 bec { 03.04.10 at 7:45 pm }

THANK GOODNESS I DIDN’T READ THESE COMMENTS PRIOR TO MY HSG TODAY!!! I was nervous enough WITHOUT reading horror stories, and considered not getting the test and seeing if Clomid worked first. Especially after having an endometrial biopsy that was quick but painful (pinching!) a couple of weeks ago. However, I went and to my surprise, it was uncomfortable but virtually PAIN-FREE! I was lucky enough to have it done in my doctor’s office, rather than cold hospital with strangers, but really, the mildest of cramps, nothing sharp occurred (took ibuprofen but hardly needed). It’s 12 hours after the procedure now, and experiencing cramping-hoping it won’t last long or get worse (and we did have sex tonight with doc’s permission so maybe that’s irritating it after test). Anyway, posting this as a POSITIVE story that it doesn’t have to be painful-I’m truly sorry to those who experienced pain, as you’re describing what I had feared most!

262 LB { 09.06.10 at 6:08 pm }

I had a HSG 2 weeks ago and felt horrible pressure when the doctor took what seemed like forever to push the dye through my left tube. The right tube opened up right away and the dye shot out but left tube took forever to finally start “trickling” dye as the doctor put it. Does this mean the left tube could still be partially blocked. He told me my tubes were not blocked but I hate to say I do not trust him and he offered no explanation about the trouble with the left side. Just do not want to have increased risk of etopic pregnancy. With second cycle of clomid I had 3 mature eggs (2 on left side and 1 on right side) so I really hope that that left tube is really open (since I really felt my left side ovulate on Thursday).

It would have helped if they had told me to take motrin beforehand but I suppose that would have not helped with the intense, unbearable pressure (besides the pressure it was otherwise not too bad. Valium probably would have helped more

263 GG { 10.11.10 at 1:51 am }

I just wanted to add on here that I had read numerous scarry stories and spoke with somebody personally about having an HSG done, and was freaked out. I took 3 Advil and went in for mine this last Thursday, I have to say for me the worst of it was just two things, first after they inserted the catheter they inflated the small balloon that keeps it in place and it made me gasp, it wasn’t a brutal pain, just strange/different/uncomfortable, I didn’t know what to expect and it’s not really describable, I just knew it shouldn’t be there. Of course my balloon popped, and they inserted a new catheter and balloon, and I got to gasp again.

Then the other not so great thing was when they got the dye going in me I got sweaty and felt like I was going to pass out, so there is the Radiologist explaining to me on the screen what we were looking at and I was just thinking, hurry up, cause I feel really sick here. I had to stay put on the table for a while cause I was a bit lightheaded.

I was lucky to have clear tubes showing, and from what I have gathered it seems to be when you have a blockage that the pain becomes severe with the test, the problem is you won’t know if your gonna have that until you are doing the test. I’m glad I took the Advil ahead of time just in case.

I’m still bleeding like a light period three days after, with very light cramps that come and go. But overall not bad, and well worth knowing that my tubes are good to go.
Good Luck to Everyone out there!!!

264 In Other News… « Eggs In A Row { 06.17.11 at 4:33 pm }

[…] can’t tell if reading things like this are helpful or not.  Because I’m currently having a major anxiety attack.  Not so much […]

265 Rachel { 06.27.11 at 4:08 pm }

I just had this on Friday. Thank Gd I’m done, and thank Gd for the people above who suggested Valium and Vicodin. I was really nervous, but the doctor was so compassionate. Because I was blocked it was painful, (I’d truly rather have a laproscopy ANY DAY OF THE WEEK) but it is over quickly. I had to stay laying down for 10 minutes after the procedure, I was terrified I would pass out, so I’m glad they didn’t rush me.

266 Stephanie { 07.15.11 at 3:18 pm }

I underwent the HSG on Monday and it is now Friday. The procedure itself went very smoothly: the doctor warned me about the cramping, which was about a 6/10 and brief. Then I felt the dye on either side which was a weird sensation, a bit like a low-grade burn. I was relieved when it was over that it went so smoothly, and my tubes are both open though apparently I have an inverted uterus. I had a bit of cramping that day / some clear beige liquid on my very light pad.

The issue for me is that the cramping will not go away – I have had dull ache for 5 days now and it’s getting really old. I also have the same dye-injected burning sensation in my pelvic area/lower back. It’s all very low-grade, but between the pain and the worry, enough that I could not sleep Wednesday night. 400mg Ibuprofen takes care of the achiness but not the burning. The MD has since ordered a pelvic exam and blood test to rule out infection (which meant I had to go in again on Thursday). Now they want me to come in next Monday for an ultrasound if the cramping/burning has not subsided. From posts online, it sounds like some women get this sort of cramping afterwards, but my doctor makes it sound very uncommon. I’m 100% sure it was caused by the HSG as the sensation started with the dye injection. I’m starting to wish I’d never done it, though of course now I know I probably did not need it in the first place since my tubes were open.

267 Rooni { 08.16.11 at 11:11 am }

I just had an HSG yesterday. I have to say I was very scared after reading some of the comments above (especially the ones about childbirth being worse than HSG). The whole thing was unpleasant but not anymore than a papsmear or a transvaginal ultrasound. I’ve heard that its different for everyone. I did take ibprofen about an hour before. My 2 cents: its really not that bad, take a pain killer before, and relax instead of clenching.

268 judy { 10.27.11 at 4:08 pm }

I had the HSG test today. Pain was not bad at all, but the doctor found a mucus plug in my cervix, or possibly a pollop and he biopsied it. He was able to get the dye in after two tries but I am freaking out. I always have normal pap smears and no discharge or irregular bleeding ever. What does this mean? Please help..the doc didn’t seem overly concerned but I am. Anyone else have the same thing happen? Any advice?

269 Research Queen { 12.31.11 at 6:29 pm }

I think what someone will experience during an HSG has mainly to do with three things: (1)the type of instruments and contrast material that is used, (2)patient’s anatomy, and (3) the skill of the physician performing the procedure.
1.There is a variety of cannulas/catheters and contrast agents that can be used. Some cause more pain than others. The ballon catheter is usually much better tolerated compared to the medal cannula. Ballon catheters usually do not require the use of a tenaculum (cervical clamp), which can cause more pain. The type of contrast used can also contribute to pain. Oil-based contrast is thought to be less painful than water-based contrast because water distends the uterus and fallopian tubes more rapidly. Oil-based contrast is not considered as safe as the water-based contrast so most physicains prefer to use the water-based dye for that reason. Water-based contrast containing a majority of megumine may cause less pain than sodium formulations.
2. A woman who has never given birth will usually experience more pain than someone who has. If a woman has a tilted uterus, the physican may have a more difficult time with catheter placement. Women with fallopian tube blockages may have more pain when the contrast is injected.
3. The skill of the physican can have a lot to do with the amount of pain a patient will experience. If a tenaculum must be used, only a small amount of cervical tissue is needed for adequate traction. The more tissue that is grasped, the more pain the patient will experience. The tenaculum is like a ratchet, the more cogs engaged, the greater the closing force. A novice physician may not have these skill perfected. If a physician does not prime the cannula/catheter to eliminate air-bubbles, it can cause the patient discomfort. A physican has to be careful not to let the tip of the catheter touch the fundus of the uterus because this can also cause pain. The physician needs to inject the contrast SLOWLY because injecting it too rapidly can cause a spasm. A physican can also minimize discomfort by not overdistending the uterine cavity. A physician with poor technique can cause a patient to have a significant amount of pain.
I had a bad experience with the saline infused songogram so I was prepared when I had to have the hysterosalpingogram. I did not take any pain medication with the SIS so that probably had a lot to do with how uncomfortable it was for me. I took 800 mg of ibuprofen, valium, and lortab an hour before the HSG was performed. I also filled a FemCap (female condom) with a lidocaine/prilocaine cream and inserted it over my cervix about an hour before the procedure. You will have to have a prescrition from a doctor for the cream and the condom. You can get more information about the FemCap at http://www.femcamp.com. The FemCap can also be used by a woman who is trying to get pregnant. You can put semen in the cervical cup and place it over your cervix for six hours to improve your chances of conceiving. It is a great alternative for artificial insemination that you can do in the comfort of your own home. I don’t think the success rate is as high with the cervical cup as it is with IUI, but it is a less expensive alternative.
I was pleasantly surprised when my HSG was complete. Although it was uncomfortable, it was nothing like I expected. I had a really nice radiologist. I requested that he use the ballon catheter instead of the medal cannula that was usually used at the hospital I had it performed.
He did not have any problem with that, and said he would go very slowly. We could stop at any point that I wanted to. I was in control.

270 Ashley { 01.07.12 at 1:36 pm }

I had an HSG on Wed (1/4/12) and I was absolutely terrified after reading hundreds of posts about this procedure. My RE mentioned that they can use anesthesia. I don’t think it is quite as common, but if you are worried it might be worth talking about. For me it worked out quite well. I had a quick IV and was out for about 20 minutes. Everything came back all clear and my husband and I went to lunch afterwards. I do have some slight cramping and quite a bit of bleeding still, but nothing like a period. I am so glad that my RE did this for me. There are options out there so don’t be afraid to ask!

