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Transvaginal Ultrasound



A transvaginal ultrasound is going to help your care team assess and manage those who are having difficulty conceiving. It is important for patients to understand why you may need an ultrasound as you begin treatment.

How is a vaginal ultrasound performed?

The provider performing the ultrasound will slowly place a vaginal probe inside your vagina and rotate it in order to view the entire pelvic anatomy. This procedure helps us get a better view of your reproductive organs and any structural issues that may be contributing to infertility. 

How do ultrasounds work?

Ultrasound is an imaging tool used to evaluate organs inside the body. This technology uses sound waves emitted into the body. Those sound waves are then reflected back to the ultrasound machine. The sound waves traveling through tissue, fluid, and bone creates a two dimensional image on the scanner. Ultrasounds are considered extremely safe and do not cause any long term harm to your body. 

Will this be painful?

Patients who do not have pain with vaginal insertion (penetrative intercourse, tampons, speculum as part of a pap-test) typically do not experience much if any discomfort. 

Sometimes discomfort does occur for patients who have known pain with vaginal insertion, or who have not had anything previously inserted into the vagina.

If moderate to severe discomfort does occur, the ultrasound is stopped immediately.

There are a few options that can minimize discomfort, (but these can take time) such as pelvic physical therapy or progressive vaginal dilation.

Are there any alternatives to a vaginal ultrasound?

An abdominal ultrasound may also be used, however, the imaging is inferior and has the potential to miss important findings and compromise the efficiency of treatment. 

An MRI can be used in certain clinical circumstances but tends to be more expensive and more time-consuming. 

What will the ultrasound show?

A reproductive ultrasound typically focuses on the uterus and ovaries.

The uterus is evaluated for size, position, shape, presence of fibroids or polyps, thickness and appearance of the uterine lining, and stage of the menstrual cycle. The internal anatomy of the uterus is not typically seen well by a screening ultrasound and may require additional testing. 

The ovaries are evaluated for size, position, presence of cysts, number of follicles (antral follicle count), and stage of the menstrual cycle. 

Fallopian tubes are not typically seen unless they are abnormal. 

The bladder and cervix are typically seen given their proximal location.