Hysterosonogram, also termed as sonohysterography, is a procedure for using sound waves for producing pictures of the inside of a woman’s uterus. This can help to diagnose vaginal bleeding. Hysterosonogram is performed like a gynecologic exam and involves the insertion of the transducer into the vagina after the bladder is emptied.
It is best that this procedure is performed after one week of menstruation for avoiding the risk of any infection. Little or no special preparation is needed for this procedure.
Your doctor might recommend this test for diagnosing various medical conditions, which include:
- Uterine fibroids
- Uterine polyps
- Uterine cancer
- Scarring inside the uterus
- Abnormal shape of the uterus
This test might also be advised if you show symptoms of problems in your uterus, such as:
- Abnormal menstrual bleeding
- An abnormal pelvic exam
- Multiple miscarriages
This test can also be required if a standard ultrasound test is not able to show enough information for diagnosing your problem.
Hysterosonogram has some benefits over other tests, such as hysteroscopy and MRI. The former requires anesthetic, while the latter might not give as clear a picture of the inside of the uterus.
Make sure that you are wearing comfortable and loose-fitting clothing. It might also be required that you remove all your clothing and jewelry in the area that needs the examination. You also might be asked to wear a gown during the procedure.
It is best to perform this test one week after menstruation to avoid any risk of infection. At this time in the menstrual cycle, the endometrium is at its thinnest, and this is the best time for determining if the endometrium is normal. The timing of the exam may however vary depending on the symptoms and their suspected origins. If you are pregnant, then you should not undergo the test.
Generally, the exam doesn’t require much special preparation. Your doctor may advise you to take an over-the-counter medication before the procedure. This can help to minimize any potential discomfort.
This procedure can be performed at your doctor’s office or at a hospital. A technician or a radiologist might do the procedure. Generally, the test should be done in around 30 minutes.
First, you will need to empty the bladder. Then you will need to undress from the waist down and lie on your exam table. You will be awake and alert for the test. You might also experience mild cramping during and after your procedure.
The doctor/technician will be covering the transducer wand with a thin sheath and a special gel. Then the wand will be put into the vagina. The wand will be moved slightly to get different images of the uterus. These images appear on a video screen.
After the images are taken, your doctor/technician will take the transducer out. He/she will next insert a speculum into the vagina. This helps in keeping the vagina open so that he/she can see and reach your cervix.
Next, a swab might be used for wiping and cleaning your cervix. As the catheter is inserted, you might feel a slight pinching or cramping as the catheter is inserted. Then the speculum is removed from the vagina.
Then your doctor/technician will put the wand back in the vagina. Through the catheter, saline is sent through the cervix and into the uterus. This might cause a little cramping. After enough saline fills the uterus images are taken of the inside of the uterus.
Once this is done, your healthcare provider will be removing the wand and catheter. Over the next few hours, the saline fluid will be draining out of your uterus.
You should most likely be able to go home right after the procedure. You should also be able to resume your normal routine right away.
It is notable that for some time after the procedure, you might experience a few symptoms, which can include cramping and light spotting from the vagina.
If you experience severe pain or fever in the next few days, then it is important to inform your doctor right away. Also let him know if there is any change in the amount of your vaginal discharge, as this can be a sign of an infection. You will also receive a few instructions as well from your doctor.
After the test, a radiologist will look at the images and send a report to your primary doctor. These results may confirm a condition that requires treatment. You will need to talk about these results with him/her. In some cases, an additional test such as hysteroscopy might also be required.
Though hysterosonogram is a safe procedure with minimal risks, some women might feel a little discomfort during the procedure. There is also a small risk of pelvic infection, though this is very rare. Your doctor will take steps for preventing this.
If you are pregnant, or you are having active pelvic inflammatory disease, then you should not undergo the procedure. It is best to discuss all benefits and risks of the procedure before you undergo it.