If you are planning to visit your doctor or gynecologist for problems in conceiving, you may have heard of a test called transvaginal ultrasound. You may be scared or apprehensive about what it entails or how it is done. So we will discuss in detail about it.
What is a transvaginal ultrasound?
Transvaginal Ultrasound is an ultrasound examination done through the vagina. If we talk of ultrasound, you may have undergone or seen an ultrasound scan is done with the probe being kept/ moved over the belly or abdomen. But a transvaginal scan provides better quality images of the female pelvis.
It is done to look for the condition of the
- Fallopian Tubes
What are the indications for which a transvaginal ultrasound is done?
Some of the conditions in which your doctor will do a transvaginal Ultrasound include-
Difficulty in Conceiving
In the beginning, the doctor will check the condition of your reproductive organs. Later on, ultrasound may be used for follicular monitoring during ovulation induction.
If your periods or menses are irregular delayed or frequent, or heavy or scanty bleeding, the doctor will check the uterus and ovaries for any problem like fibroids (mass in the uterus) or any cyst in the ovaries, etc.
If you are having in the pain in the lower part of your tummy or have significant pain during periods, the doctor will do TVS for any cysts in the ovaries especially endometriotic cyst, any fibroids, etc.
Any vaginal bleeding other than your menstrual periods may require a TVS scan.
Abnormality on Pelvic Examination
Any abnormality on pelvic examination or any suspicion of an abnormality requires confirmation on TVS.
During early pregnancy when the baby is very small and the doctor needs to confirm-
- the location of the pregnancy,
- the heartbeat of the baby
- confirm the date of the pregnancy
- Rule out an ectopic pregnancy- that is pregnancy outside the uterus in an abnormal place like fallopian tubes, ovaries etc.
What preparation do you need before a transvaginal ultrasound?
You don’t need to do any special preparation like vaginal cleaning, douching or pubic hair removal or clipping before a TVS scan.
TVS scan is generally done after emptying your bladder or sometimes with a partially full bladder.
How is the transvaginal ultrasound done?
The area where the scan is done is curtained off. You have to remove the bottom part of your clothes and lie down with your knees folded.
The ultrasound probe which is like a small wand is covered with a sterile cover and a lubricating gel; and introduced into the vagina.
The sound waves from the probe are transmitted to the ultrasound machine and the images so formed are displayed on the ultrasound monitor. During the scan, the probe is gently rotated sideways to see the uterus and ovaries, etc. properly.
How long does the transvaginal ultrasound take?
Generally, it takes only a few minutes to do the ultrasound. Sometimes a little more time may be taken if we are doing a special 3- D scan or if the baby is not in a proper position for the doctor to see on the ultrasound.
Are there any side effects of transvaginal ultrasound?
Transvaginal ultrasounds are generally very safe and have no side effects. You might experience some mild discomfort hen the doctor is doing the ultrasound. Otherwise, TVS is safe even in early pregnancy and doesn’t cause any bleeding, etc.
So if your doctor advises a transvaginal examination don’t be scared or apprehensive.