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Medical Tests For Women
|Other names: Transvaginal ultrasound study (TVS), vaginal ultrasound, vaginal sonogram and endovaginal ultrasound.
What Is A Transvaginal Ultrasound?
It is an internal ultrasound scan that is inserted into the vagina to look at a woman's pelvic organs - that is, her ovaries, uterus (womb), fallopian tubes, cervix, appendix and bladder. Outside of an MRI scan or CT scan, a transvaginal ultrasound is the best way to obtain detailed pictures of the pelvic area. It is a safe and painless procedure.
No, the test is completely safe. It just so happens that the scan is commonly used in first trimester when the natural rate of miscarriage is at it's highest. In other words, the rate would be the same were an abdominal scan used instead.
The test can be done if you have a period (although it will be a little messier). If you are menstruating and have a tampon in, remove it before the test.
Upon arrival at your doctor's office, you will be asked to remove your clothes and put on a hospital gown. Some clinics only require patients to remove clothes from the waist down. You will be taken to the examination room where a sonographer (professional ultrasound specialist) will explain the procedure to you. You will be asked to lie back on a table and bend you knees up, just as you would for a pelvic examination. A probe called a transducer, covered with a condom and lubrication, is inserted into the vagina. It is shaped like a wand, and may be a bit cold to begin with.
The sonographer will move the probe gently around inside you. The probe sends out pulses of ultra high frequency sounds into the pelvis. It also acts as a listening device, waiting for the sounds it emitted to bounce back off the tissue it encounters. The software on the attached computer will convert those sounds into images on a nearby monitor. After about 10 minutes, the probe is withdrawn and you will be told to get dressed. Your doctor should be able to discuss the results immediately with you.
No, it does not usually hurt. Some women may experience mild discomfort from the pressure of the probe inside the vagina. Only part of the probe is inserted into the vagina.
No radiation is emitted by ultrasound scans (unlike CT scans or X-rays). A transvaginal ultrasound is believed to be safe for both patients and unborn children.
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