271 Meg { 01.21.12 at 10:02 pm }

I had an HSG last year and wish I had researched it by other women’s opinions BEFORE going through with the procedure. I was under the impression (from what the doctor had stated) that it was a pretty routine thing. Back to business as usual after leaving the hospital. NOPE. I was half an hour away from the town we live and work in. I had to call my husband out of work to pick me up and call off work as I had planned to go back after having the procedure performed. It was worse than menstrual cramps by far, nowhere near as painful as childbirth though. It was a quick procedure. The local anesthetic was pretty painful as the insertion of the tube and dye application. It was very painful cramping. Good news – no blockages or issues. Bad news, my husband found out he has Klinefelters and we have no chance (sub Divine intervention) of having biological children :/ Good luck, positive vibes, and prayers to all going through a HSG!!

272 Anon { 01.29.12 at 5:18 pm }

I was told by my doctor to not write about my experience on the internet because it was so horrible but here goes. Normally the procedure will take about 15-30 minutes, I was in there for an hour. The first time he tried to insert the catheter into my cervix, it would not fit (apparently I have a narrow cervix not due to any previous surgery or procedure), so he had to get a instrument that slightly dilates the cervix (not comfortable). He finally got the catheter in and released the dye. This hurt quite a bit but the pressure pushed the catheter right back out. He tried it again, this time elevating my pelvis and was able to push the first syringe of dye. It did not go into the left tube at all and made it only slightly up the right tube. He inserted another syringe of dye to try to unblock the tube but it only went slightly further and was blocked again. He tried to push harder but I was in so much pain that they stopped the procedure. My right tube ended up becoming dilated to nearly 20 times its normal size and the dye had no where to go. I was in extreme pain, definitely a 10, but I believe it was mainly due to pressure put on my right tube and my uterus. It is now three days later and I am still in pain. I did take 800mg of ibuprofen before the procedure and had to take that much every 4 hours for the next 24 hours or so. I am now down to 400mg every four hours and have some spotting. I was told that it will take my body a while to recover and that I was an extreme case and that I had a very high pain threshold. On top of the pain, I learned that it is impossible for me to naturally get pregnant and my only option is IVF. Not looking forward to this but if that’s how it has to be, so be it.

273 Mya { 01.31.12 at 10:21 am }

I had my HSG last week and OMG…….It was THE WORST pain I have EVER felt in my entire life. I handle pain well,but this was just totally different. It could be due to an having a partially blocked left tube and an enlarged right one per the Radiologist based on what he saw at that time. The catheter insertion wasn’t bad at all just uncomfortable. Inserting the dye is what sent me over the top. I needed assistance from the Tech to move from side to side I was in soooo much pain. After the procedure, the pain went away instantly. I had very lite spotting for about an hour. I felt sore on the inside afterwards for about 1 day and a half. I took 800mg Motrin before the procedure as directed by my RE and took it every 4 hours for a day and a half. Now to say the least I have pelvic and kidney pain on my right side. Dr .appt later this week. UGH!!!!!!

274 Nicole { 02.06.12 at 12:25 pm }

I just had my HSG this morning and am grateful to say that I had no blocks and was told I have a beautiful uterus. The only physical discomfort I experienced was when she inserted the catheter, it was like my worst menstrual cramps but only lasted 30 seconds. I wasn’t told to take any pain meds nor was I given antibiotics. I didn’t need the pain meds but am now worried about not being given antibiotics…should I be? Good luck to you all.

275 Kainui { 03.08.12 at 11:11 pm }

I appreciate the explanation of the HSG and purposes for doing this test.

276 Lor { 03.09.12 at 8:41 am }

I just had my HSG done yesterday and I really felt no pain at all during the entire procedure. My tubes were fine and I took 800mg of Ibuprofen before hand. I have had really bad cramping though from about five hours after the procedure (maybe the Ibuprofen wore off.) I have taking more meds and am still uncomfortable the next day, and have had no bleeding. Hopefully the pain will go away, it does feel slightly better today than yesterday. Did anyone else have pain after the procedure?

277 Nicole { 03.30.12 at 3:28 pm }

Well, I was supposed to have this procedure done today but had to stop because I had a complete meltdown on the table. The doc hadn’t even dilated my cervix but I was so anxious about the pain I was sobbing hysterically and he had to stop. I asked for a pain reliever or Valium and was refused. I feel like no one took my fears seriously, not even my husband, so I went in alone with no sleep feeling totally unsupported. I will get some percocet and Xanax from my mother and bring her with me. It really sucks feeling like no one cares about your suffering, or youre just being a big baby. I almost fainted and went into shock after having an IUD put in years ago, and no one told me that would hurt either. Another reason I hate doctors.

278 Nicole { 03.30.12 at 3:37 pm }

It makes me angry to think that women aren’t routinely given a Xanax or muscle relaxer before the procedure. The eye doctor gives you a Valium before performing LASIK for f&$@’s sake. If you can get drugs, take them. If your doctor won’t give them to you, ask around or find another doctor.

279 Bee { 05.02.12 at 11:13 am }

I wanted to add my experience — overall, way better than I expected. Needless to say, sometimes the internet can be a blessing and a curse, because while I’m glad I knew what could happen, the fact that it wasn’t so bad for me means I spent days in a nervous tizzy for nothing.

I think I have a low pain threshhold. Known widely as a wuss over stubbed toes :). But honestly, who can say as I’ve never been tested by any real painful issues. Impacted wisdom teeth removal…not much pain, mostly stiffness. Root canal, m’eh. The most painful thing I think I’ve felt to date was when they were double checking to see which tooth was the problem tooth, put that freezing cold rod against the bad one. My legs flew up in the air, almost kicking the dental tech in the face. Funny, hurt like heck, not not really a PAIN test, kwim? And I only occasionally have what I would consider menstrual cramps bad enough to want a heating pad. Pap smears are uncomfortable for me, but not painful. So I was really nervous about my first potentially painful experience.

I will say I was lucky enough to have any AMAZING radiologist (Austin AMA, Southwood location). She told me what would happen before, filled me in while it was going on, and told me over and over to let her know if I had any real discomfort as she could do a few things that might help. She even showed me the little light up speculum to make me laugh.

The speculum, as usual, was a little uncomfortable. The thing I oddly feared most, the insertion of the tube, I didn’t really feel at all. When she began inflating the balloon (I assume this was used instead of the “clamps” others are talking about?), I felt nothing at first, but then a mild wave of pressure and cramping (really akin to the mildest of menstrual cramps). She connected the dye thing (getting hazy here), and then deflated the balloon. Came around the table, pulled on the table sheet, sliding me up to where the xray machine was, and turned the monitor so that me and my husband could watch. She walked around and began injecting the dye slowly, stopped to take one picture, had me roll the right, injected more dye, took a picture; rolled to the left, injected more dye, took a picture. At this point, my knees had been kept slightly raised just because that felt comfortable to me. She asked me to lie flat on my back again, and lower my knees completely for one last picture. I did this, she injected more dye, and that was the worst part of it. I’d felt some cramping while the dye was going in the other times — well, less cramp, and more like pressure with occasional sharp but quick pain. In this last position, it was a sharp enough (and in a wave, I guess the term “cramping”), that I said, “oh, oh, oh” and she quickly went, “okay, no problem, we’re done!” The whole thing couldn’t have taken more than 3 minutes tops.

The weirdest part was the overwhelming need during and afterward to burst into tears despite it being so uneventful. I don’t know why — feeling vulnerable, sort of violated, or just more aware of the fragility of your own body? I kept it together until I went into the bathroom to change, but just a few tears and shuddery breaths.

I did take 800 mg Ibuprofen an hour before, and about 8 hours after the first. The worst thing I had right afterward was a terrible headache that developed as soon as I walked out to my car, despite the Ibuprofen. Went away a few hours later. Strangely enough, I started feeling more crampy and bloated last night and today, but I associate that with the same way a work out often makes your muscles feel more sore the next day rather than the first day. I had literally one spot of thin blood about an hour after the test.

I had a hard time really looking at the screen while it was being done, and husband and I both were a little clueless as to whether what we were seeing was normal or not. Our radiologist was not allowed to tell us what she saw or interpreted. I am still waiting to hear back from the doctor about the results. But I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that I probably had no blockages given my lack of pain and practically no outflow of dye.

Hope this helps someone. I absolutely believe the stories of major pain, but I want others to also know it isn’t always the case and that, as with anything, people are far far more likely to report online of their bad experiences than positive. So take that with a grain of salt when it seems that all you mostly read are bad reports. It doesn’t mean people mostly have hard HSG’s, just that some do.

280 tami { 05.24.12 at 4:23 pm }

I had my hsg done today 5/24 when they started to do it it felt like period cramps it didn’t really bother me whn the proceder was being done when I got home I got really ppainful cramps I had a wedding I was supposed to go to but i. Didn’t make it bc of how uncomfortable I was. Hopefully it dies down soon

281 tami { 05.24.12 at 4:29 pm }

Btw my tubes are open and clear it was worth it to me to know everything is fine

282 Heidi { 06.11.12 at 11:12 am }

Just a note that all the bad stories on here made me nervous, but my HSG went FINE! I had the most lovely nurse and radiologist, both of whom talked to me a lot, let me ask many questions, and told me they had never had any complications in years of doing HSGs. The doctor was very gentle and careful, kept checking to see how I was, and even though he had to use a dilator, it didn’t hurt much — like mild period cramps.

I did take 800 mg of ibuprofen an hour before, and 1 valium 40 minutes before. Both were helpful, I think, so I would recommend them. The doctor told me 90% of women have no problem with the HSG and not much pain. They also told me that even if my tubes were blocked (which they weren’t), they wouldn’t try to force them open with dye, so it wouldn’t hurt too much.

