Fertility Infertility Issues

If you’re a woman who has been trying to get pregnant, and it has been at least a year since you began trying, you may want to consider an out-patient procedure called a hysterosalpingogram or HSG. This procedure takes as little as ten minutes and will likely be done by your OB/GYN at the local hospital’s radiology department.

I recently learned of this procedure from my own gynecologist who has witnessed success for many of her patients trying to get pregnant. Many doctors report that couples having difficulty conceiving, improve, if not completely reverse their chances of conception after they have an HSG. This procedure, however, should not be thought of as a cure-all for fertility issues but simply a further step in understanding your body and what the issue may be.

So, what exactly is an HSG, and why or how can it improve one’s chances for pregnancy? Simply put, it is an internal X-ray of a woman’s reproductive organs-the uterus, fallopian tubes, and the area surrounding them. After a dye has been injected through a tube into your cervix, the process takes a series of pictures of your reproductive organs and looks for things that could be hindering your chances of becoming pregnant. In many cases, the cause is a simple, mucus-type blockage resting in the fallopian tubes which can be easily removed to open up the area for the passage of the egg. Other possible complications include a previous infection that has caused scarring in the fallopian tubes and has prevented the egg from passing through to the uterus.

The examination may also discover an abnormal shape, structure, or injury to the uterus, as well as polyps, adhesions, fibroids or other foreign objects-all of which can cause painful menstrual periods or even miscarriages. These issues will often require further treatment which are beyond the scope of this article.

Once you and your doctor have discussed whether you may benefit from an HSG, you should plan to get the procedure shortly after the onset of your menstrual period. Your doctor will arrange for you to have the procedure within 5-10 days of your menstrual cycle prior to ovulation to be sure you are not pregnant. Be sure to inform your doctor if you think you might be pregnant or if you have any sexually transmitted diseases or other pelvic infections. It is also important to inform your doctor of any allergies, if you’re on blood thinners, or if you have a history of kidney problems or diabetes.

I personally think that one could definitely benefit from an HSG and that it is actually a step towards understanding your body. If you are undergoing stress and confusion about why you have not been able to conceive, you may want to consider it. Conceiving a child should be a happy and stress-free time in your life, and that can be done if you take the steps described here to better understand your body.