Advanced Female Fertility Tests - Sonohysterogram

A sonohysterogram (SHG) is a female fertility test that can help to assess irregularities with regard to the reproductive system, which can be causing infertility problems. As such, this fertility diagnostic tool can help to establish the path of infertility treatment best suited to your individual case.

What is a Sonohysterogram?

A hysterosonogram is a fertility testing tool that identifies uterine abnormalities, particularly in regard to abnormal uterine shape. A hysterosonogram uses a special ultrasound to identify these irregularities, and can also help to identify such other female fertility problems such as whether there are blockages present in a woman's fallopian tubes.

Also known as a hysterosonogram (HSN), a sonohysterogram represents a more specialized form of fertility testing compared to a regular ultrasound and therefore is more accurate in its diagnosis of fertility problems. A hysteroscope is a more accurate diagnostic procedure because it uses a sterile fluid in order to fill up the uterus, causing the uterus to separate into upper and lower walls. This makes it easier for a health care provider to detect uterine abnormalities. In addition, a sonohysterogram is considered to be favorable because it is a less invasive procedure than a hysteroscopy, which involves surgery.

Sonohysterogram Procedure

During a sonohysterogram, a catheter (a soft, flexible tube) is inserted into the cervix. This catheter has rotating capabilities, meaning that all angles of the uterus can be analyzed for irregularities.

An ultrasound probe is then placed into the vagina. Your health care provider will then inject a saline (salt-water) solution in to the uterus, which will enable a clearer view of the uterus for accurate evaluation. You may experience some discomfort during the procedure.

This fertility testing procedure is usually performed during the first week following the final day of a woman's period, but prior to ovulation. Timing is important to this procedure in order to avoid damage to the released egg. Also, at this time during a woman's reproductive cycle, the uterine lining is very thinning, allowing for greater visibility and therefore more accurate results.

Side effects of this procedure include bleeding, slight pain or discomfort. In addition, there may be leaking of the saline solution; wearing a panty liner or tampon can help to minimize the effects of this symptom. In some cases, you may experience an allergic reaction to the color dye (if this is used).

Sonohysterogram and Fertility: Results

A sonohysterogram can help to detect over 90% of all uterine irregularities, including the following:

  • scarring
  • polyps
  • fibroids
  • uterine septum (in which the uterus is divided into two section)
  • bicornuate uterus (irregularly shaped uterus in which the uterus has the shape of a heart as opposed to that of a pear)

If uterine irregularities are found, further testing and treatment will be conducted, including a laparoscopy or tubal surgery.