A sonohysterogram is a special ultrasound test used to examine the inside of the uterine cavity closely. Sonohysterograms are often prescribed after a normal ultrasound has been performed but the cause of internal problems (such as heavy bleeding or trouble getting pregnant) is still not clear.

Sonohysterograms offer doctors a detailed look into the uterus, allowing them to check for abnormal structure, masses or growths, scarring, and other irregular shapes or issues that might be at the root of the problem. Because of how specific and accurate this test is, it’s often also used to search for polyps and fibroids, which might be missed during a regular ultrasound or a hysterosalpingogram.

How the Test is Performed

Sonohysterograms are performed by inserting a small catheter into the cervix, and filling the uterus with a saline solution. Once filled, your doctor will then insert an ultrasound wand, which will send images to the ultrasound screen. The uterus and walls are easily visualized this way, and any abnormalities such as fibroids or polyps are very apparent.

The complete sonohystergram takes less than 30 minutes. During the entire procedure, it’s very important that you remain perfectly still, as movement could displace the ultrasound wand and might interfere with the quality of the pictures. If you are anxious about any discomfort, you can take up to 800mg of over-the-counter ibuprofen about one hour prior to the appointment. This will ease soreness and help prevent cramps during the procedure.

A Few Things to Keep in Mind

When scheduling your appointment for a sonohysterogram, keep in mind that:

  • The ideal time for a sonohysterogram is one week after your period because the uterine lining is thinner at that time and that provides the best possible view of the uterine walls and any issues that might be present. Sonohysterograms cannot be performed during your menstrual bleeding.
  • Sonohysterograms cannot be done if you’re pregnant.
  • If you are currently suffering from a pelvic infection, have a sexually transmitted disease or have another health issue connected to your pelvis or reproductive organs, let your doctor know in advance. You might need to treat those problems first, before a sonohysterogram can be performed.
  • If your cervix is too tight or your uterus won’t expand properly because of scar tissue, the results might be affected or might be impossible to perform.

While sonohysterograms are safe, there’s a small risk of pelvic infection, cramping or spotting after the procedure. If you experience severe pain, fever or a vaginal discharge that doesn’t go away after several hours, call your doctor immediately.

Sonohysterograms are performed right here in our office, and no special preparation is needed. One of the benefits to sonohysterogram in the office is that your results are immediately available, and your physician can discuss options that very same day.

Possible Results

The results of a sonohysterogram are classified as either Normal or Abnormal.

Normal results indicate that the shape and size of the uterus is normal and there are no growths or masses in the uterus.

Abnormal results can indicate that the uterus looks enlarged or is abnormally shaped. It can also be an indication that there is an abnormal growth or mass (anything from tumors to fibroids to scar tissue) is present in the uterus. It’s also possible for the uterus to have something called septum (tissue that divides the uterus) in it.

Once the results are obtained, your doctor will discuss your treatment options and figure out the best path to take to deal with your problem quickly and effectively.