An ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves to create images of your internal organs, which the physician can visualize on a monitor. Ultrasounds can help your doctor monitor your ovulation and diagnose conditions such as pelvic masses and early pregnancy. Your physician can also examine the thickness and pattern of your uterine lining.
During fertility treatment, our sonographers use a transvaginal (internal) ultrasound to monitor your cycle if you are taking medications to stimulate the follicles in your ovaries to produce multiple eggs. We also use ultrasounds during in vitro fertilization (IVF) to assist your physician as he or she guides a needle into the follicles to retrieve eggs.
How it Works
Before a Transvaginal Ultrasound
You will empty your bladder before starting the transvaginal ultrasound. Please let your doctor, nurse, or the sonographer know before the test if you are allergic to latex.
How a Sonographer/Physician Performs an Ultrasound
A sonographer/physician performs a transvaginal ultrasound with a scanning probe that he or she gently inserts, with lubrication, into your vagina. The clinician will cover the probe before insertion. The scanning probe feels much like a tampon being inserted into your vagina. Once it's completely inserted, you may feel some slight pressure.
The probe will sit a short distance from your reproductive organs and produces very sharp, clear images on the monitoring screen. The technology can often detect even the smallest fibroids, as well as other abnormalities. Ultrasound examinations are painless and take only a few minutes to perform.
Depending on the reason for the ultrasound, the results will likely be available as soon as the ultrasound has concluded. While the clinician can explain what he or she is seeing as the ultrasound is happening, occasionally he or she will need additional information in order to give you all of the information you need. An example of this is during cycle monitoring. The results of the monitoring appointment include information from both the ultrasound as well as the bloodwork drawn at the appointment. Patients will leave the appointment knowing the progress of the follicles but need to wait until the afternoon to get the results of the blood test that will provide the full picture of the progress of their cycle.