Good luck!

283 Sharla { 06.21.12 at 1:12 pm }

Read almost all these comments before my HSG test and was getting scared. I get anxiety and panic attacks that I have dealt with no medication but this was scaring me so in addition to the ibuprofen my obgyn recommended, I also went and got a small dose prescription for Ativan to calm and relax me.

I took 2 ativans and 2 ibuprofens before bed. Wen I woke up I just had a piece of toast and water then took 2 ativans and 4 ibuprofens (800mg) an hour before the procedure was scheduled.

I got there by 8:15am, changed into the robe and waited about 5 min. My obgyn was performing it, which I didn’t know ahead, and I found to be comforting. I got upon the table and laid back with my legs spread open. She inserted the speculum and swabbed me inside (exact same feeling as a pap smear). She inserted the catheter and apparently my cervix was really far back it she got it and said I’d feel a pinch. I guess it was like a pinch but truly did feel like cramp. Then she inserted the dye and it felt like a little cramp with some stinging p. but very mild and manageable. She retracted it all after less than a minute. it went very fast, hardly felt any pain.

I am a serious doctor/dentist/medicine/illness phobic person. I am a Huge wuss.

284 Sharla { 06.21.12 at 1:15 pm }

Oops didn’t finish …. Just wanted to say that I went in prepared for the worst and it ended up being nearly nothing. Over in five min from start to finish and I felt less pain than going to the dentist. Seriously!!!

Mine ended up being all clear as well which I am grateful for. On to clomid for me! Best wishes everyone! Thanks for sharing your experiences!

285 anon { 06.22.12 at 12:53 pm }

My test did hurt a lot; the doctor said my cervix wasn’t dilated at all. He kind of had to force it and said that if it didn’t work quickly, he would just stop because he didn’t want me to pass out. No one mentioned taking pain reliever. I had read on the internet that most doctors give ibuprofin before the test. I took two on my own, but I wish I had taken four.

I think it’s a good idea to take something to relax your body before the test, but remember that it is usually over quickly and that if you say it’s too painful, they’ll probably stop. For some women, it’s not painful at all.

My pain was pretty much only during the procedure which did not last long. Afterwards, I felt okay…maybe a little irritated. I wasn’t sure I’d be ready for sex on day 14, which was like three days later, but actually, I was fine and feeling more sexual than usual.

The doctor did not say to wait at all–I really think it all depends on how the test affected you and if you feel ready.

286 Anoni { 07.04.12 at 7:03 am }

Thank you so much for your post. I had my HSG and I was an emotional wreck after and one day on I still am… after reading your posts I feel reassured that this is normal. I was lucky (or I think I was as I have never had any invasive procedure done in my life bar the odd smear test and cervical scan) as the doc and two assistants were so reassuring. The pain kicked in when the doc put the tube up and proceded to insert the dye contrast. It probably only lasted a minute or so but they were the longest 2 minutes. I’m fine now but and the pain went away as soon as they took the cathetar out but it has been a crazy emotional thing to go through – and another emotion to deal with when dealing with infertility.

For anyone about to have a HSG. It’s not that bad physically – but it is (esp for me) something very personal and emotionally testing – so be prepared.

287 Kelley { 07.29.12 at 11:13 pm }

I have had two hsg tests. One was in 2004 and the second was in 2006. Neither resulted in a pregnancy. I had a tubal surgery in between hsg tests. I ended up adopting. I didn’t realize until recently that the second hsg test lasted almost 4 minutes and the radiologist took 10 views which was a lot. If I had known to ask I would have asked for the least amount of views needed and inquired as to the most experienced radiologist on staff. It’s radiation to your pelvic organs. The first time only lasted 56 seconds and 4 views were taken. Has anyone else had so many views taken? I’m worried about all the radiation.

288 Ann { 08.06.12 at 2:03 pm }

I was in pain, very sharp pain, but it only lasted about a minute or two. Clenched fists and a few deep breaths later it was over. Both the Doctor and the Nurse were helpful, talking me through it. Somehow it helps to know you are almost done.

When all was done the Doctor announced ‘we are in business’ both tubes are open. I had tubal reversal a year ago and that may be the reason for the pain, but totally worth it to know we are ‘in business’

289 Anonymous { 08.06.12 at 10:07 pm }

Hi everyone. I just had my HSG at 3pm today. I told half a percocet about an hour before hand. It was so painful I questioned whether I could get through childbirth! It started out fine with the MD telling me everything they were going to do. Speculum in. Fine. Swabs. Fine. Then my cervix didn’t want to open so they had to use another tool. It was uncomfortable but able to deal with it. Then the problem! My uterus would not stay still for the xray so they brought out a clamp. OUCH. To make matters worse, the clamp came off and the had to put it back on. OUCH. At this point I have broken out into a cold sweat, am feeling light headed and am gripping the sides of the table and trying not to moan. I just want them to finish and let me leave. I don’t know if I felt the dye because I was in such pain from the clamp but they did say everything was fine and I had spillage. Even turning on the table wasn’t too bad. Just that clamp! I didnt even tell them I was feeling faint until I was leaving, I just had to get out of there! Felt fine until about 8pm when I started to get more severe cramping to the point that I took three advil and am going to bed. Trying not to move too much. Hope this goes away!

290 Sharra { 08.08.12 at 2:09 pm }

I just had my test about an hour and a half ago. I was terrified of this test. I got all worked up and scared. I was freaking out. I couldn’t sleep last night and when I woke up today I couldn’t sit still. My heart wouldn’t stop racing. The worst part of this test was the anticipation. Being scared was the worst part of the whole thing. At first it felt like a pap smear, but once they put the dye in it felt like intense period cramps, but it only lasted for 1 second and then that was it. The cramps subsided as soon as the dye came out. I did bleed afterwords and I’m still bleeding. It’s like a light period. Please don’t scare yourself by reading horror stories online because it wasn’t that bad at all.

291 farhana { 08.15.12 at 1:44 pm }

Hi,I did my HSG today.Like everyone else i was very nervous and tense.But to my utter surprise it went very well.I took antibiotics ( 4 tablets) around 8 hours before the test.Though they recommend to take it twelve hours before HSG.I didnt take any pain killer.The test was very quick and doctor was very considerate.I felt small cramps while injecting( like period cramps) but nothing really painful or scary.It seemed things r ok, and after test i had small spotting which may continue for few days.But after eight hours now i am still feeling oright,no bad cramps or ill feeling.Just a light uneasiness as something has happened:)… though doctor advised not to have sex at least one month.

292 priyanka { 09.03.12 at 2:16 pm }

Hi all,
i did my hsg test i get so scared after this test i had a lot of pain at that time,
i just want to ask u guys that after hsg should i do sex
pls let me know.

293 Lisa M { 09.07.12 at 9:34 pm }

I had my HSG test on 9/6/12. It was uncomfortable. My doctor was very gentle and talked me through the whole test. I couldn’t have asked for a more caring doctor. He believes both of my tubes are blocked. He said something about a polyp. He said I will have ultrasound done next week.

294 Stephanie H { 09.21.12 at 6:08 am }

I had an HSG done in 2008, no problems and no pain. I also had no pain after the egg retrievel. The BFN was painful.
I have recently started fertility treatment in Germany and was told by the RE here that HSG is outdated and Germany stopped using it 15 years ago. They use now “vagiscope” and laparoscopy. These allow for a live view and no radiation exposure. I’m an xray technologist so the less radiation I get the happier I am.

295 aniyafree { 10.12.12 at 2:39 pm }

Ladies who say it is not painful do they have loose vagina or what ,
because HSG hurts like HELL!!! I couldn’t complete the procedure ..the doctor suggested sedation for the next HSG appointment

296 Shona { 10.13.12 at 10:41 am }

I had an HSG with hardly any pain. I took a 500mg Naproxen before hand. I felt the intense pressure of the dye moving through my uterus and tubes, but that feeling lasted less than a minute. It turned out my tubes were open. After I spotted for about 6 hours and felt s soreness in my abdomen. My guess is that it was my tubes. It felt like my sides were bruised. That lasted about 48 hours. I was hoping after the test, I would conceive, but 2 cycles later…still no BFP.

Baby dust to all!

297 Valeriep { 10.25.12 at 2:53 pm }

Just got home from my test. The worst part? Reading all the horror stories on this page. It was uncomfortable of course, but nothing unbearable. I have had worse period cramps and it only lasts a few minutes. You can take anything for a few minutes! My dr was wonderful and explained it all and showed me everything as it was happening.
The tech was great too and kept asking if I was ok.
I feel like the stress of it causes lots of people to be tense and that doesnt help at all. Everyone is different, every experience is different. Don’t expect the worst when it may not be that bad!
Oh..and everything was clear!

298 Kristi { 10.30.12 at 10:44 pm }

For all the worriers out there- this does hurt but taking percocet/Xanax combo about 40 minutes before greatly helps! Mine felt like horrible, stabbing period cramps but it lasted for a few minutes and was over fairly quickly. I have had IUIs before, and the catheter they use for the hsg is bigger and does hurt a bit going in. After the procedure was over I came home and slept for 7 hours! It’s now about 12 hours after the hsg and all I feel is slight intermittent cramps. My advice is to please ask your doctor for the percocet cocktail beforehand because it really did go a long way in getting me through this whole thing.

