Prepare for a Procedure

Preparing for a procedure can be a confusing and anxiety-provoking experience. To help simplify this process, our expert physicians and staff at the Johns Hopkins Fertility Center have gathered a list of common procedures and provided the recommended preparations for each. 

Hysterosalpingogram (HSG)

An HSG is a radiographic evaluation of the uterine cavity and the fallopian tubes. An iodine contrast dye is used, except if you are allergic to iodine or shellfish (if so, we can premedicate you, but you will need a prescription from your physician). The test is performed at the Johns Hopkins Outpatient Center, in the radiology department (601 N. Caroline Street, fourth floor).

Preparation: The HSG may cause some discomfort, so you can take 400 milligrams of ibuprofen or 500 milligrams of acetaminophen (Tylenol®) a half-hour before and one hour after the procedure. There are no dietary restrictions.

For questions about your upcoming HSG, contact us at 410-583-2750 or 410-583-2753.

Endometrial Biopsy

The endometrial biopsy is a sample of the inner lining of your uterus. The biopsy will be used to determine:

  • If abnormal cells are present.
  • The cause of abnormal menstrual bleeding.
  • If your hormones (estrogen and progesterone) are causing the natural changes to the endometrium throughout the menstrual cycle.
  • If the endometrium is receptive for embryo implantation.

A tiny sample of the endometrium is taken and sent to the pathologist for examination. The test is done at the clinic office (10753 Falls Road, Suite 335).

Preparation: You may experience slight discomfort during the procedure. You may temporarily experience the feeling of menstrual cramping afterward.

Please tell the physician if you have had a recent gynecological infection, and refrain from using vaginal sprays, powders or tampons 24 hours before the biopsy.

For questions about endometrial biopsy, call us at 410-847-3650.

Saline Infusion Ultrasound

A saline infusion ultrasound is a special type of ultrasound procedure where sterile fluid is used to help visualize the inside portion of the uterus, known as the uterine cavity. During this procedure, your doctor can evaluate your uterine cavity for the presence of fibroids, polyps, scar tissue or other structural uterine abnormalities that may impact your ability to become pregnant or carry the pregnancy. We can also determine whether or not your fallopian tubes are open or blocked. The test is performed in our clinical office (10753 Falls Road, Suite 335).

Preparation: This ultrasound is performed during the first half of your menstrual cycle (after your period ends, but before ovulation).  Please refrain from unprotected intercourse prior to the procedure to avoid any chances of pregnancy.

We recommend that you call to schedule the appointment when you get your period, by calling 410-847-3835. Our expert staff will work with you to determine the best time to schedule an appointment based upon your cycle.

Some patients experience cramping or slight discomfort during the procedure. You may take acetaminophen or ibuprofen prior to the procedure to manage this discomfort.

Please tell the physician if you have had a recent gynecological infection or have had unprotected intercourse since your period began, and we will reschedule your appointment.

Semen Analysis

Semen analysis enables the physician to know the sperm count, motility (activity), shape of the sperm (normal or abnormal) and volume. You must have no more than a three-day interval of sexual abstinence before the procedure. The andrology lab has collection rooms available on-site. We prefer on-site collection as this will provide the best results. You will need to call ahead to schedule the appointment, and your physician will need to place an order in advance.

For questions about sperm preparation or analysis, contact us at 410-583-2714.

Sperm Cryopreservation for Cancer Patients

Our Johns Hopkins family of patients who will undergo cancer treatment and who wish to preserve their fertility options can also have their sperm cryopreserved. Your oncology physician needs to call 410-583-2794 to make the necessary arrangements. We will need current testing results for infectious diseases including HIV, hepatitis B, hepatitis C and syphilis. Please have your physician fax results to 410-583-2792.

For questions about sperm cryopreservation, contact us at 410-583-2794.