How Is A Uterus Evaluated For Infertility?
There are multiple ways to assess the uterus in an infertility patient.
Ultrasound is capable of providing images of the uterine wall and endometrial lining as well as the ovary.
Sonohysterogram or saline infusion during a sonogram allows the assessment of the uterine cavity the space inside the uterus. This can reveal polyps, fibroids or sometimes scar tissue inside the uterus.
Hysterosalpingogram or HSG is a procedure where a small amount of dye that is opaque on x-ray is inserted in the cervix. This allows the assessment of the uterus as well as the fallopian tubes. If the tubes are open there will be spillage of the dye.
Hysteroscopy is where a hysteroscope (a telescope like instrument) is passed through the cervix. It is preformed under sedation. This allows the surgeon to visualize the uterine cavity. Giving the physician the ability to diagnose and treat certain conditions such as:
- Endometrial polyps, a small growth of the tissue in the lining of the uterus, which can be removed during hysteroscopy.
- Fibroids, are benign growth that can be visualized and removed from the uterine cavity.
- Scar tissue, or adhesions inside the uterus can be visualized and cut during hystreroscopy.
- Septum or tissue dividing the uterine cavity into 2, can also be removed during the hysteroscopic procedure.
Complications of hysteroscopy are rare and may include infection with scar tissue formation, bleeding, or perforation. The physician should be informed of symptoms such as pain, fever or heavy bleeding after hystroscopy.