A sonohysterogram is a specialized ultrasound of the uterus and fallopian tubes to determine the suspected intrauterine abnormalities. Suppose your doctor has asked you to undergo a saline sonohysterogram test. In that case, it may be to determine the actual cause of the uterine problems such as abnormal menstrual bleeding, cramping, infertility, or pelvic pain. Your doctor may also perform the exam before the IVF treatment to possibly rule out difficulties that could arise during the embryo implantation.
Saline infusion sonohysterography (SHG) is a non-invasive transvaginal ultrasound that introduces saline water inside the uterine cavity. The exam does not use radiation and is a painless procedure. It uses sound waves that create real-time images of the inside of your uterus on a computer.
During the sonohysterogram exam, a skinny tube, called a catheter, is gently inserted inside the cervical opening. Then a saline solution is slowly introduced into the uterine cavity through the catheter. The saline solution gently stretches the uterus, making the uterine walls move away from each other. This stretching of the uterus causes the transvaginal ultrasound wand to evaluate the condition of the uterus precisely. Also, the fluid pathway through the sonohysterogram fallopian tubes provides the details of its defects on ultrasound.
Then a long and slender wand (transducer) is inserted into the vagina. The wand, in turn, emits sound waves that bounce back echoes. The transducer records these echoes and sends them to the computer screen, where a real-time image of the uterus’s inside is developed.
Your doctor can perform SHG without using the saline solution as it is done during pregnancy. However, the results with saline solution are precise and beneficial.
SHG exam evaluates uterine abnormalities, such as uterine adhesion or scarring. It also considers endometrium problems and many other disorders such as abnormal pelvic pain or pressure, irregular shape or size of the uterus, and repeated miscarriages.
Your doctor may also perform SHG during fertility testing. It gives a close glimpse of the endometrial cavity. It enables the doctor to evaluate the thickness of the endometrial lining and any irregularities that could interfere with pregnancy. Here are the benefits of Sonohysterogram:
Sonohysterography is a very safe procedure with rare chances of complications and risks. Some women may feel minor discomfort during the process that vanishes quickly after the test. There is a low risk of infection (in very rare cases) that needs doctor consultation.
However, SHG may sometimes cause mild pain, spotting, or vaginal bleeding in some women, but that gets cured in a day or two. Due to this, a sonohysterogram during the period is not recommended. However, you don’t need to contact a doctor or be anxious about these mild problems. However, pregnant women and women with active pelvic or vaginal infections should not undergo this procedure.
An SHG exam may cost between $500 and $700. And, if your doctor has prescribed a combination of tests, the cost will be more. Although insurance covers this test, it may not be covered if it is advised for IVF treatment. So, make sure to confirm with your insurance provider and the financial advisor at the fertility clinic to find out if your medical insurance covers it.
Many other tests are used to evaluate the abnormalities of the uterine cavity, endometrium, and fallopian tubes. Other tests are:
HSG is an age-old method that uses X-rays for evaluating tubal health. It places an iodinated contrast through the cervix and takes X-rays to assess the shape of the uterus and fallopian tubes.
This ultrasound is done without using the saline solution to assess the uterus and the ovaries. The test doesn’t check the fallopian tubes because of the lack of contrast fluid.
Laparoscopy is an operative procedure and needs the use of anesthesia. In this test, the doctor makes one, two, or three tiny cuts in the abdomen through which they insert a laparoscope and other specialized surgical instruments. It would be best to have hospitalization in this test for a day and at least 15 days’ rest at home.
Your doctor may ask for an SHG test or any of the above tests or even a combination of an SHG and an HSG, depending upon your conditions. A combination of tests is generally performed to detect some complex uterine fertility problems.
Well, this is the question that comes to every woman’s mind when her doctor advises an SHG. Although a sonohysterogram exam doesn’t hurt, you may feel –
All these side effects of a sonohysterogram may vary from woman to woman and fade away either right after the test, in a few hours, or a day or two. If you find it difficult to bear with the pain and discomfort, talk to your doctor, who may prescribe you an over-the-counter medicine.
