What is a Saline Infusion Sonohysterogram (SHG)?

For many couples trying to conceive, a Saline Infusion Sonohysterogram (SHG) is a part of the initial evaluation recommended by reproductive medicine specialists. Through this test, doctors can learn more about abnormalities that might be making it hard to achieve or maintain a pregnancy.

An SHG is done in-office while the patient is awake. It involves the placement of a small catheter into the uterus and the inflation of the uterus with one ounce of sterile fluid. At the same time, a vaginal ultrasound is performed to visualize the inside of the uterus.

Abnormalities within the Uterus

For couples trying to conceive, ensuring an optimal uterine environment for the embryo to attach and grow is very important. Many women have subtle abnormalities within the uterus that may make achieving pregnancy or maintaining pregnancy challenging. These abnormalities include congenital anomalies that women are born with, such as uterine septa. Other acquired abnormalities are ones that develop over time, such as fibroids or endometrial polyps. In rare cases abnormalities may be introduced by previous pregnancies, miscarriages, or surgical procedures on the uterus, resulting in scar tissue that forms within the inside of the uterus itself.

Why a Saline Infusion Sonohysterogram (SHG) is Needed

Because of the wide range of abnormalities that exist, reproductive medicine specialists generally recommend a thorough evaluation of a woman’s uterus prior to attempting fertility treatments. An excellent way to evaluate the presence of these and other anatomic abnormalities is the Saline Infusion Sonohysterogram (SHG).

Many subtle abnormalities (such a polyps) are difficult or impossible to see using regular ultrasound alone. That’s where an SHG provides a simple, in-office means to carefully evaluate the inside of the uterus. Doctors perform an SHG by placing a small catheter inside the uterus and filling it up with a moderate amount of saline, or salt water. Abnormalities such as polyps or fibroids that were previously not visible are easily seen through an SHG – and that information helps your doctor make treatment recommendations.

If you would like to schedule a consultation appointment with the experts at Fertility Associates of Memphis, please call our office at 901-747-2229. Our board certified reproductive medicine doctors would be happy to help you and your family.