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HSG - One blocked tube. Not sure what next but feel worn down already...

(30 Posts)
STTC1st Sun 17-Jan-16 10:19:49

I am 36, ttc 18 months. I like most other people on this forum started ttc with excitement, I'd spent all my time trying to avoid getting pregnant having taken birth control and using condoms since I was 18. I stupidly just thought it might take 6 months and started merrily thinking about names I liked etc etc. I had always said "if it happens it happens, blah, blah" very casual, I wouldn't want to make it a chore. 6 months came and went, I had started AF next month after stopping contraception and have had very scant periods ever since. Being over 35 went to the doctor who started some investigations with me and DH, blood tests, sperm analysis etc. Normal - oh, I thought, just a matter of time then. 12 months came and went, I started to BBT chart and use OPKs and even fertility lube - tmi (taking some spontaneity away but helping me to feel I was doing something proactive). Then visit to Consultant. Thought he might say oh you can take this and it will help (how naive). He said BBT and OPK aren't worth doing and the blood tests (taken 6 months before) were not normal, there was something (he didn't say what, a bit high at the start of my cycle) and my progesterone levels were lower than they should be so I had to have 4 blood tests, 2 days apart - normal. So then had HSG. I had nightmares about it beforehand, googled it to death and thought it would be painful and it was... horrible. The bit I was most worried about tube insertion and balloon inflation was ok but the contrast liquid... I thought I was going to burst. Stupidly, although I was really worried about it (lying on the x-ray table with your legs apart in front of strangers and the potential for pain), I had assumed that would be normal too but as it turns out I appear to have one blocked/ ? non-existent fallopian tube on right (they thought it might be spasm so gave me an injection and tried contrast liquid again without success). I'll be honest I am struggling with this news more than I thought I would. Good ol' google has shed no light on the matter. I have no idea what comes next, contacted Consultants secretary who just said "Results are with Mr x" no idea of when I'll have an appointment. But I already feel really tired and sad by how far we've come, what I have put me and DH through, when I always said I wouldn't and no progress. I don't want a lap and dye to be inflated with CO2 to have tubes poked about with, I am concerned that it will risk the tube I have. I also have friends who've been through IVF and both are sadder, more solemn people as a result - despite eventual success and I just don't think I can do it. Even if I were offered IVF, I need to have been ttc for 3 years to hit the waiting list (roll on 38 yrs old) and if you hit 40 during treatment you only get 1 cycle. I just think I don't want anymore procedures. I know HSG probably doesn't compare to what most people have been through and I know that I haven't been ttc nearly as long as many people. But I would appreciate any experiences or advice - like another thread says I am bored of this now, I am fed up with how much time it has taken, how it has affected my self-worth. I don't know whether I need to just get over it, I already can't believe how much emotional effort it has taken. Sorry for moaning but it feels good to share.

Hyland Sun 17-Jan-16 11:14:25

I sympathise with how scary the HSG is and how invasive it feels. I have one tube is partially scarred which meant the fluid/dye ran through it slower. They told me it really didn't matter and even had it of been blocked, because the other was fine. That a person would still be classed as fertile and able to get pregnant (albeit maybe a bit longer).

Taking vitamins can help with progesterone such as B6 helps produce it I believe.

If you were to go down the IVF route they may decide to give you progesterone injections to help.

Maybe just get over one hurdle at a time and decide what is right for you.

STTC1st Sun 17-Jan-16 12:46:46

Thanks Hyland, really nice to hear from someone as I am new to MN smile. I think you are right it just all feels a bit overwhelming at the moment. Will def try a bit of B6, can't hurt can it?

WankingInTheWinterWonderland Sun 17-Jan-16 13:18:23

I have one blocked tube too. I was given the price list for IVF but never needed it as i fell pregnant naturally although TMI ALERT I did put my legs up in the air after DTD both times I conceived. There is hope.

STTC1st Sun 17-Jan-16 13:49:03

Thanks WITWW. I think most of us have put our legs in the air wink but good to know that it helps grin. Do you mind me asking how long it took you before your BFP? Being 36 I am well aware that time is not on my side.

Hyland Sun 17-Jan-16 15:03:24

I'm 36 too soooo again i sympathise with the pressure of time.

10mg i read for B6.....
I don't have an issue with progesterone but i have started taking tablets: 14mg iron (i am quite anaemic), selenium, 15mg zinc and folic acid as normal.

