Anatomical testing is done to determine the shape of your uterine cavity. An abnormality in the shape of the uterine cavity is found in approximately 16% of women with recurrent miscarriage.
Types of abnormalities of the uterus are:
- Septum: A septum is a wall of tissue that bulges into the uterine cavity. The tissue has poor blood flow which interferes with the development of the normal endometrium. This is the most common type of anatomical abnormality.
- Adhesions: Adhesions are scar tissue within the uterine cavity.
- Fibroids: Fibroids are benign i.e. non-cancerous muscular growths in the wall of the uterus.
Types of procedures used to assess the uterus:
- Hysterosalpingogram (HSG): This is often referred to as the “dye test”. A thin tube is placed in the cervix into the uterine cavity. A small amount of dye is then inserted and an X-ray is taken. The x-ray shows the shape of the inside of the uterus as well as the fallopian tubes. This test is usually done in the first half of your menstrual cycle before you ovulate.
- Hysteroscopy: A small telescope is placed in the cervix into the uterus. A camera is attached so that you and your doctor can see the inside of your uterus on a TV monitor. This test is done at any time in your menstrual cycle as long as you are not bleeding or pregnant. Birth control must be used while awaiting hysteroscopy.
- Sonohysterogram (SHG): This test is similar to the HSG but ultrasound is used instead of X-rays. Salt water is inserted into the uterine cavity through a small tube. The ultrasound probe is placed in the vagina to visualize the uterus on a TV monitor.