So back in the day when I started with my fertility journey with Arlo I had heard about a hysto and what it entails. Only briefly and never imagined I would be undergoing treatment myself. I want to share my story of a hysto for oh so many reasons and feel that it could help someone out there. I have included pictures I took the day after to show you that all was fine after an op.
First off I want to share what an aqua scan is. In this country I still feel and will always feel that they do not investigate men and women enough. They label people as 'infertile' 'unexplained' far too quickly and when a couple is entitled to NHS treatment *cough cough* WHEN...then they throw you through the rounds and don't do that much investigative work in general. This isn't always the case of course and I think it is massive pot luck in regards to where you end up having treatment but my experience of consultants has been shit and I have had a lot of people tell me their experience has been poor too. However, I have equally met couples who have a baby from NHS rounds so let's not poo poo it completely. Anyway, an aqua scan isn't done here much at all. As soon as I arrived in my clinic to try for Arlo I was having one done- no paracetamol! All was above board. However, I met a woman who had, had several successful rounds of IVF after unexplained fertility and she was always told on basic scans all looked fine. When she had the hysto- well OH MY- they found a massive piece of extra tissue running through her uterus which is why every time she had a successful round she miscarried. If she had been given an aqua scan this would have been found and all that heartache and pain wouldn't have had to have happened.
Aquascans are frowned upon because there is a risk of infection but quite frankly, you can have a one night stand and risk a bloody infection so I personally don't worry about it. You take antibiotics after it and the pain is like a period type pain. This clinic in London works closely with my clinic and does them but I am sure on Googling there are a few others. You can also read more about them here.
Following an aquascan you may then be asked to have a hysto. This could be for so many reasons. A hysto is also recommended if you have been miscarrying or as it was in my case, you hadn't had a successful round.
When P said to me she recommends a hysto I didn't bat an eyelid. For me, I was prepared to do anything. I looked up women's opinions on hystos in this country vs my clinic on my private FB group and it was an overwhelming- don't have one in the UK. Interesting hey!!!? So basically a few women had a hysto here and the pain was worse than when they'd had them done in Greece. A few women had reported poor jobs and Greece had to 'sort out' the hysto they had here. I can't be sure on the ins and outs but quite frankly I wasn't prepared to not go to Greece for mine. I told no one apart from one friend who was, and she would admit I am sure, pretty mortified about the idea of me going to Greece to go 'under' for an operation. I didn't tell people because I didn't want them worrying.
Look, the Greeks don't beat around no bush, if you catch my drift. I went there fully prepared to be stripped naked by a Greek nurse and to be flashing my vagina at all who needed access. I'm not a prude and so their ways don't bother me. I went to Greece by myself. My husband stayed at home with my son was of course scared shitless but seriously it was just fine. I landed in Greece at 10pm and went straight for a gyros- obvs- and then straight to the women's hospital for pre-op tests. I left all my jewellery at home and bought the bare basics. I also paid for insurance who covers operations abroad. I chose to stay in a hotel for ease and so I could order room service the next day if I needed to.
I went to my hotel late that night and the taxi driver (who I knew well by now) picked me up at 6am and I went to the hospital. I lay in my gown and they sealed up my phone etc and then put it with security. I then went to the theatre with the most wild Greek male nurse- chatting all sorts and telling me how amazing they are and not to worry. I had my leg in stirrups and they were talking about Brexit!? Next think you know with my vagina on show I had been given the anaesthetic but didn't know and I woke up next to another woman going back to my clinic an hour later. The whole op is like 30 mins.
My taxi driver collected us. I was bleeding but they gave us pads and it was only like a period. I felt no real pain. I then had a meeting with P who shared a video of my hysto. It was fascinating. I had a lot of left over placenta from Arlo which I always thought was the case as something wasn't right after my placenta didn't deliver and the nurses questioned if they'd got it all. A hysto is essentially a procedure that scrapes out your uterus and gets rid of anything that shouldn't be there. I then had deep, and I mean very deep implantation cuts because my uterus was in such a state they wanted to be sure the egg could find that blood supply. P described my uterus wall as concrete for a flower seed to land on and I was on exceptionally strong antibiotics which gave me a really poorly tummy for a month after to be honest. I Googled these and they aren't even a thing here. P said that there was no way for an egg to implant. They give you a 65% higher chance of implantation after a hysto.
I went back to my hotel room, slept, ate and flew home later the next day after some time by the rooftop pool I always sneak into. Voila.
You can find more about hystos here.
I didn't have successful rounds with IUI twice after my hysto which was a real kick in the gut after having it and spending the money however, I have now had implantation since and I believe I may not have, having seen the state of my uterus without a hysto.
Lots of love