A hysterosonogram (HSN) is also known by the names sonohysterogram, saline ultrasound, saline sonogram, or saline infusion sonogram. A HSN is a minimally invasive ultrasound procedure that may determine if there are abnormalities inside the uterus that can interfere with conceiving. It is important to have an evaluation of the uterine cavity with a sonohysterogram or other method before proceeding with an IVF cycle. Compared to a regular ultrasound, a sonohysterogram is better at detecting abnormalities on the inside walls of the uterus as it involves infusing sterile fluid inside the uterus. This way, the walls of uterus separate from each other and any abnormalities that might have been hiding right along the sides of the walls will be easily identified. This test involves no radiation, and there are very few risks from the procedure.

A HSN is often recommended for women who are having difficulty conceiving or for women who are having recurring miscarriages. In some cases, a HSN may be used for a woman who is experiencing abnormal vaginal bleeding. Since a sonohysterogram gives such a detailed view of the inside walls of the uterus, it can identify many types of abnormalities that might prevent a normal pregnancy from developing. Some of these abnormalities include:

  • Polyps
  • Fibroids
  • Scar tissue
  • Uterine septum
  • Bicornuate Uterus

What are some HSN risks?

Infection: Bacteria normally present in the vagina may be inadvertently transferred into the abdominal cavity by the catheter. These bacteria may cause an infection subsequently. Treatment of infections may require oral or intravenous antibiotics while more severe infections may require surgery.

Bleeding: Small amounts of blood loss are common during this procedure and may result from trauma related to catheter placement, dilation of the cervical canal to assist with catheter placement or irritation of the uterine lining.

Trauma: Manipulation of the cervix to assist with catheter placement may result in damage to the cervix, uterus, fallopian tubes or adjacent structures. Trauma may require additional treatments.

Allergic reaction: Before placing the catheter into the uterus, the cervix is cleaned with iodine. Iodine may cause an allergic reaction in some individuals.

Possible Side effects of HSN

  • Uterine cramps
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Uterine/vaginal bleeding
  • Dizziness and/or lightheadedness

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