What You Need to Know About Fertility Testing

If you are considering pregnancy over 40, you are likely to have more difficulty conceiving than women in their 20’s and early 30’s.  I dealt with conception difficulties for most of my life. My experience after beginning to work with a reproductive endocrinologist was that he started with many tests to learn about my situation before we began the actual process of getting pregnant over 40. While not intended to be an exhaustive list, some of those tests are listed below: 
 
Common Pre-pregnancy testing

  • HSG:  Hysterosalpingogram(checking for blocked tubes).  I thought the HSG procedure  was more uncomfortable than the nurses indicated it would be; however, it wasn’t really painful. The most uncomfortable part was when they were threading the cathether through the cervix. It was also uncomfortable when they injected the dye. I was able to watch the screen as they conducted the procedure. My doctor, a medical resident, and a radiologist were present so I got my results right away: my tubes were not blocked. From start to finish, it lasted less than 30 minutes (including getting undressed and dressed). I noticed lots of bloody gauze on the instrument table which I believe happened when the catheter was inserted into the cervix. The resident performed the procedure and didn’t have lots of experience so this might be why. During the procedure, they identified a growth in my uterus that required surgery to remove. One thing you should know is that I was fairly uncomfortable for the entire day following the procedure. I went to a baseball game the same day and wish I hadn’t. I had cramping, bloating, bleeding and lots of discomfort. My tips: ask your doctor what type of pain med you can take in advance (better safe than sorry); plan to have a relaxing laying around kind of day following the procedure; and stay positive. This is one step closer to getting your precious baby and is completely worth it! I now have a perfect 5 month old daughter to show for all of the effort. Sometimes, the HSG test reveals other potential problems such as a uterine polyp or tumor. 

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