Saline infusion sonohysterography also known as Sonohysterogram is a type of ultrasound which is performed as a uterine scan. In this procedure a small amount of saline solution is inserted into the uterus to facilitate a clear and fault free ultrasound scan. The saline solution allows the lining of the uterus to be clearly seen in the ultrasound. Saline Infusions & Sonohysterogram Procedure is used as a diagnostic tool and this procedure facilitates the identification of problems inside the uterus. The saline infusion and Sonohysterogram procedures are imaging tests that help to evaluate the reproductive structures in females. It is similar to a transvaginal ultrasound with the difference that a saline or sterile solution is filled in the uterus for better imaging.
Why is Saline Infusions & Sonohysterogram Procedure Done?
The saline infusion and Sonohysterogram procedure is used to evaluate the condition of the uterus to check the existence of any problems, such as polyps, fibroids, post-conception retention, any abnormality of the uterus or scars in the uterine cavity.The identification of such problems in the uterus is essential when there is abnormal bleeding from the vagina, infertility or repeated miscarriages. As the saline solutions give a better imaging of the uterus, the problems occurring in the uterus can be identified more clearly and treated accordingly through saline infusions & sonohysterogram procedure. Other problems such as blockages in the blood flow due to clots, tumour or other abnormal formations can be identified by saline infusions & sonohysterogram procedure.
How is the Saline Infusions & Sonohysterogram Procedure Performed?
The procedure is ideally performed about a week after the menstrual cycle is over. For women who are not menstruating or are take medications to suppress menstrual cycles, saline infusions & sonohysterogram procedure can be performed any time. Saline infusions & sonohysterogram procedure is performed by filling in the uterus with a saline solution or a sterile solution with the help of a sterile catheter. The catheter is inserted into the uterus through the vagina and cervix in order to position the imaging device closer to the reproductive organ for the best imaging of the uterus. The imaging device commonly referred to as ultrasound probe, sends out sound waves to capture the images. The sound waves are inaudible to the human ears. The images captured by the probe are studied to diagnose any abnormality or malformations in the uterus. The time taken for saline infusions & sonohysterogram procedure to be completed is about half-an-hour.
What are the Risks and Benefits of Saline Infusions & Sonohysterogram Procedure?
The saline infusion and Sonohysterogram procedures are rather safe with minimum or no risk factors. The occurrences of any major and serious complications with saline infusion and Sonohysterogram procedures are rare. The only rare risk is that of an infection within the uterus that can be treated with antibiotic medications. Other than an infection; slight discomfort, mild blood staining or cramps can occur after saline infusion and Sonohysterogram procedure for which over the counter medications can be taken. Hence, overall saline infusion and Sonohysterogram procedures are completely safe and therefore can be chosen for getting best diagnosis of internal problems in the female reproductive system if any.
The main benefit of the saline infusion and Sonohysterogram procedure is that it is a non-invasive ultrasound. This means there is no use of needles or injections in this procedure. There is no pain while performing saline infusion and Sonohysterogram procedure, only a mild discomfort can be felt which subsides away in a while. Thus without any sort of pain or inconvenience, one gets to have clear images of the uterus with the help of saline infusion and Sonohysterogram procedure for proper diagnosis of any problem.
As there is no use of radiation in saline infusion and sonohysterogram procedure, it is absolutely safe and no danger or damage to the organs or fetus (if the patient is pregnant) can occur. Hence it is the most advisable method these days, especially after considering the benefits attached with saline infusion and Sonohysterogram procedures.
Are there any After Effects of Saline Infusions & Sonohysterogram Procedure?
A general discomfort can be felt by the patient during and after the saline infusion procedure is performed which stops after some time. As the catheter is a small pipe, the chances of pain or and major discomfort can be ruled out. Significant cramping can be felt by the patient due to the insertion of probe or the saline or sterile solution into the uterus through the vagina.When the probe and the catheter is withdrawn, the patient can experience slight bleeding, for which the use of sanitary napkins is suggested till the bleeding completely stops.
What are the Limitations of Saline Infusions & Sonohysterogram Procedure?
One of the main concerns while performing the saline infusion and Sonohysterogram procedure is the presence of any inflammatory disease in the patient. Any such condition already existing in the patient can restrict the execution of saline infusion and sonohysterogram procedure. For women who have stenosis of the cervix, saline infusion and sonohysterogram procedure may be difficult to perform as it requires insertion of catheter. The size and structure of the fallopian tube can also limit the success of saline infusion and sonohysterogram procedure. For the insertion of the catheter, the uterine cavity needs to be expanded. If the expansion is not proper, the injection of the saline solution may be inadequate resulting to low quality imaging.
The procedure of saline infusion and sonohysterogram is preferred over transvaginal ultrasound as it gives better imaging results for accurate diagnosis of problems in the uterus. This is extremely helpful in identification of the problem so that the appropriate treatment can be given.The insertion of saline or sterile solution facilitates a clearer picture of the uterine wall. The procedure is sufficient enough to identify and catch abnormalities in the uterus and distinguish the type of the abnormality. Saline infusion and sonohysterogram procedure is extremely safe and is a reliable way to identify the occurrence of polyps, fibroids, congenital defects and other malformations in the uterus. While saline infusion and sonohysterogram procedure involves minimum risk and side effects, there is a little discomfort experienced by the patients.