Trigger warning: Infertility
It’s now November 2015. My OB-GYN in all of her cluelessness, refers me to a fertility specialist. Five minutes with this man and he says “You’re a textbook case of PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome).” I beg your pardon?
He went on to explain that I don’t make the proper hormones, nor quantity, and I don’t ovulate. Getting pregnant would be hard, but not impossible. He recommended running some tests in his office in downtown Chicago.
I had no idea what I was getting myself into. In my more naive, small minded years, I looked at women who went through IVF and thought.. “No way in hell will I ever be that woman. If it comes to that I just won’t have kids.”
But that’s the funny thing about having a dream. You do all the things you said you never would.
The first test was a HSG, which is short for hysterosalpingogram. A very scientific word for the most painful thing I had gone through up to this point (spoiler alert, it’s not THE most painful thing I’ve gone through). I had been warned how painful HSG’s could be, but I wasn’t prepared. The whole point of the test is to determine if you have any blockages in your fallopian tubes, by injecting copius amounts of contrast dye into your uterus with the intention to see said dye spill from the ends of your tubes (Anatomy 101: Fallopian tubes attach to the uterus but not the ovary. They’re open-ended and operate like a vacuum.) I’ll spare you the details of how the test is prepped, but you’re welcome to Google that. It involves a speculum, a catheter, contrast dye, and two medical assistants holding your legs open – it’s definitely not your average pap-smear.
Turns out, neither tube was open.
Also turns out that if they’re blocked, your uterus just fills up with contrast like a water balloon and you writhe in pain until you tap out and make them stop.
To say I was crushed would be an understatement. So I’m not only facing PCOS, I’m facing blocked and/or non-existent tubes. What the fuck. Hot tears burned my eyes and rolled down my cheeks like Niagara Falls. I felt so defeated.