Andrea Part 4: Testing


As we headed into the summer of 2022, Nigel was still the only one of us that had had any testing done. We had assumptions about my fertility, but they weren’t really based on anything concrete.

Throughout my life I had always had very regular cycles that would always come when the app I was using told me they would come (I would later learn a lot more about ovulation, cycles, etc but this basic app was always correct). Then in 2020 when I originally came off of birth control I started tracking more medically. Every morning when I woke up I would take my basal body temperature, which would rise when I ovulated and drop when my period started and I also started taking ovulation tests. These two methods gave me a very clear picture of what was happening in my body, and I started them almost a year before we even started trying, meaning I had a very good view of my body when we were trying to get pregnant.

So my body seemed to be doing everything it should be, but like I said we didn’t truly know.

Once we were connected with our fertility clinic (which Nigel will get into more in depth), they started with sending me for testing. 

First were blood tests. Now, I have never had any blood tests before in my life. I have given blood numerous times, but never for a blood test and these really covered all the bases. There were typical blood tests for STI’s (which Nigel had to get done as well) as well as testing things such as my thyroid levels, blood type, and immunity to things such as chicken pox and rubella (which I would need to get boosters for if I didn’t still have immunity). 

The blood test that really intrigued me was testing something called AMH which in its base sense tells the doctors how many eggs I have left. It is so weird to think that this is something that can be seen through a blood test and that it is something that they can figure out at all. This was also the only test that I did have to pay for and the first money we have spent on this fertility journey.

Then there was the physical testing – otherwise known as the hysterosalpingogram or HSG. This is a test that uses an x-ray to look at your uterus and fallopian tubes, while they are forcing blue dye through your cervix, fallopian tubes, and into your uterine cavity. 

Before we even got to the point of doing the test though, I had to be able to book one. Currently there are only 4 hospitals in the entire area of the province I live in who are currently doing them and you have to call on Day 1 of your cycle to hopefully book an appointment – which can only happen between days 6-10.  I managed to get an appointment on my second cycle, but it was a very frustrating experience with lots of hospital hold music and some not helpful responses.

The actual procedure was definitely not a pleasant experience. It begins very similarly to a pap smear, but when the dye was inserted it was quite painful for about 10 seconds. They did notice and ask if I was okay, but it fortunately passed pretty quickly. I know it wasn’t as painful for me as it is for other people, and partially that is because fortunately everything looked good and my tubes weren’t blocked. When there are blockages it can be much worse as the dye can’t make it through.

Fortunately everything from my testing seems to be looking good. This will make the next steps much easier as it hopefully won’t be too difficult for me to get pregnant when the time comes, but there are still lots of steps and lots of waiting before we get to that point.

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