Suppose to help with a number of things implantation/prevent miscarriage, blood quality.

Q10 is another one and magnesium, vitamin c. but I haven't been taking these.

Maybe read up on them all and decide what is best for you with your doctor.

I would also recommend the usual fruit/vegetables/nuts.

May women on here recommend a high protein diet.

Avoiding diet drinks that are full of chemicals. Opting for fresh orange juice, pineapple juice, lots of water.

I have stopped drinking coffee, coke and chocolate to avoid caffeine during ivf.

Maybe i should have given up before but the money spent on IVF meant i found that extra determination.

Decaffeinated cola isn't bad with a large dollop of icecream (icecream float).

Decaffeinated coffee isn't great so i perhaps have once a week (if that) and even then its more about having the feeling of drinking coffee when working on the weekend shift and something to dip a digestive biscuit.

STTC1st Sun 17-Jan-16 17:06:37

Hi Hyland, I have cut out caffeine (for about the last 4 months) and all alcohol post ovulation, but as this month couldn't ttc due to date of HSG have splurged a bit and had a few glasses of wine and the odd caffeinated coffee! It's crazy isn't it all the stuff we go through when people who have no problems ttc often just carry on as normal. Maybe I can up the vitamin supplements - I have been taking folic acid since we started ttc, recently been trying to eat more healthy snacks. Although over xmas I gorged on chocolate so I guess it is time to get back on the healthy bandwagon. It is awkward socially isn't it you don't want people to jump to the wrong conclusion if people think you are drinking decaf and avoiding alcohol!!

Hyland Sun 17-Jan-16 17:22:47

Ha ha yep my work think I'm very unsociable due to not drinking.

My mum and one of my sisters think I am pregnant as I said I wasn't drinking over Christmas due to trying as always ( they don't know about ivf). This has been taken to mean I must be pregnant!

When I stopped coffee completely in September I think my boss thought I was being grumpy with him about something. As I would usually make one for him too. I just told everyone I was cutting out caffeine due to severe migraines I was getting.

My sweet in take has definitely increased as a result of cutting out the other stuff sad

Hyland Sun 17-Jan-16 17:25:33

We only plan holidays/flights at the last minute, just in case I am.

Stopped going to a spa place i Love to go with a friend due to saunas being bad for someone going through IVF.

STTC1st Sun 17-Jan-16 17:44:10

Good luck with the IVF, it worked for my friends. I think you are very brave. chocolate

Hyland Sun 17-Jan-16 17:51:36

Desperate lol

But thanks....

You too, good luck x

If you have any questions regarding ivf let me know, any time.

Also if u decide on ivf they will make you re-do the dye test if the results are older than 6 months I believe.

Waiting list for private consultation can be as quick as 6 weeks.

WankingInTheWinterWonderland Sun 17-Jan-16 18:18:17

It two years of ttc

WankingInTheWinterWonderland Sun 17-Jan-16 18:22:37

*It Took

reallydid Sun 17-Jan-16 21:33:17

Hi STT,

Was just browsing this topic and felt I had to respond.

First of all you poor thing....it is an absolute shock to discover fertility is going to be a challenge. When you've always been healthy it is not something that you anticipate.

I had tubal problems and experienced 3 years of TTC. It started with an natural and instant conception which ended with m/c at 6 weeks. Then nothing for 3 years other than suspected early implantation and loss based on symptoms only. I was diagnosed with a tubal problem 14 months post m/c after the HSG. My HSG absolutely murdered too. It was worse than any other pain I'd known. My goodness what an awful shock it was to find out I had tubal problems too.

They questioned if I had a hydrosalpinx on the right which is a blocked and swollen tube. Unfortunately this makes the tube ineffective even with surgery and the usual route is removal and if both tubes are blocked this then means IVF to conceive. Often hydrosalpinges follow a STD or pelvic infection. I was baffled as I had neither in my past. I was advised to proceed to IVF which failed despite making excellent embryos. I had 1 full cycle and 2 frozen embryo cycles which was a shock to the Dr's as I looked to be a strong candidate. I was 31 / 32 at the time.

There had always been this black cloud hanging over me about my right tube. Some Dr's thought it was a small and insignificant blockage, others advised me to have both tubes out, it frightened the hell out of me.

I then went on to have a lap - what I should have been advised to do in the first place. They found that my right tube was sealed down to my bowel from the fimbrial end with filmy adhesions - most probably endometriosis was the cause. I had no symptoms. So the right tube was never able to pick up an egg and probably the left tube was but each fertilised embryo going down the left side was probably washed away with toxic fluid.

