Sonohysterogram: What You Need to Know
I’m going to try really hard not to sound like a text book, but until Friday I didn’t know exactly how serious and how important this test is. I promised you that I was going to write this after the appointment, but I needed time to deal with the massive amount of information and emotions. So here’s what you need to know about a sonohysterogram.
What Is a Sonohysterogram?
Sonohystograms are also known as:
- Saline Sonohysterogram (SSH)
- Saline Infusion Sonogram (SIS)
The procedure is done to determine if there are any abnormalities within the uterus, such as, fibroids, polyps, scar tissue, or uterine malformations. All these things can affect pregnancy.
How Is a Sonohysterogram Done?
It’s actually quite simple. You are prepared as if you having a pap smear done. The nurse or technician will ask you to undress from the waist down you will have a towel or cloth placed around you. An absorbent bed mat will be placed under you and on the floor directly beneath you. The doctor will then use a speculum to widen the area. You WILL feel pressure. Your cervix will first be cleansed with a sterile solution; then the catheter will be inserted through your vagina, through your cervix and into your uterus. The catheter itself is very thin and you can barely feel it going through your cervix. The speculum is then removed and the vaginal ultrasound wand will be inserted. You will feel pressure once again. Through the catheter the doctor will then inject sterile saline into the uterus. You may feel slight cramping from the solution. It may also feel cold because it is stored at room temperature. As the saline solution goes through the different areas of the uterus, the doctor performs the ultrasound and taking 3D images of the different areas of your uterus.
Here is a picture showing what abnormal and normal results look like:
What to Expect After the Procedure:
After the procedure you might notice some spotting, this is normal. After-all, your cervix was just invaded by a foreign object, and your uterus prodded! You may also experience some mild to moderate cramping. It shouldn’t last more than 24-48 hours. I would definitely recommend wearing a pad (NOT a pantyliner!) There will be leakage! Don’t get scared it’s just the saline solution draining out of your uterus. I highly suggest taking the rest of the antibiotics as directed by your doctor. If you experience heavy bleeding, a fever, chest or back pains, please contact your doctor immediately as this can be a sign of infection.
I started my antibiotics that morning as directed by the doctor. This is to ensure that no infections occur in the uterus after the catheter has been introduced into it, as well as the saline. I also took an 800mg Motrin, I think it was forty-five minutes before the procedure. This helps minimize cramping during and afterwards. I walk into the doctor’s office, and as I’m taking off my coat, the nurse comes out and presents me with a cup, “Maria we need a urine sample before the procedure.” Luckily for THEM I HAD to pee anyways! I DID just drive an hour and fifteen minutes to get there! I hand her the cup after I’m done and go back out into the waiting room.
About ten minutes pass and I finally get called in. The doctor was very soft spoken, polite, and gentle. He talked me through every step he did, and constantly asked if I was alright. As I’m laying there, and the saline is being injected, I can feel it drip out and onto the mat on the floor. The whole time I’m hearing drip, drip, drip, drip. ANNOYING! The entire procedure pretty much happened as I described above until I saw the doctor’s face once it was over.
- Me: Does everything look good Doctor?
- Doc: Well, not quite.
- Me: What do you mean? What’s wrong?
- Doc: *Points at the screen* There’s something in the upper right corner of your uterus, I think further testing may be necessary.
- Me: Uhm Ok, what does that mean?
- Doc: It could be a number of things really, residual from a miscarriage, polyp, skin tag, or *insert pause here* something else completely.
- Me: *In complete and utter shock and silence.*
- Doc: We’ll show these to Dr. M and see what she wants to do.
- Me: Okay. (In the picture above you can see what my abnormal sono looked like. Please note it is not mine, but it is very similar.)
He leaves the room and I get cleaned up and dressed. I’m asked to sit in the waiting room so that I can go get my blood drawn. My thyroid levels came back a little higher than the normal range! Wooptie Friggin Doo! It just seemed like I had my hopes up a little too high and it all came crashing down in a matter of minutes. What was really nice is that the doctor saw me crying in the conference room and came to check on me. He tried to reassure me, but realistically I’m worried.
We honestly thought that this test was going to come out alright just like last year’s HSG (I’ll go over that one in another post) and we’d be starting our cycle with Clomid. HOW. COULD. I. BE. SO. STUPID?! Was I really this naive and thought that everything would okay and that I’d be closer to our dream? I guess I was.
Now I have to wait until March 13th to talk with my doctor and go over everything. I may be facing a hysteroscopy or another HSG test. The hysteroscopy is a camera inserted through my cervix and into the uterus to see what exactly the abnormality is. I would be under general anesthesia for this one. I will definitely keep you all posted on what the doctor says and what we decide to do.
Have you ever undergone a procedure that was uncomfortable? What were your results and how did you handle it?