What to expect from your hysterosonogram and what it can tell you.
How to Prepare for Your Hysterosonogram
If you are struggling with fertility or have experienced a pregnancy loss, there may be a medical cause. Your doctor might recommend an hysterosonogram—also called a sonohysterogram, or saline infusion sonography—to diagnose your problem.
Here is what to expect from such a test, from the maternal-fetal medicine specialists at Valley Perinatal Services.
When Hysterosonograms are Performed
Hysterosonograms are usually performed when you are struggling to conceive, experience abnormal vaginal bleeding, or if you have had multiple miscarriages. They may also be performed on women who have taken the drug tamoxifen (Nolvadex) as part of their breast cancer therapy.
The test uses similar technology to a pelvic ultrasound and can be used as a screening test in place of, or to minimize the use of, more invasive procedures. It may also be used to follow up after uterine surgery.
When performing a hysterosonogram, gynecologists and radiologists are looking for any of the following uterine abnormalities:
- Fibroids (also called leiomyomas)
- Scar tissue or adhesions
- Other masses or growths
- Congenital defects
- The extent of endometriosis
Preparing for a Hysterosonograms Test
For best results, the test needs to be performed before you ovulate but after your period has ended. For most women, this puts the test date between days seven and ten of the menstrual cycle. The timing may vary based on the symptoms you are experiencing and what your doctor suspects is causing them. This timing will keep the test from interfering with a possible pregnancy, reduce the risk of infection, and is when the endometrium, or uterine lining, is thinnest which is optimal for determining if it’s normal. Like other ultrasound tests, you may be instructed to drink water before your appointment to fill your bladder.
The test is generally not painful, but you might benefit from taking an ibuprofen an hour before the exam to relieve any discomfort. This test should not be performed on patients with active, uncontrolled pelvic inflammatory disease and may be difficult for women with cervical stenosis or large fibroids that could interfere with the test.
During the Hysterosonogram Test
Hysterosonograms begin similar to a transvaginal, then a catheter is inserted to infuse a sterile saline solution into your uterus in order to expand it and increase the visibility of reproductive organs.
After the test, you might experience light bleeding or spotting as well as discharge. If you experience symptoms of infection—abnormal bleeding, fever, or abdominal pain—contact your doctor immediately.
Valley Perinatal Services Gynecological Imaging
Your gynecological health is always important, but especially when you are hoping to conceive a child. You cannot seek treatment until you know what the problem is, and a hysterosonogram and other imaging tests is the first step in getting a diagnosis.
For mothers and OB/Gyns in and around Phoenix who are looking for co-management of a high-risk pregnancy situation, Valley Perinatal Services can help. Our seven locations offer screening and tests tailored to your unique medical situation. For more information, call 480.756.6000 or contact us online.