Do I Need a Uterine Ultrasound?

Medically Reviewed by Traci C. Johnson, MD on November 27, 2022
2 min read

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 them 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. They might also use a sonohysterography to check for scarring inside your uterus or to see if it’s abnormally shaped.

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, they’ll remove the transducer and use a speculum to open your vagina. This allows them to see your cervix. Then they’ll place a thin catheter into your uterus and take the speculum out, leaving the catheter in place. Next they’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 they are injecting the fluid, they 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.


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

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 they find any of these things in your report.

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. Some doctors recommend nothing in the vagina for a few days after the procedure.

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