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What You Need to Know About a Transvaginal Ultrasound

When it comes to ultrasounds, you probably only think of the noninvasive screening tests. However, transvaginal ultrasounds are also an important tool that can help diagnose pelvic problems and examine your reproductive organs. If you are considering a transvaginal ultrasound Memorial City, you likely have questions about the procedure and what to expect. Below are the things you need to know about transvaginal ultrasounds. 

What is a transvaginal ultrasound?

Transvaginal means “through the vagina.” So, it is an ultrasound that is performed to view the inside of the vagina and uterus. The transvaginal ultrasound probe is inserted into the vagina, similar to how you insert a tampon. A trained technician then uses the transducer— the part of the probe that emits sound waves— to produce images of the pelvic organs.

When is a transvaginal ultrasound necessary?

Your OB/GYN physician may recommend a transvaginal ultrasound if you have the following conditions and symptoms:

  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding
  • Pelvic pain
  • Ectopic pregnancy
  • Infertility
  • An ovarian cyst
  • Uterine fibroids

If you are pregnant, a physician can use a transvaginal ultrasound to monitor the fetus’ heartbeat. The ultrasound will also help examine the cervix to identify abnormalities that could result in premature delivery.

What goes on during a transvaginal ultrasound?

The transvaginal ultrasound is a painless procedure that usually takes about 15-20 minutes. The technician will ask you to remove your clothing from the waist down and give you a sheet or cloth to cover yourself. They will ask you to lie on an exam table with your legs in stirrups.

The technician will lubricate the transducer and gently insert it into your vagina. They may cover it with a condom to keep it clean. It is normal to experience discomfort or pressure when the transducer is inserted, but it shouldn’t be painful.

Once the transducer is in place, the technician will move it around to get a clear view of your pelvic organs. They may also press down on your abdomen to get a better view. The transducer will emit sound waves that bounce off your pelvic organs and create images on a monitor.

How should you prepare for a transvaginal ultrasound?

You do not need to do anything special to prepare for a transvaginal ultrasound. Your doctor will instruct you on whether your bladder needs to be empty or full, depending on the purpose of the ultrasound. If the OB/GYN specialist recommends a full bladder, you should drink 32 ounces of water about an hour before the procedure. You should not empty your bladder until after the transvaginal ultrasound is finished.

You can eat and drink normally before the transvaginal ultrasound. However, you should avoid vaginal douching or having sex for 24 hours before the procedure. These activities can change the environment in your vagina and make it harder to get accurate images.

Schedule a transvaginal ultrasound

Now that your most burning questions about transvaginal ultrasound have been answered, knowing what the procedure entails will give you more confidence to undergo it. If you still have further questions or want to book an appointment, contact your specialist in transvaginal ultrasound at Memorial Women’s Specialist.