Ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves to create images of internal organs on a monitor. This test helps your doctor monitor your ovulation, diagnose conditions such as pelvic masses and early pregnancy and examine the thickness and pattern of your uterine lining. Ultrasound is also used to monitor In Vitro Fertilization (IVF), during which women take drugs to stimulate the follicles in the ovaries to produce multiple eggs. It is also used during the IVF egg retrieval process to help your doctor guide a needle into your follicles to retrieve eggs.
What to Expect
Transvaginal ultrasound is performed with a scanning probe inserted into the vagina. The probe is covered and a lubricant is applied to the tip before it is inserted. The transvaginal ultrasound is inserted a short distance from the reproductive organs and produces clear images on the monitoring screen. Even the smallest fibroids and other abnormalities can be detected. Ultrasound examinations are relatively painless and take only a few minutes to perform.
Should your doctor notice any abnormalities, such as fibroids or unusual growths, he or she may order additional testing or recommend a procedure for addressing these conditions before moving forward with fertility treatment. But in most cases, this test simply confirms that conditions are healthy, assuring both you and your doctor that your care can progress.