A saline infusion sonogram (saline sonography) is routinely performed to make sure that the endometrial cavity (inside of the uterus) appears normal. Benign uterine growths, such as endometrial polyps or uterine fibroids, may develop in the cavity and create an environment that is hostile for implantation. Scar tissue may also be identified with the saline infusion sonogram. This procedure may be done as part of an evaluation for recurrent pregnancy loss or done prior to an IVF cycle. It may also be done to evaluate causes of irregular or very heavy menstrual cycles and some types of chronic pelvic pain. The saline infusion sonogram is scheduled early in a menstrual cycle, just after your period stops but before ovulation – usually between days 5-12 of the cycle.
The procedure is simple and usually takes 10 to 15 minutes to complete.
- A speculum is inserted into the vagina and the cervix is cleansed with an antiseptic solution.
- A special catheter approximately 1mm in diameter (about the size of a single strand of spaghetti) is inserted and slides through the cervical canal.
- The ultrasound probe is placed in the vagina.
- Sterile salt-water solution (saline) flows through the catheter into the uterine cavity. This distends the endometrial cavity and allows the physician to see the entire cavity on the ultrasound monitor. You may experience mild cramping at this point.
- Several images of your uterus will be taken during the procedure, pictures of your ovaries may also be taken.
- You will need to schedule an appointment with your physician to discuss any abnormalities that are seen during the procedure.
After the procedure you may continue to have mild cramping for a few hours. You may also experience light spotting or watery discharge for as long as 24 hours after the procedure. You should refrain from intercourse for approximately 48 hours. If any symptoms other than those listed above are noticed, please call the office at which you are seen.