What’s a transvaginal ultrasound anyway?
Ultrasounds are a fundamental part of medicine, allowing doctors to view and evaluate organs internally. Transvaginal ultrasounds are no different. An OB/GYN or reproductive endocrinologist performs these ultrasounds using a transducer shaped like a wand. By inserting the lubricated wand through the vaginal passage, the doctor receives images via sound waves. These sound waves bounce off the vaginal walls and other parts of the lower pelvis. The ultrasound machine then changes these images into pictures. These photos show instantly on the computer monitor, and the doctor can make an assessment.
The importance of transvaginal ultrasounds
Without a doubt, the process sounds a bit uncomfortable, which is understandable. However, the ultrasound goes beyond a traditional route performed on the skin. This ultrasound examines the pelvic and female reproductive organs such as the uterus, fallopian tubes, cervix, ovaries, and vagina. Transvaginal ultrasounds could help pinpoint a reproductive condition causing infertility. Unlike traditional ultrasounds such as x-rays, this technique also does not emit radiation.
When should you get a transvaginal ultrasound?
Doctors turn to this type of ultrasound for women with pelvic pain, heavy bleeding between periods, unusual cramping, or urinary tract symptoms. For women with pregnancy struggles, the procedure helps to quickly move to a treatment option to improve fertility. As time goes on, further ultrasounds help manage ongoing treatment in women with certain types of conditions. Even with a successful pregnancy, transvaginal ultrasounds will become necessary to monitor the baby and to look for abnormalities. Fertility struggles as well as the mentioned symptoms are signs to visit a doctor, who will suggest an ultrasound.
Ultrasounds uncover common fertility conditions.
With an ultrasound, a doctor can see a mass, blockage, scarring, or organ damage impacting fertility. Common fertility issues include:
- Fibroids, which are large, fibrous growths that form on the walls of the uterus
- Ectopic pregnancy, where a fetus implants outside of the uterus
- Polyps or ovarian cysts, small growths that can happen on the ovaries or uterine lining
- Endometriosis, a painful condition where tissue grows outside the uterus
- Conditions like pelvic inflammatory disease (PID) or damage to the fallopian tubes
An ultrasound on the stomach cannot provide the level of detail needed to confirm these conditions. Knowing about these fertility conditions is just the first step. From there, both doctor and patient can explore assisted reproductive technologies like IVF.
Risks and reward
Transvaginal ultrasounds are quick, safe, and reliable, so there are no known risks to a woman or a baby during pregnancy. The patient can feel some cramping, discomfort, and even some minor spotting post-procedure. The payoffs include speed, approximately 30-60 minutes, and no radiation. The doctor can also create a clearer action plan to deal with potential infertility, which can be priceless.
You’ll like the sound of this
Transvaginal ultrasounds use amazing technology to give a quick view of the reproductive organs. If getting pregnant is a serious concern, there could be more forces at play. A doctor’s ultrasound will clearly uncover any known condition and provide the tools to help. Furthermore, these tests help with managing pregnancy. Speak with a doctor and schedule an ultrasound today.
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