Lesson Deux

So in my last post about our infertility process, Changing Clinics (click here), I talked about more procedures and tests that I’d like to explain in a new installment of “In My Own Words”.

In My Own Words…

Hysterosalpingogram (HSG).  I know in my post I described HSG as being terrible and all things bad and while I believe my assessment to be 100% accurate, here are some other facts.  The procedure was done in the radiology department of the hospital because it is performed under fluoroscopy (continuous x-ray images and they can take still images as well).  It is used to check for abnormalities in the uterine cavity and fallopian tubes.

I was asked to change into a hospital gown and laid on a cold, hard table for the test.  I was placed in stirrups and a small tube was placed through my cervix into my uterus via a speculum (much like the saline ultrasound or IUI’s).  Unfortunately, my uterus has proven not be a fan of tubes so this is where I start feeling the cramping.

The doctor then pushed small amounts of a dye through the tube.  The dye shows up on x-rays so she was able to watch as the dye moved around my uterine cavity.  And this is the point that I started having excruciating amounts of pain. I started to get light headed and they gave me small breaks throughout.

When the procedure is over, they told me I might have some light bleeding and cramping which, unfortunately, means that I will have lots of bleeding and cramps. I was allowed to change and run (not really) to Andrew.

For more information and some diagrams, click here.

For a link on information, verification on just how terrible HSG is, and ways to prepare for the test, click here.


Blood Sugars.  In the fertility world, blood sugars are super important.  Higher blood sugars have been linked to miscarriages in early pregnancy, larger newborns, lower blood sugars in the newborn, and many other complications.  Because of my polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and the insulin resistance associated with the syndrome, following my blood sugars is even more important.

Fasting blood sugar is tested after not eating for 8-10 hours.  In the normal (not trying to get pregnant) person, it should be less than 100.  In the fertility world, they want the fasting glucose to be less than 90 (Mine was 92).

HgbA1C (hee-muh-gloh-bin-A-one-C) tests average blood sugar levels for the last 2-3 months by looking at the amount of sugar attached to the hemoglobin (oxygen carrying red blood cells) in your body.  You may be able to fake or fudge a fasting glucose test but not a HgbA1C. Normal HgbA1C is less than 5.7 (my clinic told me they wanted mine less than 5.6). Mine was 5.7. (While this test isn’t accurate while a woman is pregnant, it was used in my case because I was just trying.)

They can treat high blood sugars in different ways.  The option most people are familiar with is insulin injections.  Because mine wasn’t so high, they recommended I change my diet. They can also give oral medications like metformin.  I will go into more detail about metformin in my future post about my experience with the perinatal diabetic clinic.

For more information on the effects of high blood sugars in pregnancy and treatments, click here.

For more general information on blood sugars, click here.

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