299 Jillian { 11.01.12 at 4:07 pm }

I had the HSG test done yesterday and I have never experienced pain like that before. Unfortunately the doctor had to do it TWICE, so I was screaming the entire time. I hadn’t done a ton of research on it, knew it would be like regular cramps, so just took two advils an hour beforehand. Afterwards, the cramps would not subside, I ended up hyperventilating during the x-rays (mad at myself because I didn’t see the dye flow through the tubes) and my whole body went numb and I couldn’t move my hands or wiggle my toes. I got super hot but I was clammy and sweaty. They ended up having to call in a triage nurse to make sure I was okay. Luckily they got me calmed down and got me a heating pad to help the cramping. I had never experienced cramping like that in my life. Luckily my tubes were clear, so next on to check the ovaries. I NEVER want to have this done again, but if I had to, I would get a Valium prescription. It also probably didn’t help that I had gotten a Pap the day before. I’m nervous if I ever do get pregnant – epidural for me for sure!

300 Sascha { 11.10.12 at 12:31 am }

I had my Hysterosalpingogram done on wed 11/7/12 and let me tell you .. it effin kills on a scale of 1-10 this was a 40 for me. I have had a miscarriage, cramps like no ones business every month and 3 kidney stones, I swear I was screaming
for my life like I was in a horror movie and I was being butchered! I was screaming my lungs out and was crying for 10 minutes afterwards Advise to everyone super-sensitive like me take Percocet and something else B4 it is done or ask them to give you anesthesia! I am NOT kidding!! I came home and kept on crying to my husband to take care of me. It is Friday night into sat morning 11/9/12 and I just took another aleeve. I am swollen in the belly area and it plain hurts to do anything! :'( I wish I had read these posts BEFORE i had the procedure done.

301 Briana { 12.26.12 at 11:00 am }

I had my HSG today and it went perfectly fine with at most, mild discomfort. I was pretty much on edge after reading all these posts about ladies having a horrible experience but fortunately, my HSG experience was pleasant and extremely quick. The preliminary results indicate that everything looks great! BTW, I took three Aleve prior to my appointment so perhaps that helped with potential pain. I’m sure this is different for everyone but I wanted to post my positive experience since there are way too many negative ones! :)

302 Heather { 01.01.13 at 5:42 pm }

It’s New Year’s Day and I wanted to give a happy story to start 2013 off on a good note. I was diagnosed with endometriosis in 2004 and had treatment at that time (laser and 3 months of Lupron).

In October 2011, after more than a year of trying to conceive, I was diagnosed with PCOS and underwent RE testing. The HSG went well, partly because I took 800 mg ibuprofen about 2 hours beforehand and partially because my RE’s nurse did not use a clamp on my cervix when inserting the dye catheter. (Apparently the traditional clamp has teeth to hold the cervix in place and that’s what causes a large amount of the non-blockage pain women report experiencing during the procedure.)

The radiologist indicated that my tubes were clear so my RE elected to put me on metformin. 500mg of the extended release tabs per day titrating up to 2000mg per day over a month. I lost 22 pounds in a 5 week period between the metformin, low carb diet, and exercise. By week 10, I was pregnant.

I wish you all luck this year! I hope it’s the year that everyone gets their little bundle of joy to love and snuggle.

303 Sam { 01.18.13 at 7:35 am }

Hi. Just wanted to share. After reading all these stories I was very scared.
I have just got back. It felt like a normal smear. I felt nothing
It was a 0 on the scale. Please do not worry.
Getting to see everything was amazing I got to see my tubes and my womb. Amazing.
Everything was all clear for me.
Good luck everyone.

304 Mei { 01.31.13 at 8:47 am }

I wanna to share my experience since I have done hsg twice.
I have done hsg one year ago and the pain was extremely bad to the point that I almost passed out. I found out that both of my tube were blocked and swelling (hidrosalping). Then I have done laparoscopy to remove one of my tube and(since it can no longer be repaired) and to correct the right one.
This morning I have just done my second hsg to check how is the result of the surgery . I am scared and nervous as I remember my previous experience. But it turns out that this morning, it was not painful at all, just a very minor cramp afterwards. And the result is one tubes is clear and the dye can’t passed through the one (as I have had it removed).
By my experience, I conclude that if we have a clear tube, then the procedure won’t be painful, but if we have blocked tube, we will feel pain as the dye is pushing the blockage.
Now I am still trying hard to conceive. Good luck to all..

305 Mia { 02.05.13 at 3:09 am }

As I read all the stories here I realy realise that HSG is not for me, not yet any way. I had fibroids removed over two months ago and was recommended to take HSG. I was told this is just to check that the tubes aren’t bocked.
I got a supprise when they were just aout t perform the test…seeing the catheter I then asked what they were to do. I got up from the table immedietly, these men thought I was bring silly when the trueth is I’m still a vergin and this will surely kill me with pain. I was very angry with them that they didn’t tell me how the procudure actually going in detail. I still thank God that I’m someone one who asks a lot before anything is done on me, otherwise thay would have just hurt me badly without any worning.

306 Cari { 02.05.13 at 3:33 pm }

My HSG experience today was so different from what I thought it would be. I was so nervous and freaked out. There was incredibly minor cramping for 2 seconds and then everything was done! This is not even remotely similar to childbirth for me. Hope everyone else has a good experience!

307 anonymous4 { 02.11.13 at 3:12 pm }

Just got home from my HSG. It was uncomfortable, and it did hurt, but was not unbearable. I think everyone is different, and depending on the size of your Cervix, the pain could be considerably more for a smaller one. My RE gave me 800 mg of ibuprofen and strongly recommended I take this an hour to an hour and a half before my procedure. I am so thankful, I think it would have been a lot more painful, and with it, I felt the discomfort for sure, but that was dulled and the procedure was over quickly. The doctor was very informative of each step, and what I would feel (pain/cramping, etc) and let me watch as he was doing on the monitors. Believe it or not, that was helpful.

308 Nicole { 03.12.13 at 10:14 pm }

I posted here almost a year ago, on 3/30/12, and I can tell you that I was DISTRAUGHT with terror and anxiety over having this test done. As I said, I walked out the first time and couldn’t finish the procedure. I didn’t even tell my husband, I just rescheduled. So, the next time I went to the hospital, the experience was MUCH better. First, I had a different doctor, a female, who was much more sympathetic. She didn’t screw up the speculum and was very gentle. Second, I took some vicodin (that my mother gave me) and this helped calm my nerves. But the procedure was so quick and painless, I’m not sure if I even needed the painkillers. Or maybe I felt nothing because of them? I don’t really know. But seriously, I have experienced more pain putting in a tampon than I did having this done. I may have gotten lucky. Maybe I had a very skilled doctor. I don’t know. But my test was over in seconds. She had me turn over a few times to swish the ink through, and I tried to think of my cat as I waited for the pain that never came. My tubes were unblocked, huge relief. I was hoping we might get pregnant in the few months after, as I heard the HSG cleans out the goo and your fertility is boosted, but we had no such luck. It’s been a year since I had all of these tests, and I am fine. But it has taken a WHOLE YEAR for my stupid husband to get around to getting his sperm analysis. I think we both know his sperm is crap at this point, but I don’t care anymore. Going through infertility issues and tests, knowing I am healthy, trying every month, then getting my period, all of this for over TWO YEARS now, has pretty much hardened my heart. I just want to get another cat now. Sorry for ranting.
tl; dr The test didn’t hurt at all.

309 Melissa { 03.13.13 at 4:21 pm }

I had my HSG done yesterday and took 5mg of Valium, and 800mg of Ibuprofen about 1 hour before the procedure, the doctor prescribed a Z pack 2 days prior which I started taking the day before. Like everyone else I researched the HSG and the pain on the internet for a week and freaked myself out about how much pain it was going to be. I have never had a child, though I did have the IUD inserted several years ago and the doctor had to dialate my cervix to get it in and that was the most excruciating pain I have ever felt, and some people I asked were comparing the HSG to that pain, so naturally I was FREAKED!! Well, I am happy to report, that the test was completely painless, I couldn’t believe how fast it was over, and how painless it was…I think my poor fiance was more freaked out about it than I was during the procedure, but it turns out, my tubes were not blocked, and it was painless. They did ask me to turn side to side to let the dye flow, and that was painless too. I am overall glad I was a bit spooked because then my expectations were not surpassed and I was able to be very pleasantly surprised, but I definitely could’ve saved myself some anxiety!!!

310 Fertility Story #2 | Steph Mignon { 03.15.13 at 11:40 am }

[…] the agony of my monthly flow. This was it? I almost wondered if he was doing it wrong. According to stirrup-queens.com, “Some women experience only mild discomfort, while others experience severe pain.”  […]

311 extrasmiles { 03.25.13 at 7:57 pm }

My HSG was a very painful event. the second the doctor shot the dye, I screamed. it was so sudden and painful. My doc had told me tht it wud feel lyk period cramps, bt thn I do not have painful periods (Thank God!). And even after nearly a week, my lower feels heavy and painful every tym i move. I just had my IUI yesterday and now i dont even know what is the source of this pain and discomfort. :(

312 KellsBells { 03.26.13 at 10:32 pm }

Just had my HSG and a couple hours later had my fluid sonograph (sonohysterography). Borderline excruciating. The pain is like very severe menstrual cramps. For the HSG it was done in like 30 seconds. The doctor first performed a manual exam, inserts the speculum, and then swabs the cervix with a disinfectant. Then the catheter goes in. The pain is instant. I’m not normally a wimp but I couldn’t help but cry a little and saw ow! Once the catheter was in and the balloon blown up they had me straighten my legs out, and then the machine (MRI type of machine) went around my uterus section and took some images. I had to roll to my side once to get the dye into a tube I guess. When it was over they removed the catheter and the pain immediately subsided. Then I had to get my fluid sonogram and a different doctors office and it was horrible. I don’t know if the tech was less skilled or what but oh my god. The pain was intense. I cried HARD. The feeling of fluid blowing up the uterus was just disturbing. This procedure took a couple of minutes, it was very difficult for me. They took my blood pressure after the procedure and it was very high so they made me lie down for a few minutes before letting me get back up. I took 800mg of over the counter Ibuprofen beforehand, and a couple afterwards. Also the doc gave me a prescription for some antibiotics to be started on the day of the tests. Its been about 4 hours since the tests and I still feel a little shaky. It was actually a very emotional experience for me. Not sure why, but I got very emotional with the fluid sonogram. Still shaky and weak and slightly crampy. Some fluid still leaking out. It seems like every woman is different so don’t worry yourself about it since you can’t do anything about it. Just get it over with. Good luck guys.

