ULTRASOUNDS AND HYSTEROSONOGRAMS

 

A hysterosonogram is done to evaluate the inside of the uterus (endometrial cavity) by filling the uterus with fluid during a transvaginal ultrasound. This procedure is also known as a sonohysterogram.

 

Ultrasounds are used for monitoring of ovarian follicle development can provide information about the number and size of developing follicles as well as the reaction of the uterine lining (endometrium) to follicle growth. Transvaginal ultrasound is better than transabdominal ultrasound for monitoring follicle growth, counting the number of follicles, and evaluating the thickness and pattern of growth of the uterine lining.

 

Ultrasound is a rapid, vaginally invasive procedure, is usually not painful, and requires no special dietary preparations. It is performed on an outpatient basis. Results are interpreted by a radiologist or a gynecologist. Testing requires that you empty your bladder and takes about 20 minutes.

 

Why It Is Done

 

Transvaginal ultrasound may be done to:

  • View the external structures of the uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries.
  • Monitor the development of follicles in the ovary leading to ovulation.
  • View the uterus and uterine lining.
  • Guide the needle used to remove eggs to be used in assisted reproductive techniques.
  • Counting egg follicles in the ovaries, which can be used to give an estimate of treatment success.

See the chart below for a comparison between ultrasound and laparoscopy for assisted reproductive techniques:

 

Advantages of ultrasound over laparoscopy Disadvantages of using ultrasound for guidance
Less trauma Inability to stabilize freely mobile ovaries
No need for general anesthetic, which can cause complications Less diagnostic information can be obtained
Less expensive Cannot be used for gamete intrafallopian transfer (GIFT), the transfer of eggs and sperm into the fallopian tube through a small abdominal incision
Does not require gas to expand the abdomen so the doctor can see  Less likely that complications such as internal bleeding will be detected
Less invasive (especially important when several cycles of treatment are required)

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