Pelvic Ultrasound and Water Hysterosonography – Frequently Asked Questions

Pelvic Ultrasound and Water Hysterosonography FAQ

Do I need an order from my physician?

Yes, an order is required.

Are there any risks to having a pelvic ultrasound?

There are no known harmful effects.

What are the benefits of having a pelvic ultrasound?

  • Ultrasound scanning is noninvasive (no needles or injections) and is usually painless.
  • Ultrasound is widely available, easy-to-use and less expensive than other imaging methods.
  • Ultrasound scanning gives a clear picture of soft tissues that do not show up well on x-ray images.

Why do I need a full bladder for a pelvic ultrasound?

A full bladder is required for a pelvic ultrasound because it displaces bowel loops (which block sound waves) out of the pelvis and allows transmission of sound waves to image the uterus, ovaries and pelvic structures.

How is water hysterosonography performed?

A pelvic examination with a speculum is performed to identify the cervical canal. A small catheter or tube is positioned in the cervical canal and uterine cavity and sterile saline water is injected into the uterus. Transvaginal ultrasound is performed to evaluate the uterine cavity for fibroids or thickened or abnormal endometrium (uterine lining).

What are the benefits of hysterosonography?

Hysterosonography is a simple, minimally invasive procedure that is well tolerated by patients. It provides an excellent view of the uterus and endometrial lining.

Hysterosonography can prevent unnecessary surgery, and it can ensure that all polyps and fibroids are identified so they can be removed at surgery.

What are the limitations of hysterosonography?

Hysterosonography should not be performed in women with an IUD, active pelvic inflammatory disease or pregnancy. Hysterosonography may have limitations in certain clinical situations. In women with stenosis of the cervix, it may be difficult to insert the catheter into the cervical canal for saline injections. Inadequate distension (expansion) of the uterine cavity from adhesions or fibroids may also prevent optimal ultrasound images from being obtained.

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