313 Megan { 03.30.13 at 8:29 pm }

I had no problems with the test. I previously had a uternine biopsy and that was very very painful. I did take ibprofen (although you should avoid that drug while TTC) about 800mg.

I did however get an infection from the HSG which led to an emergency room visit, a shot of antibiotics and then a yeast infection (which was painful!) that took about 2 months to go away. The infection was probably due to the doctor having to reinsert the speculum about 5 times because my body kept pushing it out.

314 Lucy-Lu { 06.08.13 at 11:31 pm }

I was pretty worried after reading all the scary post here and on other blogs. I drugged myself with half of a Xanax and 1 Vicodin an hour before. I didn’t have much hope that those would help pain wise though because I read several studies on the ineffectivity of pain medication with HSG. The Xanax helped me to calm down for sure though. I had a female doctor who had the procedure done too before she got pregnant and she knew how painful it can be. The clamping of the cervix was uncomfortable but she removed the clamp as soon as the tube was in place which was great. I did not feel the dye apart from a very slight stinging on my left side. My husband was with me in the room and said that the dye took longer on that side to go through. So all in all it wasn’t bad at all. A lot of worry for nothing but of course it’s different for everybody.

315 Andi { 06.14.13 at 5:03 pm }

I went into my Hsg thinking it would be a little uncomfortable but not painful, even though my sister had it done years ago and said it “felt like 30 seconds of the worst cramps you’ll ever have”. My doc came in and warned me that it could be very painful and I told her “don’t tell me that, just do what you have to do quickly, I’m pretty tough”. Let me just say, it’s been a week since the HSG and I still shudder thinking about it. I wish I would have taken something more than ibuprofen. The catheter popped out 3x as my cervix was so small (and also discovered its curvy), and the catheter placement is the worst part. Then, the dye came….but by after having 3 different catheters placed at that time, I was nearly blacked out with pain sensory overload. My only advice is take something stronger than Ibuprofen & do yoga breathing and try to remain calm. All worth it for the end result. Love & baby dust ladies…

316 annonymous { 06.21.13 at 7:46 am }

After haven done some online research about my hsg ,i thought i was prepared for the actual proceedure;well that was far from the truth.
The pain that ensued was quite unbearable and for like two days after; i kept having this cramp around my abdomen for no medication had been precribed befor or after the procedure.
All the same its worth the pains. For nothing good comes easy

317 Savi { 07.12.13 at 4:16 pm }

Hi All,
I had my HSG this Tuesday 9th July’13 and I must say the pain was killing. I did take painkillers before the procedure still the pain while injecting the dye, can not be explained. The pain reaches to its limit ,after which you forget what the normal pain is. I did not know at all about this test ,being so painful. The worst part was that, when I had not even come over with the pain, the doctor asked me to hold my breath as they had to take the xray.

Good part is that ,my tubes are fine, which consoled me.
Yes, i did have bleeding for 3 days and had wear pad all the time.

I would rate the pain 10 on scale of 10.

318 DION { 08.05.13 at 3:30 pm }


319 Lou { 08.20.13 at 9:34 pm }

My dr didnt give me an option, the procedure was done under general anesthetic – and I’m glad. I was worried about the pain and of course it’s a pretty invasive procedure so there is the worry there of having your legs in the air with a bunch of strange people around you. I’m glad I was out of it. I felt nothing, I knew nothing about it and woke up 10 minutes later feeling completely fine. No pain, no discomfort, nothing. A bit of discharge but that was it. The next day I had some ‘indigestion’ type pains like bloating/trapped wind, but that lasted less than 6 hours. I don’t know the results yet until
I see my obgyn but I got the impression that everything was ok. I would recommend asking for general for this procedure – I think the worry of it prior to and anxiety afterwards has been lessened for me for being out for the count.

320 Claire { 08.25.13 at 11:18 am }

Hi everyone,
Having just read all of the posts on this website I am feeling very sorry for any woman reading this who is scheduled for a HSG in the forseeable future. Most ladies visiting websites like this one are probably seeking objective information about what to realistically expect, to educate themselves and possibly also are seeking some reassurance; to those of you who have posted no-holds-barred horror stories, do you really think that’s helpful? I’m certainly not saying that you shouldn’t have been honest if HSG for you was an awful experience but from the point of view of the ladies who are still on the other side of the fence, it would perhaps be more helpful, informative and comforting to them if you focused more on why you think it was such an ordeal and perhaps what you and/or the medical staff could have done differently to make the procedure less traumatic.

To those ladies out there who are facing this procedure and are feeling scared/anxious about it the first thing which I would like to say to you is don’t feel bad about yourself for having such fears and more importantly don’t let anybody else make you feel that way either……..no matter whether they are your husband/partner, other family members, friends or medical staff, they all have a responsibility to support you in every way; physically, emotionally and mentally. Infertility hurts but you are prepared to face your fears and do something about it so you have already demonstrated that you’re a brave and beautiful woman. Well done! xx

So how was it for me? The catheter, the speculum and the balloon were fine, the dye was uncomfortable, like when your period starts and you’ve taken an Ibuprofen and are waiting for it to kick in, but nothing that a few deep breaths couldn’t help with and it was probably 2 minutes at the most. Once the dye had gone where it needed to go and was coming out of my body again the discomfort subsided. I had started a 3 day course of antibiotics the morning of my HSG (as any medical procedure which goes through the cervix carries a small risk of infection), and at my clinic they were compulsory. I also had the option of a muscle relaxant and a mild sedative which I turned down, opting to take 600mg of Ibuprofen about an hour before the test instead. I have no doubts that the reasons why HSG wasn’t so bad for me are because firstly I had gone to the trouble of educating myself in terms of what to expect prior to the procedure, (as an individual I cope a lot better with pain/discomfort if I am prepared for it and I understand why it’s hurting me), and secondly I was completely comfortable with the doctor and x-ray technician concerned, (which took most of the indignity out of the situation) and for those two reasons I can honestly say that I was completely relaxed throughout the test, even when the cramping started and it was time to breath deep. I’m convinced that that’s the secret, pain and discomfort are worse when your body’s tense and your adrenaline levels are high.

I’m a 40 year-old-woman who has lived with female problems since her teenage years, so even though I’m no doctor I believe that I am certainly well qualified to comment on how intimate, invasive, undignified procedures effect patients in every way. The best advice I could offer to any woman with an upcoming HSG, (or any procedure involving their vagina for that matter), is to take a breath and try to ask yourself honestly what your anxieties and fears are, (because we are NOT all the same), what can you do as a patient to help yourself and what those around you can do to help and support you. Examples:
– if you need information and find that reassuring, look for it, ask for it
– if you have questions, ask the doctor, if he/she will not address your concerns or support you in this way get a better doctor who will!
– if you are not going to be able to meet the doctor before the day and you are really struggling with it then talk to the clinic and ask to meet them beforehand
– only you know how well you cope with pain and with the indignity of a vaginal examination, if you feel you need pain meds, calmants, ask for them and insist on being taken seriously. If the nurse makes you feel like a wimp, complain about her, if the doctor won’t respect your individual needs in this respect then change your doctor! And if you really can’t cope at all with the prospect of a HSG while awake then ask to be given a general anaesthetic and find a doctor who will accommodate this, if this is how you need to cope you are not a wimp or a failure you are simply you!
– trust your instincts about medical staff; those of us who live with female problems and/or the heartbreak of infertility have more than enough to cope with already, if any member of a medical team behaves in a way which adds to the indignity or the emotional difficulty of this delicate situation for you then don’t have them anywhere near you. It is your right as a patient to request a different doctor/technician/nurse if you are uncomfortable with anyone and you also have the right to request females if that is what you need or prefer. When you are this emotionally vunerable, you need to be treated with respect and compassion
– communicate! Medical staff are not mind readers and sometimes do get it wrong with the very best of intentions and every patient copes differently. If you need a different kind of support than what they are offering, let them know ………please just be quiet and hold my hand…………please distract me………….please talk me through the procedure……….. If you can do this on your own terms you will be more relaxed and cope better, and if you’re frightened or need a breather tell them – they should be prepared for that and respond accordingly
– men often just don’t get it no matter how much they love you! If your husband/partner is not being helpful, tell him, and don’t just tell him what you don’t need, tell him what you do need. And don’t feel obliged to have him as your support either, this procedure is happening to you not to him so if you find your Mum, sister, friend, etc more supportive then take them with you instead.
– if you really can’t cope without a familiar face in the room with you, again don’t be afraid to ask your doctor if you will be able to have your partner/Mum or whoever in the room with you. Some docs allow it and others don’t, if yours won’t and it’s that important to your emotional well-being then find a doctor who will accommodate your wishes.
– if you need to cope in another way, breathing exercises, visualisation, relaxing music on your ipod, let the staff attending you know. Your wishes should be respected and they should not distract you from this

I know it’s hard to relax when you have two or three relative strangers doing things which you’d rather not be happening to the most intimate part of your body but if you can be as prepared as you need to be mentally, are comfortable with the staff and the way which you can best cope with the situation is supported by the staff then you will feel more confident and secure, then even if there is a degree of pain/discomfort involved your body, through being as relaxed as possible, will respond less strongly to it, then you are in the best position both mentally and emotionally to move on from your HSG and take the next step in your fertility journey.

