What is a Hysterosalpingogram (HSG)? Fertilitycommunity.com defines the test as follows:
HSG is a test used primarily to determine if a woman’s fallopian tubes are open or blocked. HSG also gives some idea as to the integrity (condition) of the endometrial cavity (uterine interior.) It is known as the most uncomfortable of diagnostic procedures for females. – Hysterosalpingogram or HSG
So, how “uncomfortable” is the test?
When my doctor told me I needed to have this test done, he said that I would experience discomfort but that the test would not be painful. He said that if my tubes were blocked, I would feel no pain, so discomfort would actually be a good thing. He really downplayed how big of a deal this would be.
When my doctor stepped out of the room, the nurse told me that some women find the test to be rather painful, so she suggested that I take four Advils one hour before the test. That way, I would have some form of pain medication in my body to alleviate the pain. I figured that it must not be too bad if all I needed was over-the-counter medication to endure it. Just to be on the safe side, I brought my sister along to the hospital with me so that she could drive me home if I did not feel up to it myself.
The test itself was not comfortable but also not too terribly painful for me. I had taken the day off work in case I was in too much pain that afternoon. I felt well enough to drive myself home, so my sister and I had a blast that afternoon watching a movie together. Overall, I remember the test being uncomfortable but not that big of a deal.
I talked with a man whose wife was fearful about having an HSG performed. I told him about my experience, and he passed the information along to his wife. The next time I saw him, I asked how the test went. He relayed a message from his wife: “That woman is crazy!!” She found the test to be quite painful and spent the rest of the day feeling poorly.
I have another friend who had the same test performed. Her experience was more like this other woman’s than mine. However, I also think that giving blood is no big deal while this friend of mine found it to be a painful experience.
Why was my experience different? I do not know for sure. Different people seem to have different levels of pain tolerance. I get weekly allergy shots, so shots are not a big deal to me. I joke that I am a walking pin cushion because I have had so many shots in my life. I do not even consider shots to be painful because I am so used to having them. However, other people would vehemently disagree, with my six-year-old son being at the top of the list!
So, I believe that your own level of pain tolerance will factor into how painful this test will be. Err on the side of caution and take the day off work. If it winds up not being a big deal, you can enjoy a well-deserved break.