What you need to know about transvaginal ultrasound

What you need to know about transvaginal ultrasound

A transvaginal or endovaginal ultrasound is a simple and safe way for doctors to examine the internal organs of the female pelvic region. An ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves to produce detailed images of internal organs. Unlike X-rays, ultrasound has no radiation, which means it has no known side effects and is very safe. A medical professional uses ultrasound to create images of the inside of the body. High-frequency sound waves bounce off internal organs, forming these images.

A transvaginal ultrasound is an internal examination of the female reproductive system. It involves inserting a small ultrasound probe, called a transducer, into the vagina to create incredibly detailed images of the organs in the pelvic region. It may be necessary to use a transvaginal ultrasound to examine:
• vagina
• cervix
• uterus
• Fallopian tubes
• Ovaries
• Bladder

Transvaginal ultrasound can check:
• the shape, position and size of the ovaries and uterus
• the thickness and length of the cervix
• Blood flow through the organs of the pelvis
• the shape of the bladder and any changes
• the thickness and presence of fluids near the bladder or in:
o Fallopian tubes
o Myometrium, the muscle tissue of the uterus
o Endometrium

Doctors may order a transvaginal ultrasound for a variety of reasons. For example, it may be necessary to identify the cause of:
• Pelvic pain
• unexplained vaginal bleeding
• Infertility
• abnormal results of a pelvic or abdominal examination
These scans can also help diagnose:
• Benign growths like fibroids, cysts and masses
• pelvic inflammatory disease
• Endometriosis
• post-menopausal bleeding

In addition, he can check for the presence of an intrauterine contraceptive. Doctors may order a transvaginal ultrasound during pregnancy because it can help:
• Check fetal heart rate
• confirm the delivery date
• Assess the condition of the placenta
• Look for an ectopic pregnancy
• Monitor pregnancies at higher risk of pregnancy loss
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