When a fallopian tube is fully blocked there is no where for the natural fluids inside to drain to, so they stagnate and swell up the tube. In a tube which is partially blocked, as in my case, as the end was tethered down the natural tubal fluids were pooling, becoming toxic and then washing down in to the womb from the right tube. This meant any embryos which had left tube became washed away and I was never ever going to get pregnant from IVF or naturally.

During my lap they snipped away the adhesions, burnt away other small endo deposits and the tubes sprang back to position the blue dye was seen to fill and spill.

I conceived my baby 2 cycles later naturally.

The above might not be exactly what is happening in your case but I felt so alone as there aren't lots of people out there with these subtle types of tubal problems. I wanted to share my experience and knowledge with you.

If having a hydrosalpinx (not likely) or a slightly blocked tube or perfectly intact tubes, I really recommend a lap before anything such as IVF to make sure IVF is or isn't needed.

However from an emotional point of view I recognise what you are saying about being exhausted and fed up. I remember in the earlier days of TTC feeling unnerved at low level things like fertility reflexology as I felt a failure for needing even that level of help. I actually thought I was living someone else's life by the time I went through HSG, IVF, laproscopy, not to mention countless dildocam etc.

My advice to you is sit back for a month or two. Sometimes no decision is the right decision (although don't remove yourself from any waiting lists etc). The enormity of it is hitting you and it needs to settle first of all.

I'd recommend a fertility acupuncturist or reflexologist as, although these won't always cure bigger fertility issues, placing yourself in the hands of a caring and knowledgeable person once or twice a month who will share your journey is priceless and very stress relieving. Also any hormonal imbalances can be addressed too - you mentioned some blood tests were a bit high. Do try and get more info about that.

In time, do consider that lap, it might reveal the very nature of the issue and treat it at the same time, or indeed rule our the tubes as problematic which allows you to focus your energy elsewhere.

I can't guarantee that anyone will get a baby....but being in your mid 30's puts you in a favourable position. And I hate to say it but sometimes it really is the absolute sheer determination to go through the fertility clinic mill which brings about the results too.

So first of all allow yourself some space to breath and let the tears flow and plan for nothing.

Then, think about IVF as the thing to try when other options do not as you have to wait a long time anyway. If you are still TTC by then I would put bets on that you would jump at the chance as your perspective might change. I found that I worried too much about the future but the future takes care of itself.

Give yourself an almighty pat on the back for the efforts you have put in so far. So many people couldn't do what you have done. Don't give up hope but be kind to yourself on the journey. Plan some fun nights with your DH, go to the cinema, don't stop having a bit of booze if that's what you fancy until you get a BFP, don't plan holidays around anything, embrace your life and enjoy it as pregnancies come around whether we are sat waiting or nt.

I hope you didn't mind my essay post, please feel free to ignore, I found it cathartic as my TTC journey was complex and hard.

By the way I'M ttc number 2 for 16 months and about to go on the waiting list for lap no. 2 hoping it works it magic again.

STTC1st Mon 18-Jan-16 19:42:08

Wow, thank you reallydid. Reading your post is enlightening, I think you are really wise. It makes me wish I'd found MN sooner I feel blessed by the support people are showing and everyone's willingness to share very difficult personal journeys. It is not something I want to burden on friends, I want my friendships to be about something else (does that make sense, to give me head space and so I don't bore them or myself to death).

I hope the wait for a follow-up appt will give me some breathing space and time to think and write down the questions that you always fail to think of at the time, like - what was that thing the consultant said was a bit high at the start of my cycle, is it something I can do something about, what are my treatment options, what are the timescales involved...

I have also been thinking about reflexology, I haven't ever tried something like that before and I think sometimes you read things and you are led to believe that they may offer answers where all else fails which always makes me a bit skeptical. But as you say the benefit of being able to talk issues through outside of home or hospital would probably be quite cathartic providing you don't carry other expectations along to the appointments.

Thank you, thank you, for taking the time to write. Good luck with number 2, it is nice to know you've had a successful number 1 smile.

STTC1st Fri 22-Jan-16 17:40:58

Thanks to everyone who has posted. Outcome is, it is out of my hands. The consultant has written today to say to go back if I fail to conceive in 3 years by which time I will be 38, at which point they may consider IVF. No follow up appointment to discuss anything. So there we go... I think I may try to spend some time getting my head around no baby and get on with thinking about career ambitions.

