SHG is shorthand for sonohysterogram, a saline infusion sonogram (SIS) that is performed in the clinic. This procedure begins like a transvaginal ultrasound with the addition of a slow introduction of saline into the uterus. SHG is used to evaluate uterine abnormalities and the endometrium (uterine lining) as well as other disorders. It is also sometimes referred to as hysterosonography.
SHG is a noninvasive procedure that does not involve the radiation and contrast dye used in a hysterosalpingogram,
Fertility problems are sometimes caused by polyps, fibroids or adhesions (bands of tissue) inside the uterus. SHG can detect all of these conditions and minimize the need for invasive diagnostic procedures like tissue biopsies and dilation and curettage (D&C). Patients with active pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) should not undergo SHG.
The SHG is performed in the days following the end of menstruation and before ovulation occurs, which allows for optimum viewing of the uterine walls. Due to cramping associated with SHG, patients are told to take a 600 mg dose of ibuprofen just before the procedure.
The SHG is performed at the clinic and is usually completed in about 15 minutes. After disrobing from the waist down, the patient lies down on the examining table and places her feet in the stirrups. The doctor inserts a speculum into the vagina and threads a thin catheter through the cervix into the uterus. A transvaginal ultrasound wand is inserted into the vagina and saline solution is injected through the catheter into the uterus. Pictures of the uterus are viewed on the ultrasound monitor.
The saline highlights any irregularities in the uterus, including fibroids, polyps, scar tissue and other abnormalities, giving the physician a better idea of their size. This information is then used to develop a course of treatment for the patient.
SHG is a low-risk procedure that may cause mild spotting and cramping that usually responds well to ibuprofen. Patients are advised to report any post-procedure abnormal bleeding, abdominal pain or fever to their doctor.
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