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Having Uterine Ultrasound (Sonohysterography)

A uterine ultrasound is a test that uses sound waves and a computer to make pictures of the inside of the uterus, the organ where a baby grows during pregnant. It's safe and does not use radiation.

Getting ready for your procedure

Tell your healthcare provider about your menstrual cycle. If you still have menstrual periods, it's best to have this procedure the week after your period for the best results. And there is less of a chance of infection. Talk with your healthcare provider about any special instructions. You may be given an antibiotic before the test. This is to help prevent infection.

On the day of your procedure

The procedure usually lasts less than 30 minutes. It includes several different tests. You can expect the following:

  • You’ll be asked to go to the bathroom and empty your bladder. You’ll then undress from the waist down and lie on your back on an exam table. You’ll bend your knees and place your feet in stirrups at the end of the exam table.

  • Your healthcare provider may first give you a pelvic exam to check for any pain.

  • Next, you’ll have a transvaginal ultrasound. For this the provider uses a slim probe called an ultrasound transducer. The provider puts a thin cover and special gel on the transducer. They put the transducer into your vagina.

  • The provider may move the wand around slightly inside your body. This is to get different images of your uterus. You may feel some pressure as the wand is moved around. Images appear on a computer screen.

  • A special type of ultrasound called Doppler may also be done. This ultrasound shows how blood is flowing through the blood vessels in the uterus.

  • After taking the images, the provider removes the transducer.

  • For the ultrasound, the provider will put a speculum into your vagina. The speculum opens (dilates) the vagina. This is the same device used during a Pap test.

  • They put a thin tube (catheter) into the opening of your uterus (cervix). You may feel some pinching or cramping. The speculum is removed from your vagina.

  • The provider then puts the transducer into your vagina. A sterile liquid (saline solution) is sent through the catheter into the uterus. This may cause some cramping. The liquid helps give more detailed images of the inside of the uterus. Images are sent to the computer screen.

  • A transabdominal ultrasound may also be done at this time. This exam uses a transducer over the belly (abdomen).

  • After all of the images are taken, the provider removes the wand and catheter.

After your procedure

You will likely be able to go home right after your procedure. In most cases, you can return to your normal activities right away. The saline fluid will leak from your vagina over the next few hours. You may need to wear an absorbent pad after the procedure. For a while after the procedure, you may have symptoms like:

  • Cramping

  • A small amount of bleeding (spotting)

Talk with your healthcare provider about taking over-the-counter pain medicine.

Follow-up care

An ultrasound is usually done by a sonographer, a radiologist, or another healthcare provider. After the exam, the images will be reviewed and reported to your healthcare provider. Your provider will talk with you about the results. They may give you a diagnosis, advise treatment, or order more tests.

When to call your healthcare provider

Call your healthcare provider right away if you have any of these:

  • Fever of 100.4°F (38.0°C) or higher, or as directed by your healthcare provider

  • Severe pain

  • A change in the type or amount of vaginal discharge

© 2000-2023 The StayWell Company, LLC. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.