I really hope that helps……… xx

321 Thompsoa { 09.04.13 at 12:34 pm }

Hi there

Having been really nervous about having the HSG done (mainly after reading all these scary posts!), I promised myself that I would post a positive post if I had it and it was all fine so I can hopefully reassure some of you who are getting stressed out about the prospect of it.
I had it yesterday afternoon and I can honestly say it was absolutely fine and if I had known it was going to be the way it was, I certainly wouldn’t have got so worked up about having it done!
The doctor and the nurse were lovely and made sure they explained everything before we began. The thing the doctor said to me before they began that really relaxed me was that ninety something percent of women can’t even feel the dye going in.
The whole procedure was completed in minutes and I got to see the whole thing on the screen which is a good distraction! When she put the speculum in it was fine but she then moved it around slightly roughly a couple of times which was a teensy bit painful, but absolutely nothing I couldn’t deal with.
After that, I could barely feel a thing and I didn’t feel the dye go in. Luckily the dye went through my tubes fine which was a big relief (although I haven’t had the more thorough results from the high res images yet).
I haven’t had any dye /blood come out as some people have and I haven’t been in any pain. About an hour later in the car, I did have about 20 minutes of not very nice period like pain but it came and went pretty quickly.
I should note that I had 2 co-codimol tablets 90 minutes before the procedure and so it’s hard to know whether they made all the difference or not.
I hope that’s helpful. I know for some people it’s a really painful experience but I just wanted to let you know that it can be absolutely fine so please don’t worry too much x

322 Anonymous { 09.05.13 at 10:15 pm }

I had my HSG this morning and have to say I was quite terrified for it. I had read all the stories on here and was so terrified of the pain I might experience. I have high anxiety towards hospitals and doctors so facing a blood draw and the HSG seemed daunting. I have to say though I didn’t realize how easy it really could be. I felt the speculum go in not painful just pressure and then I couldn’t even feel the catheter or the dye. I couldn’t believe how easy it was. I felt absolutely nothing, no pain at all and it was over in no time. I am so thankful. I found out the tubes are nice and open and no blockages and a well shaped uterus. I just wanted to put my story out there so you know it can really go both ways. Just try to take deep breaths, relax your muscles and think about a happy place :) Also I did take 2 tylenol about 30min before the procedure. I would have preferred advil, but we are doing and IUI this cycle and my RE didn’t want me to use anything but tylenol.

“You never know how strong you are until being strong is the only choice you have” – unknown

This quote has been an important one to remember through our journey to a family. Stay strong ladies!

323 Anonymus { 09.17.13 at 12:38 pm }

I have went to do my HSG today.The first doc (some one trainee) could not able to perform the same as see could not able to find my cervix.But ohh my god the pain!!! Then comes waiting for senior doctor for two hours then again the same procedure but this time see find the cervix but says see can’t insert much beyond the point into cervix.So basicaly no HSG test.I have a question here if anybody can help/comment .Is small opening of cervix is problem for test or is there any other issues like infection at cervix/other probs can hinder the tube to be inserted.Thanks in advance.

324 lovely-ladie18 { 12.04.13 at 9:36 pm }

Wish I had read these earlier!! Had mine this morning. Terribly, horriblly
PainPainul! Screamed and cried..and bruised the poor radiologists hand because I was alone. Rough day. …of the physicians had to deal with it I bed they’d provide valume AND hydrocodone !

325 Mnel { 12.05.13 at 12:27 pm }

I had my first hsg yesterday, and I was SO scared from reading all the bad experiences. I guess everyone is different tho! They told me it would feel like a bad period cramp, BU IT WAS NOTHING, I wish my period cramps were so little! The procedure was very easy and nevr ” painful” for me, just a little uncomfortable. Just keep calm and try to stay relaxed!

326 Pearl { 12.19.13 at 9:02 pm }

I just had my HSG done earlier today. I felt mild discomfort. The tech and the doctor were very nice. The doctor had to switch from a regular catheter to a flexible one because of my cervix. He said there was no point in trying to put it in because he could tell it wasn’t going to work. I couldn’t feel it go in. For me the most uncomfortable moment was the balloon inflating. It just felt like I got a really bad stomach ache. Once he removed the speculum it felt a little better. The actual process of inserting the dye was really quick and I didn’t feel a thing. My tubes are clear. As soon as it was over I started burping. I’ve been very gassy and have mild cramping. For me the procedure was tolerable and I didn’t take any pain meds. I had imagined it was going to be painful but it wasn’t.

327 NA { 12.25.13 at 8:29 pm }

Not to scare you ladies, but my HSG was very painful! Once they thredded the fuse up my crotch, felt like a bomb went off. Just when I thought I was done, blastoff two when they approached the other tube. No warning, just explosions and a lot of tears. We all want the same end results so in the end it’s all worth it. My best to you and your maternal endeavors.

328 Anonymous { 12.30.13 at 12:29 pm }

Echoing some of the other well-put posts above, I wanted to add that the worst part of the HSG for me was the anticipation. Reacting to the scary and hyperbolic posts on here and other sites, I worked myself into a tizzy, stressing about the procedure. The actual test — while uncomfortable and painful for about 10 seconds when the die was inserted — was not half as bad as I had feared it to be and was over in about 5 minutes. I don’t mean to call into question the pain others felt, but I think it’s important to stress that for the vast majority of people this test is not much worse than a pap smear.

329 Rebekah { 12.30.13 at 4:58 pm }

Hi ladies,
I had my HSG today and like many of you I was afraid of not only the pain of the procedure, but what the results might be. The appointment scheduler told me several times to have someone drive me, so I was very afraid that I would be in severe pain afterward and even took the day off work.

All of my fears were for nothing! The worst part for me was that my cervix was slightly tilted downward and the dr had to reposition it. It took about 15 minutes for them to get me in the right position so my legs were burning from being propped open for so long. I felt like I had worked out on a treadmill!

Once everything was in place, the dr let me know when he would insert the dye and he said I would feel very crampy. His assistant was so kind, she told me to take deep slow breaths but honestly, it was not bad at all! It felt like minor cramps, the kind that I get the day before my period starts. When it was over and he yanked everything out (seriously it did feel like he yanked it all out) the dr. showed me on the screen how the dye flowed through my tubes. Everything is open!! I was more afraid that my tubes would not be open than I was of the pain.

I spotted for a few hours after the procedure this morning and I still feel a bit crampy, but nothing like period cramps. I was not given antibiotics but I did take a few advil right after so that could be why I’m not cramping as badly.

All in all, I’m happy that I did it because I’ve been wondering for a long time whether I had blockage and I was too chicken to find out. I wish I had not waited so long to do it.

330 Laila { 02.07.14 at 10:18 am }

I’ve juts done my HSG this morning. I search lots of information about it a week berfore, iam so afraid because 90% say the procedure very painful. Seriously iam so nervous at the first time but i keep remind my self to keep calm and fully trust God about this.
iam very suprised that i did no feel any pain during the procedure until the end. ^^ everything runs smoothly. Keep calm is very importance, and iam very grateful that both tube just normal, doctor and staff also very nice.

331 Zoe { 02.12.14 at 10:44 am }

I had my HSG today, Yes its painful and uncomfortable and scarey because it is the fear of the unknown, but the pain only lasted a few minutes for me, when the catheter and dye were being put in. Before you know it its over. My best way of dealing with procedures like this , is to distract yourself – there is no point worrying and getting yourself in a state (easier said than done of course), think of something else, talk to the staff, and focus on why you are doing this. And of course plan a nice treat for afterwards.

332 puppy { 02.16.14 at 5:31 am }

my wife was done HSG test but dye not go what hep en plz tell me

333 puppy { 02.16.14 at 5:33 am }

any Alternative in hsg

334 babyG { 03.20.14 at 5:20 pm }

I had my hsg today,It was very painful.But when will the pain stop Because I find it difficult to sleep and am taking ibrupain

335 Darcie Elliott-Wiens { 04.07.14 at 1:51 am }

Hi, Ladies,
I was so happy to find this thread. I had an HSG done this past week and I literally passed out from the pain. Nothing prepared me for how badly that hurt. I have had natural childbirth and I have a high tolerance for pain, but that test was awful. And because I passed out the dr said it was inconclusive and I have to do it again:( My OB prescribed me some anxiety medicine and a sedative for the next procedure. I had the Essure device put in so the test is to make sure it did it’s job. I am anxiously awaiting the next one. I have been having pain with sex and in my uterus in general since the procedure:( I’m afraid something went wrong.

