Do I Need a Uterine Ultrasound?

If you’re having unusual bleeding (especially after menopause), repeat miscarriages, or a hard time getting pregnant, your doctor might suggest a special type of uterine ultrasound, also known as a sonohysterography. It’s a procedure that can give her a clearer look at the inside of your uterus.

It’s usually used to look for things regular ultrasounds can���t see, like abnormal growths, fibroid tumors, or polyps. She might also use a sonohysterography to check for scarring inside your uterus or to see if it’s abnormally shaped.

How Is It Done?

First your doctor will perform a transvaginal ultrasound by inserting a thin wand, an ultrasound transducer, into your vagina. The ultrasound transducer will take images of the inside of your womb.

After the transvaginal ultrasound, she’ll remove the transducer and use a speculum to open your vagina. This allows her to see into your cervix. Then she’ll place a thin catheter into your uterus and take the speculum out, leaving the catheter in place. Next she’ll reinsert the ultrasound transducer and gently inject sterile solution (usually saline) through the catheter into your cervix and uterus.

The fluid will make your uterus expand and may cause some discomfort. As she is injecting the fluid, she will use the ultrasound transducer to get images of the inside of your uterus and your uterine lining. The entire process takes between 15 and 30 minutes.

Do I Need One?

Your doctor will know for sure, but she won’t perform the procedure if you’re menstruating or pregnant. She’ll likely order a pregnancy test before the sonohysterography to be sure.

What Do the Results Show?

A normal reading means that your uterus is shaped normally. It also means the doctor didn’t find any growths.

An abnormal reading means your doctor did find something present in your uterus, which could include fibroids, polyps, or scar tissue. The sonohysterography may also show that your uterus is shaped abnormally.

Your doctor will talk to you about the best course of treatment if she finds any of these things in your report.

What Can I Expect Afterward?

You’ll be able to drive yourself home. You may have some light cramping, spotting, or a watery discharge for a few days. There’s also a very slight risk of infection.

Call your doctor right away if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • Fever of 100.4 F or higher
  • Foul-smelling discharge
  • Heavy bleeding
  • Pain you can’t relieve with over-the-counter painkillers
WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson, MD on November 10, 2018

Sources

SOURCES:

American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists: “Sonohysterography.”

Cleveland Clinic: “Uterine Polyps.”

Saint Luke’s Health System: “Sonohysterography.”

Emory University School of Medicine: “Sonohysterogram.”

Carolina Women’s Health: “Sonohysterogram.”

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