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Gynecology & Obstetrics

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Prepare for a Procedure

Preparing for a procedure can be a confusing and anxiety-provoking experience. Our physicians and staff at the Johns Hopkins Fertility Center excel at diagnosing and treating fertility issues, and want you to be comfortable with your treatment alternatives. To this end we have prepared a list of different procedures and the recommended preparations. Please call if you have any questions — telephone numbers are listed at the bottom of the page.

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.

Endometrial Biopsy

The endometrial biopsy — a biopsy of the inner lining of your uterus — is taken two to three days before your expected menstrual period. 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: A urinary pregnancy test will be done before you undergo the biopsy. The biopsy will be cancelled if you are pregnant. 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.

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.

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.

Important Phone Numbers

Hysterosalpingogram (HSG):
410-583-2750 or 410-583-2753*
Semen analysis/specimen preparation:
Sperm cryopreservation for cancer patients:
Surgery: Drs. Christianson & Zacur:*
410-583-2750 or
Surgery: Dr. Garcia & Dr. Cross:
410-583-2753* or
Emergency contact:
Fertility Center nurses:

Physician Support Staff for Nonemergency Calls:

Dr. Mindy Christianson:
Jennifer at 410-583-2750 or
Dr. Jairo Garcia:
Melony at 410-583-2753 or
Dr. Chantel Cross:
Melony at 410-583-2753 or
Dr. Howard Zacur:
Jennifer at 410-583-2750 or
Dr. Ping Xia:

Things We Will Need When Scheduling Your Procedure:

  • Your full name
  • Your physician’s name
  • Your date of birth
  • Your phone numbers (home, work, cell)
  • Day 1 of your period (red flow)
  • How many days you have a menstrual flow
  • The interval from one menstrual cycle to the next (e.g., 28, 30, 32, 6090 days)
  • Allergies to anesthesia or medicines (e.g., hives, breathing problems)
  • Any prior reaction to anesthesia
  • Notable surgical history (e.g., prior gynecological surgery, organ transplant, colostomy)
  • Let us know of any health issues, such as diabetes or coronary problems