The Link between HSG & Future Fertility

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It’s painful, it’s horrific and one procedure no TTC mom would like to do more than once in a lifetime, but do you know some moms and even doctors have noted that a woman is “super fertile” after a HSG procedure?

I bet some moms didn’t know and neither did I until I saw one tweet by a TTC mom, where she mentioned her day in the cycle and how her doctor wanted her to take advantage of her “super fertility” and get loads of BD in.

That intrigued me and I wondered about the link between HSG and the three months afterwards, when a woman’s fertility is supposedly sky-high.  

The next thing on my mind was to find someone who had done it and, perhaps, gotten pregnant shortly afterwards, because the people that readily came to mind were those who had done it but rather than a pregnancy, it had resulted in delaying AF, which led to raised hopes, while the tests still came out negative.

I found Deola, who incidentally isn’t TTC, but she had and a HSG, and it had done nothing for her, except show that she didn’t have blocked tubes. However, she has a story to tell.

Deola is the first child of her mother’s, and for a very long time, she was the only child. Her mother suffered secondary infertility for close to 15 years; she had almost given up hope of conceiving again. Deola was almost through with secondary school when it happened; her mom was finally pregnant.

It resulted in the birth of her siblings, a girl-boy twin combination. Deola was actively involved in their care that they ended up calling her small momma. Having had several years to bond, Deola and her mom always chatted about every and anything and it was during one of their chats that her mom told her about how that “painful procedure” she had was what led to her conceiving the twins.

Deola asked which painful procedure, because her mother had gone through so many procedures in the years back.

“The dye one” Her mother answered.  “I got pregnant the next month after that procedure. Why didn’t anybody tell me before that time, I wonder.”

Even though Deola is now married with children, that was her first contact with the HSG and had hoped it was going to help her when she was TTC, but no, it didn’t.

I guess it doesn’t happen for everyone.

Another TTC mom, Sarah, had spent five years of her married life TTC. No one could say what was wrong with her. Investigations carried out on her and her husband showed that they were both in robust health. So, what was causing the inability to conceive? Enter the unexplained infertility diagnosis.  As with it, there’s just no way to explain the emotions that go with knowing you are in good health, yet nothing is happening.

In that five years, she ran all manners of tests, in a bid to get answers. Then one day, just as I stumbled on HSG and its fertility-boosting capabilities, Sarah came across some reading materials extolling the properties of HSG. So, she approached her doctor and asked what she thought.

Her doctor noted that Sarah’s challenge was not with her tubes, as her tubes were in awesome condition.  Sarah pushed further, “I know but I would still like to check it out, just to be sure everything is working fine. You know, we have not done this particular investigation before.”

Said that way, her doctor agreed to the procedure and a date was fixed for it. Sarah had the test done towards the middle of October and by the end the second week of November, her HPTs were reading positive; the first in five years.

For Sarah, this was way too much for a coincidence. For her, the HSG procedure was directly linked to her positive pregnancy test result in less than three weeks.

HSG, or by its full name hysterosalpingogram, is an important test of female fertility potential. The HSG test is a radiology procedure, where radiographic contrast (dye) is injected into the uterine cavity through the vagina and cervix. Once the uterine cavity fills with dye, it flows in to the fallopian tubes. If they are open, the dye fills the tubes and spills into the abdominal cavity

hysterogreen

This shows whether the fallopian tubes are open or blocked and whether a blockage is at the junction of the tube and uterus (proximal) or at the other end of the tube (distal).

The HSG also evaluates the uterine cavity for the presence of congenital uterine anomalies, polyps, fibroid tumours or uterine scar tissue. It also detects defects in the fallopian tubes, such as partial blockage, and evidence of pelvic scar tissue in the abdominal cavity near the tube.

On its fertility-boosting properties, pregnancy rates in several studies have been reported to be very slightly increased in the first months following a hysterosalpingogram. This could be due to the flushing of the tubes opening a minor blockage or cleaning out some debris, “gunk” as some TTC mom called it, that was preventing the couple from conceiving.

According to doctors, it is important to note that, while HSG can improve conception chances, a HSG cannot open a tube that is truly blocked. So, essentially, HSG is still a diagnostic test and not necessarily a form of treatment in itself.

Meanwhile, some studies suggest that using oil based contrast provides a slightly larger increase in pregnancy success rates than the use of water based contrast. However, the large majority of HSGs are done with water based contrast.

Food for thought!

 

 

Join the conversation with any of our TTC and Pregnancy Groups here

Photo credits:

1.  http://www.invitra.com/

2. http://www.fertilityanswers.com/

 

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6 COMMENTS

  1. I have read that even where the tubes are not blocked, it helps to clear the “gunk” that may be there and that may be why it helps some people. I have tried it just because and that was 4 months ago. My time is very near.

  2. just had it done Nicole… I am so new to everything having gotten married just last year as a first timer to all things … I wouldn’t stop having candida or is it yeast infection like months unending my vagina is itching and peppering for one reason or the other.. Gynea finally asked that I get a comprehensive test and an HSG was one..Jesus have mercy it is the most painful thing I have gone through in my 31years and I am just praying I get pregnant and move on…My pain threshold is too low for all the poking.

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