Transvaginal ultrasound is used by professional healthcare experts for assessment and examination predominantly the female reproductive organs. It is considered safe, non-invasive and painless. Ultrasound is the best imaging modality for soft tissues and does not involve ionising radiation. An ultrasound uses sound waves to produce images on a screen using a probe which come in various shapes and is inserted into the vagina. The resulting image visualizes the uterus, bladder, ovaries, fallopian tubes, vagina, and cervix. Transvaginal ultrasound is an internal examination that takes about an hour or less.
It is often difficult to form a definite diagnosis of a pelvic mass however; ultrasound can differentiate between tumours, fibroids, and cysts.
Colour Doppler scanning is also sometimes used to assess blood flow which is helpful in determining a benign ovarian tumour from ovarian cancer.
Transvaginal ultrasound is very useful in determining the viability of a pregnancy. It is the standard technique for the diagnosis of ectopic pregnancy.
During infertility treatment it is important to monitor the production of follicles carefully by ultrasound to achieve the desired result without excessive stimulation of the ovaries.
If the threads of an intrauterine contraceptive device (IUCD) are lost it will clearly be seen on ultrasound and its precise position can be found. Transvaginal ultrasound is the investigation of best practice.
Why Do I Need to Undergo Transvaginal Ultrasound?
Transvaginal ultrasound is highly recommended when:
What can this procedure be use for if and when pregnant?
This procedure can confirm that you are pregnant. Identify a heartbeat early on in pregnancy. Determine the size and location of the foetus and also establish how many babies you are carrying.
Transvaginal ultrasound is also recommended for diagnosis or possible issues including:
How Is Transvaginal Ultrasound Performed?
This test is performed by a sonographer or doctor in the clinic, hospital, or consulting room. An ultrasound probe, which is a bit wider than the size of the finger, is inserted into your vagina.
You will be asked to pee before the test starts and remove a tampon if you are using one. It does not interfere with an IUD if one is used.
You will be asked to remove the lower half of your clothes and lie back on the table with your knees bent. Stirrups will be used to slightly raise the hips to facilitate a more comfortable and optimum position for imaging.
The ultrasound probe is lubricated using a gel and enclosed in a sheath. The probe will slowly and carefully be inserted into your vagina for about five to eight centimetres. Usually, it doesn't hurt, but may feel cold.
The probe will be manoeuvred to get the best image possible. This examination usually, takes between fifteen to thirty minutes.
When Will I Get the Results?
You will be able to see the images, on a screen, while you have your test. The doctor or specialist may be able to discuss the results with you immediately.
However if the specialist is not available a sonographer is not allowed to discuss any findings with you. Your midwife or doctor will see the images after being processed. This usually takes one to two days when the results are available.
Is there any risk involved?
Transvaginal ultrasound is safe for you and the baby assuming that your waters have not broken. In cases where you are allergic to latex, it is very important that you please inform the doctor immediately so he or she can make use of a latex-free sheath.
You should feel no ill effects of the test and can return to work or your daily routine. You are also able to drive yourself home if you want to.
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