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What is a saline sonogram?
A saline sonogram is a procedure to evaluate the uterus and the shape of the uterine cavity. Saline sonogram uses ultrasound and sterile fluid to show the uterus and endometrial (uterine lining) cavity. The ovaries are also seen at the time of the procedure. The purpose is to detect any abnormalities.
Typically, your consultant will recommend a saline sonogram if you:
- Had an ultrasound that was inconclusive and more views are needed
- Struggle with infertility
- Have pelvic pain
- Have two or more miscarriages in a row
- Abnormal menstrual cramps
- Will be having IVF treatment
- Experience irregular or heavy and they are considering polyps or fibroids postmenopausal bleeding
What to expect at your appointment
First, a sterile speculum is placed in the vagina, just like for a Pap test. The cervix is visualized and the cervix and vagina are cleaned off with a soap solution. Then, a soft flexible tube, thinner than the inside of a pen, is passed into the uterus via the cervix. Most people don’t feel this at all while some feel it minimally. Sometimes your doctor may provide a medication in advance to soften the cervix in post-menopausal women for ease of passage of soft flexible tube.
The speculum is removed and the ultrasound probe inserted. While the ultrasonographer takes images of the uterus, sterile liquid is gently injected through the thin tube, or catheter. You may feel a little bloating or cramping, but most women don’t feel much. After the pictures are recorded, the probe and the catheter slip right out.
The results of the scan are shared with the referring doctor, who will use them to make a treatment plan for your specific situation.