336 JJ { 05.21.14 at 12:26 pm }

Had HSG an was really glad my doctor gave me a valium before the procedure and then 2mg of morphine, I asked for more morphine during the procedure and they gave me 2mg more. Really no pain obviously. I felt really nauseous for the next two days.

337 Jolene { 06.12.14 at 5:47 pm }

Had an HSG this morning. Took 1000 mg of tylenol. No pain at all, just some discomfort. Maybe I just have a gigantic cervix? Lol!

338 Shannon { 06.26.14 at 6:14 pm }

I read all these nightmare blogs about this test so I took some precautions. I took 1 midol, 1 vicodin and 1 xanax. And I could barely feel a thing. Highly recommended to anyone facing this test.

339 tammy { 08.14.14 at 9:22 pm }

Did my H S G today. No a lot of pain while the R E was putting the iodine inside me while the radiologist took the photos. I did not take the pain killers b4 through test so i took it after when I got a turkey burger. I could hardly make it out of my car when I got home. I called my hubby with so much pain in my voice he rushed home. I was in the bend over position from I got out of the car. So I took a shower as soon as I was done I started throwing up. By then my hubby burst the door operand ran to my rescue. I drank some tea and drank some water and had a few crackers with 1 baralgin. As soon as I went to bed I ask my hubby to carry a bucket for me to throw up in. So my hubby called my doctor who told us that I am having a bad reaction because I had not taken the pain killer fr before. Writing this I am in so much pain.

340 Melissa { 08.25.14 at 7:06 pm }

This is my second HSG I have had. The first one I had I thought I was going to die. I had the worst pain ever, was crying, and sweating like a pig, so bad the assistance were getting wet cloths to help me. I never wanted to EVER do it again… I ended up losing one tube due to PID, they thought it was just a cyst growing and let it continue for over 10 years until I went in to have this so called cyst removed. When I woke up I woke up minus a tube. I had gotten pictures of it and it was black and inflamed. 5 years after the removal I was paranoid about my other tube, and had another HSG done. I was feared for my life, I almost walked out before it even began. That pain is something I would never forget. I told the assistant and the radiologist my last experience, and thought maybe I had that infection at the time they did the test and that is what caused that pain. That made me feel a bit more at ease to go through with it. I did and had no pain at all. It was totally weird. I was thrilled, and I know now that I am sure the infection had to of played a role on how bad it was the first time around. I also hear if you have slight blockages that it can be more painful as they push they dye through as well. So I just want to say, everyone will experience different pain levels.

341 Ashley { 09.09.14 at 8:26 pm }

Well. We’ve been trying for a year, we’re both 27, and otherwise healthy. Up first; HSG! RE told me to take a Motrin an hour before, and it would be a Pap smear plus. I looked at a YouTube video, read it’s painful, and went on my way. Then, I made a mistake. I found this website at work. Instead of billing hours, I snuck a peak at the comments any chance I could get. I worked myself right into a state of frenzy!

Fast forward an hour before my appointment time. I took one prescription 600mg ibuprofen, and was on my way. I told the nurse checking me in that I read it was horrible. She laughed, and said it’s not. The RE calls me back, and I tell her all I read. She laughed. There will be no screaming, it is not like childbirth, you’ll be fine she says. As I contorted my body on the table, and slid into those stirrups, we began. She explained everything beforehand, and told me, “here comes the pressure.” No pressure, just warm heat. She tells me I’m going to feel some cramping. I kept waiting. She tells me to turn on my right. Says okay, and then okay. Okay what? “We are good,”she says! I asked her did she insert the catheter, blow up a balloon, and insert dye!?!?!? “Yes!” The whole procedure took 3min tops. The pain was a 0 out of 10. I only felt warm heat. The anticipation was 100000 out of 10. My tubes were clear. Now, just because my tubes were clear didn’t make it easier. My uterus is tipped and introverted, and get this-my right tube was hiding behind the uterus! She said it’s anatomically sound, and shouldn’t effect getting pregnant. Crazy huh!?! She said no sex for 24hrs, and then immediately start having sex as I’ll have a fertility boost the next three months! Don’t work yourself up ladies, it may not be that bad!

342 Janey { 10.27.14 at 7:44 pm }

I got really nervous after reading all the comments here (random Google search) – yikes! The doctor’s office recommended taking 600 mg ibuprofen the night before, seven hours before, and one hour before. I have a very low pain tolerance and thought this was about a three out of ten. The dr even commented that I had a tight cervix and he kept on having to get more instruments (something called a dilator, Omg), which made me even more anxious, but really it just felt like medium period cramps throughout. You can do it, take the Advil before!!!!!

343 Heather the sweet { 11.04.14 at 8:55 am }

i think people who say that hsg is unbearably painful, hurts more then giving birth to twins, hurts worst than menstrual cramps are doing a bit of aggregating. I too was someone who read comments of wom n saying how bad it hurt and put myself in frenzy the morning of mine.

The HSG was NOT painful at all. Granted I took 800mg of advil before I went but I was no way near what some of you are describeding. I think people should stop with all of this and be honest!!!!

344 Nicole { 11.10.14 at 2:41 pm }

Hey Ladies- I just has my HSG an hour or so ago and was really really anxious and scared as I had an ectopic pregnancy last year and we have been unable to get pregnant since. I too have heard all of the horror stories and was freaking out. I took 800mg of Motrin and I think that may have helped a bit. The procedure is uncomfortable and no walk in the park but you can get through it. The only time I even felt cramping was when they had issues getting the dye through my left tube (where the ectopic was). That was moderately painful but doable the tech helped my breath through it! I am glad its over but don’t let these horror stories scare you too much. Its not a breeze but we are tough and if we want to have kiddos I assume that will hurt more! Good Luck to all of you :)

345 Kelley { 11.15.14 at 4:13 pm }

I had this done a month ago. I was told it was NO BIG DEAL! Not to freak out, but I am a wuss when it comes to anything.

Luckily they let my husband hold my hand the whole time. Otherwise I was OUT OF THERE!

They told me to take 600 mg of pain meds, I took 1000 mg, because I was not messing with any of this!

They used the biggest clamp to open my cervix. I was SCREAMING at the top of my lungs and crying more than I have ever cried. She then switched to a smaller clamp to open me up. She then asked me to move a little closer to her so the xray machine could be used. I told her I could not move. Luckily they adjusted the machine and I sat there crying my eyes out.

At 26 this is not what I want to go through.

346 Amy { 04.10.15 at 1:19 pm }

After reading all these comments I decided to prepare mentally for the worst but not get too panicky and it seemed that it wasn’t bad for everyone and I figured being relaxed would help.
I couldn’t take anything beforehand because I had to fast 6 hours before so I was a little worried.
For me it was a bit uncomfortable having the catheter inserted but I only had very mild period pain style pressure when the liquid was put in. They tried to remove blockages with more liquid and pressure but were unsuccessful.
I was pleased that it didn’t hurt as much as I expected but shocked and disappointed with the results.

347 amy { 04.30.15 at 7:33 am }

I had my HSG yesterday. I had read up and although really nervous about it I thought I was prepared. The team that completed the test were fab, really calm, gentle and friendly, made me feel really comfortable with having all my bits on show whilst having a general chat. No pain or discomfort to start with and the catheter and felt a slight ‘pinch’ as was explained to me,,,,but OMG the pain from the dye really hurt i thought my uterus was a water balloon about to explode, lasted about 2 mins, was to the point where I was going to ask them to stop when it was finished, as soon as the catheter was released all the pain instantly stopped and i felt a little silly for my reaction to the pain but i have never had intense pain like that and i think the shock of the pain made it a little worse. i was fine walking out of the hospital as if nothing had even happened but less than 30 minutes later i was doubled over in pain, could hardly walk, making me nauseous, I had to call the Hubby from work, it lasted about 3-4 hours till i could fall asleep, its been cramp the rest of the evening and today, my cervex feels bruised almost, twinge pains that I’m needing painkillers for. I can’t believe the doctor told me at the end of the procedure that everything appears normal and i can resume all activities straight away, including sex,,,,AS IF!!

I’m relieved its over, worst pain in my life, and i’m wondering how i will ever hopefully cope with childbirth but really pleased its been done, its another test done and off the list to try and get to the bottom of why we haven’t conceived yet. Just keep focused on why you are doing this, the bigger picture is worth it :-)

348 Emily { 06.02.15 at 11:39 am }

I read all of these yesterday and was a little stressed. Okay a lot. My Dr didn’t mention any medicine or pain and he knows I have a low tolerance, very low. I took 4 ibuprofen an hour before. It was NOTHING. Okay well not nothing but it was nothing as the nightmares described above. I know everyone is different and there are a lot of factors that can vary from woman to woman and doctor to doctor. The worst part was the speculum. So if you’ve had a Pap smear you know how that is. They take it out once the catheter is in which I couldn’t even feel. Then the dye goes in and you feel a cramp like period cramps for like a minute then it’s gone. It really was not a big deal once the speculum was in and out. Please do not sike yourself out. Worrying and stressing will only make it worse! Just relax!

349 Jodi { 06.03.15 at 8:28 pm }

I went yesterday for mine and literally came close to fainting from the pain. I never felt pain like this in my life and I have a high tolerance. Had I known I would have taken something prior. I’m still in discomfort. ..

350 Yes_Im_Serious { 07.03.15 at 1:32 pm }

Hello Ladies!!!

