Sonohysterogram: About This Test

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Transvaginal ultrasound

What is it?

A sonohysterogram (say "SOH-noh-HISS-ter-uh-gram") is a type of pelvic ultrasound test. It uses reflected sound waves to make a picture of the inside of the uterus.

For this test, a thin, lubricated tool called a transducer is placed in the vagina. The transducer sends and receives the sound waves that create the picture. The doctor or technician puts salt water (saline) into the uterus through a tube inserted into the cervix. The saline separates the walls of the uterus, making features easier to see.

Why is this test done?

A sonohysterogram may be done if other tests don't show enough detail. A clearer view can help to check the uterus for:

  • Growths or masses, scarring, or an abnormal shape.
  • The cause of heavy bleeding, miscarriages, or trouble getting pregnant.

How can you prepare for the test?

  • Schedule this test for the first few days after your period has ended.

What happens before the test?

  • You will need to remove any jewellery that might be in the way of the transducer.
  • You will need to take off most of your clothes and wear a gown during the test.
  • You may take an over-the-counter pain medicine before the test to help relieve cramps during the test.

What happens during the test?

  • You lie down on your back on an examination table with your hips slightly raised.
  • The tip of a transducer is gently put into your vagina. The transducer may be moved around to get a complete view. The images from the test are shown on a video monitor. Then the transducer is removed.
  • A thin flexible tube (catheter) is put into your uterus through your cervix. The doctor uses the tube to inject saline into your uterus.
  • The transducer is put back in and more images are taken. Then it is removed.

What else should you know about the test?

  • You may feel some discomfort as the transducer is put into your vagina.
  • You may feel some cramping when the catheter is inserted through the cervix and the saline is injected into your uterus.
  • This test doesn't use X-rays or an iodine dye. You won't hear or feel the sound waves.

How long does the test take?

  • The test will take about 15 to 30 minutes.

What happens after the test?

  • You probably will be able to go home right away.
  • You can go back to your usual activities right away.
  • You may have some cramping, spotting, or watery discharge for a couple of days after the test. Wearing a pad can help absorb the discharge. You can take an over-the-counter pain medicine to relieve any cramping.

Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse call line if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to keep a list of the medicines you take. Ask your doctor when you can expect to have your test results.

Where can you learn more?

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