I have taken your advice though reallydid and booked in for reflexology a week next Tuesday. I think I might go ahead and book a holiday too! Thanks for all your support.

ThirtyNineWeeks Sat 23-Jan-16 01:34:11

Hello, OP, here is my story: I conceived easily at the age of 40 but had a missed miscarriage at 11 weeks. We tried desperately for the next 14 months but not a sniff of a bfp. I opted to have a lap and dye which revealed a blocked fallopian tube. I was stunned as my first pregnancy had been so easily conceived. Time was truly running out for us and so we decided to go abroad for IVF and, because of my age (I was then 41), we decided to use a donor egg. We conceived our daughter, who was born when I was 42. She is a dream come true.

This year, we conceived naturally! When I went for my early scan they told me I had ovulated from my left side (where my tube was blocked) and that my good tube on the right had indeed swung across to pick up the egg!

I am due to give birth on Thursday. I am 44 years old.

Please do go and have the lap if it is still on the table. Knowledge is power and it is liberating to come round from the anaesthetic to know what it is exactly that you're dealing with.

It only took us 7 months to conceive this baby with one tube - but before the IVF we had 14 months of BFNs. Keep on trying. Keep getting the sperm in every single month - keep charting your temps to see you're timing sex correctly. Don't have sex every day during you'd fertile window; every other day will suffice. Use the Clear blue flashing smiley face sticks. Try Coenzyme q10 (300ml per day, your partner too), selenium for you (brazil nuts) and maca root for you too. These are what I took religiously in the 3 months leading up to conception, so who knows?

Seriously, millions of women get pregnant with one tube...but you must have the lap if possible do they can rule out any other more serious issues. Good luck!

STTC1st Sat 23-Jan-16 06:42:58

Thanks ThirtyNineWeeks for sharing your story, good luck for Thursday and how fantastic. The consultant has not even offered an appointment to discuss the outcome of the HSG, they have not offered a lap and dye they've just written a letter to say get on with it naturally and if it doesn't work come back in 3 years. I don't know if I can request the report/images from radiography at least then maybe I could consider a private healthcare option.

ThirtyNineWeeks Sat 23-Jan-16 11:47:38

Yes, you are entitled to copies of all the information collated from your procedure. Google the price of a private lap and keep believing. Keep getting the sperm in.

newbie2this Fri 29-Jan-16 23:55:28

I had a recent Hcg this week- trying to find information out about when to start trying as the information leaflet says to waiting for another AF before you try....but then seen some people fall pregnant quickly after... Any ideas?!

Blondeshavemorefun Sat 30-Jan-16 10:57:42

Hi I had a hcg and lap and found had a blocked tube

But other one fine

So I should get preg but don't. They call it unexplained fertility - basically they Havnt a clue

Ttc 10yrs and nothing

Have now had 3 private Ifv. 3rd abroad Sadly all failed

Being Brutal here. Time isn't on your hands. So I would advise saving - getting a loan - putting on credit card and doing ivf privately. Abroad is cheaper - as long as don't do ec and transfer around Christmas as flights were stupid money ........

Yes it's Awful when fails and still paying it off but it's a risk we were and are prepared to take

Hyland Sat 30-Jan-16 20:05:29

Did they unblock the tube during the lap?

Blondeshavemorefun Sat 30-Jan-16 21:13:34

Me? No. They said was too blocked. They couldn't sad

But other tube works perfectly so I should be able to get preg but don't

STTC1st Sun 31-Jan-16 21:26:27

Hi Blondshavemorefun I have contacted a local(ish) private clinic not sure what treatment options are available. Still not had report back from radiology but having reflexology on Tuesday.

Hi Newbie2this lots of things I read said something similar but also had heard that sometimes people have a bigger period etc after HSG, so maybe that is why they say to wait until after AF? FYI my period (or what there is of it - sorry tmi) was no different. Maybe contact the radiologist or your GP to ask if there is any reason you shouldn't start ttc? Mine was at the wrong time of the month so we had avoided unprotected sex beforehand as exposure to x-rays isn't meant to be good.

Blondeshavemorefun Sun 31-Jan-16 21:34:45

unusual to say come back in 3yrs, you will be 39 then and as you said will get one ivf on nhs

i would badger gp for nhs

and def make an app with a private clinic, think consultation was £150

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