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The Usefulness of Sonohysterography

Posted Mar 10 2009 3:38pm

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This article is contributed by Sarah Scrafford, who regularly writes on the topic of how to become a pharmacy technician. She invites your questions, comments and freelancing job inquiries at her email address.

A recent study conducted at the Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia has found that sonohysterography (SHG) is a highly effective transvaginal ultrasound technique that improves the ability of doctors to diagnose adenomyosis, a condition that causes severe pelvic pain combined with abnormal and unexplained vaginal bleeding.

SHG is a relatively new technique that allows medical practitioners to view a woman’s uterine cavity more clearly. A soft, plastic catheter is placed in the cervix in conjunction with transvaginal ultrasound, and a sterile saline infusion passed through this tube expands the uterus and also provides a contrast to the lining, thus giving doctors a better idea of what the problem really is.

  • Sonohysterography is especially useful in treating women with infertility – it helps determine the presence of polyps, fibroids or tumors that prevent conception.
  • Besides, it allows doctors to examine the uterine cavity before any surgery like a hysterectomy or a D&C procedure.
  • It also helps in investigating unexplained infertility and repeated miscarriages.
  • It’s a good diagnostic tool to explore unexplained vaginal bleeding in pre and post menopausal women.
  • It allows examination and assessment of the endometrium and reveals endometrial abnormalities.
  • A sonohysterography that’s performed before a suggested hysterectomy can sometimes help you avoid the hysterectomy altogether. So you’re saved the cost, mental stress, physical pain, and recovery from a surgery.

The main advantages of a sonohysterography are:

  • It’s painless and can be administered in a normal ultrasound scan room
  • It does not require the patient to be sedated or under the influence of anesthesia.
  • It is not as expensive as an MRI scan which is normally used to investigate abnormal bleeding
  • It is commonly available at most healthcare facilities.
  • It helps avoid invasive diagnostic procedures
  • It has no side effects and is not very uncomfortable for the patient
  • Diagnosis is quick
  • There are no complications to be worried about

Reference:
Verma SK, Lev-Toaff AS, Baltarowich OH, Bergin D, Verma M, Mitchell DG
Clinical Observations. Adenomyosis: Sonohysterography with MRI Correlation
Am. J. Roentgenol. ; 192: 10.2214/AJR.08.1405

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