IVF, or in vitro fertilization, is a popular assisted reproductive technology used by many couples who struggle with infertility. During IVF, various procedures and tests are performed to ensure the best possible chances of success. One such procedure is sonohysterography, which involves using ultrasound imaging to examine the uterus and the lining of the womb. In this article, we’ll explore the answer to the question, in IVF do I have to do sonohysterography?
why it’s recommended, and what to expect during the procedure.
What is Sonohysterography?
Sonohysterography is a diagnostic procedure that involves using ultrasound imaging to examine the uterus and the lining of the womb.
During the procedure, a thin catheter is inserted through the vagina and into the cervix. Then, a small amount of sterile saline solution is injected into the uterus through the catheter.
As the saline solution fills the uterus, an ultrasound probe is used to capture images of the uterine cavity and the lining of the womb.
The saline solution helps to highlight any abnormalities or irregularities, such as polyps, fibroids, or adhesions, that may interfere with implantation or cause other fertility issues.
Sonohysterography is a relatively quick and painless procedure that usually takes around 30 minutes to complete.
It is typically performed in a doctor’s office or fertility clinic and does not require any anesthesia or sedation. Most women are able to resume normal activities immediately after the procedure.
Sonohysterography is an important tool in IVF because it can help identify any structural abnormalities or other issues that may affect the success of the treatment.
By detecting and addressing these issues before starting IVF, the chances of a successful pregnancy can be significantly improved.
In IVF Do I Have to Do Sonohysterography?
Identifying structural abnormalities
Sonohysterography can help identify any structural abnormalities or irregularities in the uterus or the lining of the womb.
By detecting and addressing these issues before starting IVF, the chances of success can be significantly improved.
Evaluating uterine lining thickness
The thickness of the uterine lining is an important factor in IVF success. A thin or inadequate lining may not be able to support implantation, while a thick lining may indicate other issues, such as hormonal imbalances.
Sonohysterography can help evaluate the thickness and quality of the uterine lining, and allow doctors to adjust the IVF protocol accordingly.
Assessing tubal patency
Sonohysterography can also help assess the patency or openness of the fallopian tubes. If the tubes are blocked or damaged, IVF may be the only option for conception.
By identifying any blockages or abnormalities in the tubes, doctors can determine the most appropriate course of action for the individual patient.
Minimizing the risk of complications
Sonohysterography is a non-invasive and relatively safe procedure, but like any medical intervention, it does carry some risks.
By performing the procedure before starting IVF, doctors can minimize the risk of complications and ensure that the patient is in good health before beginning the treatment.
Risks and Side Effects of Sonohysterography
Pain or discomfort: During the procedure, some women may experience mild to moderate pain or discomfort, similar to menstrual cramps. This can be managed with over-the-counter pain medication or a local anesthetic if necessary.
There is a small risk of infection associated with sonohysterography, especially if the equipment or instruments are not properly sterilized.
This can lead to fever, abdominal pain, and other symptoms. To minimize the risk of infection, it’s important to choose a reputable healthcare provider and ensure that all instruments are properly cleaned and disinfected.
Bleeding or spotting
Some women may experience light bleeding or spotting after the procedure. This is usually mild and resolves on its own within a few days.
Perforation of the uterus
In rare cases, sonohysterography can cause perforation or a hole in the uterus. This can lead to bleeding, infection, and other complications.
However, the risk of perforation is very low and can be further minimized by choosing a skilled and experienced healthcare provider.
Some women may experience an allergic reaction to the saline solution or the contrast dye used during the procedure.
This can cause hives, itching, and other symptoms. If you have a history of allergies, be sure to inform your healthcare provider before the procedure.
Read More: Does Your Period Weaken Your Immune System?
What to Expect During and After Sonohysterography?
Before the procedure
Before the sonohysterography, you may be asked to provide a medical history and undergo a physical exam.
Your healthcare provider may also ask you to avoid sexual intercourse or use tampons for a few days before the procedure.
You may also be advised to take pain medication or a mild sedative to help you relax during the procedure.
During the procedure
Sonohysterography is usually performed in an outpatient setting, and the procedure typically takes about 20 to 30 minutes.
You will lie on an exam table with your feet in stirrups, and a transvaginal ultrasound probe will be inserted into your vagina.
A small catheter will then be inserted into your cervix, and a saline solution or contrast dye will be injected into your uterus. You may experience some mild cramping or discomfort during the injection.
After the procedure
After the sonohysterography, you may experience some mild cramping or spotting for a few hours.
You should be able to resume normal activities immediately after the procedure. Your healthcare provider may also recommend that you avoid sexual intercourse or use tampons for a few days after the procedure.
Results and follow-up
Your healthcare provider will review the results of the sonohysterography and discuss any abnormalities or issues that were identified.
Depending on the results, you may need further testing or treatment, or you may be cleared to proceed with IVF or other fertility treatments.
Sonohysterography is an important diagnostic tool in the field of infertility treatment, particularly for those undergoing in vitro fertilization (IVF).
It is a safe and relatively low-risk procedure that can help identify abnormalities in the uterus and guide fertility treatment decisions. While there are some risks and side effects associated with the procedure, these are generally minor and can be managed with proper care and attention.
If you are considering IVF or other fertility treatments, it’s important to talk to your healthcare provider about whether sonohysterography is right for you.
Your provider can help determine whether the procedure is necessary and can provide guidance on how to prepare for and recover from the procedure.
How long does sonohysterography take?
Ans: The procedure typically takes about 20 to 30 minutes.
Is sonohysterography painful?
Ans: Some women may experience mild to moderate pain or discomfort during the procedure, similar to menstrual cramps. This can usually be managed with over-the-counter pain medication or a local anesthetic.
How long does it take to recover from sonohysterography?
Ans: Recovery is typically quick and you can resume normal activities immediately after the procedure. You may experience some mild cramping or spotting for a few hours.
Can sonohysterography affect fertility?
Ans: Sonohysterography is a diagnostic procedure that does not directly affect fertility. However, it can help identify underlying conditions that may be affecting fertility and guide treatment decisions.
Are there any risks associated with sonohysterography?
Ans: The procedure carries some risks, including pain or discomfort, infection, bleeding, perforation of the uterus, and allergic reaction. However, these risks are generally low.
Is sonohysterography covered by insurance?
Ans: Sonohysterography is typically covered by insurance as a diagnostic procedure for infertility treatment.
- American Society for Reproductive Medicine. (2017). Hysterosalpingography and saline infusion sonohysterography. Fertility and Sterility, 108(1), 34-43.
- National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. (2013). Fertility problems: assessment and treatment. Clinical guideline [CG156].
- European Society of Human Reproduction and Embryology. (2020). Saline infusion sonography in reproductive medicine: a committee opinion. Human Reproduction Open, 2020(1), hoaa047.