Had my HSG yesterday @ 2pm and let me say this.. I have a son who is 6 yrs old and I have birth vaginally and the pain that the HSG gave me was one of the worst pains I have ever felt in my life. I told the Dr. to STOP.. I cant do it, I can not take that torture. I thought I was goint to vomit, my body went into pure SHOCK and I was breathing like I just ran a triathlon and I was breathing heavy heavy heavy and I told her to STOP.I needed the hand of any nurse to help me. So I damn near broke the girls hand (poor nurse) but I had to hold on to something before I pass out. DEEEEP and I mean DEEEEEEEEP breathing is the only thing that helped me relax and calm down * good news* no blocked tubes, so onto the IUI. But will I ever get that done again.. HE LL NO!

351 Anonymous { 07.08.15 at 7:55 pm }

Had my HSG on Monday, omg…the worst pain EVER! I’m a 10 year cancer survivor and I don’t think I felt this bad after 6 hours of surgery! I cried through the whole procedure. But that’s not why I’m commenting, its Wednesday and I still have spotting. I’ve been taking my antibiotics and still have a bit of pain. Is it normal still after 3 days?
I’m going to call my dr in the am to discuss it, but I wanted to get some opinions.

352 anonymous { 07.10.15 at 1:51 pm }

I just had my HSG and it went REALLY well. I think there are a few reasons for this:
1) Along with an extra strenght Advil, I took a small dosage of Ativan. I had to ask my RE to write a script. This was on the suggestion from a friend who had gone through this herself. I had never tried ativan or anything like it, but thought this is the time to try.
2) While the clinic that I had to have mine done at (ony one in our area) has BAD reviews, the nurses and doctor were incredible with me. Perhaps they had read the reviews? They were gentle, kind and explained everything. The nurse held my hand, which I have to say was so incredibly comforting.
3) I had already had a hysteroscopy earlier in the week. This procedure was very traumatizing for me. I didn’t have an Ativan (but did take ESAdvil) and also I had never had a procedure like this. Sorry, it’s not “just a little different” than a pap smear. I felt the little camera inside my uterus and that was just not a cool feeling. It did hurt. I was fairly traumatized after this, imagining how much more terrible the HSG would be.

With the HSG, the most uncomfortable part for me was the speculum and when he cleaned my cervix (just feels kinda ick). There was a pinch after that, which they prepped me for. Then I think they let the fluid go in gently. I couldn’t even feel it. The prep took more time than the actual procedure.

Clearly each woman experiences these procedures differently. Given that, I feel that we as women should be advocating for anything that could make it more comfortable. JUST IN CASE it turns out to be a tough procedure. If it’s the first time you’re having a test like this, maybe insist on getting something to calm you. It’s hard to stay calm when you don’t know what to expect, and this makes it less comfortable for you. I don’t advocate drugs usually, but I do think these tests are important and I also think that it is important that patients be as comfortable as possible.

If men had to undrgo these assessments to have a baby, they would be done under a general or at least with morphine!!!!

353 Emily { 07.30.15 at 11:30 pm }

My HSG was the worst pain I’ve ever experienced in my entire life. Nothing hurt until the dye started going into my tubes. One is blocked and the other had “minimal spillage” and I think that is why it was so awful. It felt like my insides were about to burst. My only comparison that I can think of to describe it is some sort of human torture. I was screaming out for them to stop, which they did – thank God. I’m very down now and discouraged about this whole process.

354 Debbie { 08.15.15 at 11:36 am }

I’m wondering why they don’t do this procedure like a colonoscopy, where they put you into a “twilight sleep” where you’re mostly awake, but very drowsy. It seems cruel to put women through this with no help for pain or the anxiety.

355 V { 08.31.15 at 6:11 pm }

Good day Lovelies,

Yes, i understand that some people a just a little uncomfortable, or it only hurt for a minute..but not mine.

I had good lab assistance, the doctor went an extra mile with me by holding my knee and telling me soothing words like.. “just three more seconds for the pictures”…then it was, “all clear, we are done..going to take out the catheter etc. now.” Best words I ever heard…
“For me, I thought, I was being stabbed straight up (you know where). Got cramps, lower back started to ache and it felt like constant stabbing pain in there through the procedure. It hurt for way longer than a minute.”
My Gyn Doctor did not warn me as they should, didn’t even recommend a pain killer. Did the research to late for the type of muscle relaxant and pain killer. It was a waste of time taking panadol for pain. It did not help at all!

The did not want to give me the results. I suspect its bad, but then the
doctor said all clear…i wounder if i miss understood what she said.
I was wondering why i had sooo much pain..the more i read up online , asked the right questions, i was able to find some answers.

We had a long weekend, did the procedure Friday morning and we had Independence Day Holiday on Monday 31st August 2015 in Trinidad. So I have to wait till Tuesday afternoon to get the results. Yeah way too long….Hence, i had to do my own research to see why i had sooo much pain. I believe now that i do have scaring, had surgery about 8 years ago for fibroid…i guest i should of known.. :( :( ….. i just pray that the dye unblocked the passage. Want a baby soooo badly.

So what do i expect from tomorrow’s results? I pray for good news.

Pray for me.


356 V { 09.01.15 at 9:17 pm }

So I got my results! Here are the results:

The outline of the endometrial cavity demonstrates several smooth indentations, probably due to the presence of intramural uterine fibriods.
There is however free flow of contrast through the fallopian tubes with bilateral spillage.
No evidence of any tubal occlusion.

End of REPORT.

So now i am researching the various words in the report that can help me understand my condition. Here are some notes i came across.

Can Fibroids Cause Fertility Problems?
Fibroids that change the shape of the uterine cavity (submucous) or are within the cavity (intracavitary) decrease fertility by about 70% and removal of these fibroids increases fertility by 70%. Other types of fibroids, those that are within the wall (intramural) but do not change the shape of the cavity, or those that bulge outside the wall (subserosal) do not decrease fertility, and removal of these types of fibroids does not increase fertility. (see: Hysteroscopic Myomectomy)


I am going to continue researching …not going to stop until i deliver my first baby. If it is not my womb then its my high prolactin levels preventing ovulation. So the research continues…

357 Jaz { 09.19.15 at 1:52 pm }

I had my hsg test today n was very nervous from one week n today when he gave me a injection on my left hand fifteen minutes before d procedure n I got fainted n dey were not going to do d test as I fainted before d procedure but I insisted them to do n took gods name n everything went very smooth no pain at all thanks for d lovely doctor n their assistance who supported me n I would suggest all d ladies not to panic n just relax ur body so all will go well n trust God and keep hopes for positive results of pregnancy as God will give everyone happiness

358 LB { 09.21.15 at 4:31 pm }

I had my HSG this morning. I was very nervous because of all the stuff I read online. It was scary because you basically do the procedure in what looks like an OR. Well, it was super fast. It was supposed to take 5 minutes but I think it was shorter than that. I did feel pain for about 20 seconds. It felt like cramps so yes, it was uncomfortable but it was a pain that I was totally used to. Then it was over. I felt stupid for getting so worked up. I had my results right away then left and went back to work. My advice would be to relax and stop reading stuff on the internet.

359 Giselle { 10.27.15 at 8:52 am }

I had my HSG last night and still feel some minor cramping. I definitely did not know it was going to be that painful. I was just told it would be uncomfortable. I wish I would have done my research before having the test done. The test itself is very painful and uncomfortable. I was fine afterwards but felt the pain again two hours later. I had a hard time falling asleep I was in so much pain, I had to take something to put me to sleep.

360 CH { 11.05.15 at 3:25 pm }

I had just come back from the HSG test, from reading online reviews and all, I was VERY nervous and scared. Definitely the nervousness got over me, but overall procedure was really quick, about 5 mins and the pain is not what I had imagined, it was just a mild cramps when they insert the dye.

It is definitely uncomfortable when they try to put the speculum in and insert the catheter inside and push all the way up, pull the speculum out while the catheter is still inside, then realized that the catheter is not at the right spot. So doctor had to redo it all over again. I was fine the first time they put the speculum in, but I was so nervous when the 2nd round came through that it took a bit more time of getting the speculum and catheter inside of me. I was breathing in and out like a pregnant lady in labor, there was no pain just slight cramps, my nervousness dramatizes me :/

Result: Both tubes are good to go, no blockage. YEA!!!

Thank god, I can’t imagine going through this again being a nervous-reckless like myself for nothing.

Your doctor and nurses are definitely helpful when they talk to you throughout the procedure and telling you step by step on what she is doing down there. Very understanding and caring staff.

Beside nervous, try to think why you are in that room. It’s for the miracle that we all are waiting for and you are doing it for her/him, it’s well worth the pain.

After the test, I bleed heavenly, don’t feel any cramps or pain, drive normally back to work and able to sit/stand.

I believe everybody’s body is different and I wish all the best to all the ladies out there that are going through this, YOU CAN DO IT!!!

361 Jennifer { 11.06.15 at 4:57 pm }

Just had the HSG procedure today! Very nervous by reading all the horrible stories from the site. I’m glad my experiences is not that bad at all. didn’t even feel any pain during, the whole procedure went really fast, only took a few minutes. I didn’t even realize anything before it’s done. some tips here: take 800gm ibuprofen 1 hour early; take deep breath during the procedure to relax yourself!

362 Anonymous { 11.09.15 at 4:41 pm }

I know it varies a ton person to person, but please don’t get too worked up beforehand. I had an HSG this morning. It was a bit uncomfortable when catheter was put in but no real pain during. Now, 5 hours later I’m just taking ibuprofen for dull pain in lower abdomen and back. I also have a headache, but not sure if it’s related. No bleeding and minimal discharge for me since.

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