Certain factors can make SHG more uncomfortable, including:
Discuss with your doctor the potential risks, pains, and discomfort before undergoing the SHG test. It will help in relaxing your mind at the time of the test.
Hysterosalpingogram (HSG) is an X-Ray of the abdomen that helps the doctor find out the condition of the fallopian tubes. The doctor may suggest this test to check whether tubes are open or blocked. The doctor performs the test to investigate the reasons for miscarriages, such as tumors, adhesions, or uterine fibroids. However, the test has a few disadvantages, such as:
In contrast, SHG doesn’t use any iodine contrast; also, there is no radiation risk. The procedure is comparatively safe and painless. It is cost-effective, quick to perform, and delivers precise results.
Doctors do not recommend sonohysterography during periods. They suggest the test in the mid-cycle of menstruation (from day 6 to 10 of a regular 28-day cycle). This duration is best suited as it helps in visualizing the thin endometrium with maximum clarity. Also, the risks of disturbing an early pregnancy or infections are less.
Although you don’t need special preparation before the exam, but-
The sonohysterogram procedure utilizes sound waves to get clear pictures of the inside of a woman’s uterus. These pictures help the doctor diagnose unexplained vaginal bleeding and many other uterus anomalies. This test uses a saline solution and is also known as saline infusion sonography (SIS).
The SHG test is performed very much like a regular gynecologic exam. Still, it involves the insertion of the transducer (a long and slender wand) and saline solution into the woman’s vagina on an empty bladder. The doctor inserts a small tube (catheter) into the vagina and injects a small sterile saline solution into the uterus cavity. Then, the doctor inserts an ultrasound transducer into the vagina. High-frequency sound waves travel from the transducer into the body, and it recollects the waves that bounce back. A computer uses these sound waves to create a real-time image of the inside of the uterus. It is a non-invasive medical test and helps doctors diagnose and treat a woman’s uterus-related medical conditions.
The sonohysterography test is performed by a radiologist or technician at a healthcare provider’s office or a hospital. You can expect the following during the test:
In most cases, you can resume your normal activities right after the procedure. But, for a few minutes or hours after the procedure, you may experience a few symptoms like:
All the after-effects mentioned above are usual and nothing to be worried about. However, most women do not feel any pain after the procedure; you can take over-the-counter painkillers if you think so.
If you experience symptoms that are not normal, like-
These might be indications of a rare pelvic infection associated with sonohysterography. These symptoms are alarming, and you need to see your doctor. Your doctor may examine your conditions and accordingly either prescribe some medication or other diagnostic tests.
A sonohysterogram is a transvaginal ultrasound that puts saline fluid into the uterus cavity to judge the condition of the uterine cavity. The primary purpose of performing this test is to make sure your uterus and fallopian tubes are healthy and fit for a pregnancy to grow. It is a cost-effective, safe, and low-risk diagnostic test and doesn’t need any special sonohysterogram preparation.
The SHG offers a simultaneous view of the uterine cavity, endometrium, and fallopian tubes. It is the preferred choice of doctors as a first-line diagnostic procedure for finding the cause of abnormal uterine bleeding, abnormalities, and infertility.
The sonohysterography exam takes about 45 minutes. While the preliminary pelvic scan may take approx. 20 minutes, the saline sonohysterography procedure will take around 15 minutes, making the total time to be approx. 45 minutes.
A doctor trained in supervising and interpreting radiology exams, called a radiologist, will analyze the images produced in the sonohysterography test. The radiologist will create a signed report and send it to the doctor who asked for the examination. The doctor will go through the reports and share the results with you. In some cases (if you insist), the radiologist may also discuss the test results with you after the exam.
After checking your test reports, your doctor may ask for some follow-up exams and explain your reasons and needs. The follow-up exams are performed to find out other potential causes or effects of the abnormality.
This post was last modified on July 21, 2021 7:04 pm
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