A transvaginal ultrasound test is used to look inside the reproductive organ of the woman, usually in the early stages of pregnancy to confirm it. This is a safe process for women and is very beneficial as they do not release any kind of radiation. They do not have any side effects which can be harmful.
In this article, we will go through everything you need to know about a transvaginal ultrasound test and hopefully, it will clear any doubts that you have about this procedure.
What is a transvaginal ultrasound?
The transvaginal ultrasound test is used to send sound waves of high frequency to create images of the reproductive organ of the woman. These images are then used to determine any abnormalities in the development of the foetus.
The word “transvaginal” literally means “through the vagina” and is an internal examination of the uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes, cervix and vagina. Unlike the normal ultrasound, in this test, a transducer or an ultrasound device is inserted 2-3 inches into the vaginal canal to examine it.
Why is a transvaginal ultrasound test performed?
During the period of pregnancy, there are many things that could go different from what you want. It is best to consult a doctor and check the development of your foetus through the different stages of pregnancy. It is not only done during the pregnancy; it can also be done if you are experiencing abnormalities in your uterus or vaginal area. Here are some reasons why this test can be performed –
- Unexplained bleeding or spotting from the vagina
- Pelvic pain
- Abnormal results of an abdominal exam
- To check for cysts
- Verification of the IUD being placed correctly
In case of pregnancy, here is why this test needs to be performed –
- To confirm the pregnancy
- To monitor the heartbeat of the baby
- Look for the development of the foetus or any abnormalities
- To check for complications that could lead to miscarriage or early delivery
- To check if the placenta is fine
How to prepare for a transvaginal ultrasound test?
Going for an ultrasound that required vaginal insertion can be scary in the early days of the pregnancy. However, this is a very simple process that is also painless. It does require some basic preparation on your part.
The doctor may ask you to come with a partially full bladder or even an empty bladder. Some may even ask you to come with a full bladder. This is to make sure that whatever method they are using can provide a clear image of the reproductive organ.
This process may be a little uncomfortable, but you must consult a doctor about the details. It might help you be more comfortable and feel better about the procedure.
How is the procedure conducted?
The process is not very complicated. Here is what happens –
- The doctor will ask you to lie down on your back and bend your knees.
- To be safe, the doctor should cover the transducer with a condom, apply lubrication gel and go through with the vaginal insertion. (Make sure to communicate about any latex allergies)
- During the insertion, you may feel a little discomfort and pressure in your vagina.
- Once the insertion is completed, the transducer will send sound waves into your reproductive organ and convert the waves into images on a monitor.
- The doctor may move the transducer in your vagina so that they can get a clearer image of your organs from all sides.
Are there any risks involved in this procedure?
The transvaginal ultrasound test is a very safe process and does not have any known risks associated with it.
This test can be performed on pregnant women or women who may have symptoms of an infection. This technique is performed without any radiation and so it is extremely safe for everyone, especially women who are growing a foetus.
However, when the transducer is inserted into your vagina, it may cause some discomfort and pressure inside. The discomfort should be extremely minimal during the process, and any kind of problem should go away as soon as the process is completed.
Make sure to communicate with the technician or the doctor if the discomfort you feel is more than usual and you feel particularly uncomfortable.
The process is a necessary one even though it may cause some discomfort, it is very safe. The entire process can take up to 30 – 60 minutes and you will get the results of this test within 24 hours. You should communicate with the doctor if the discomfort is a lot. If the results of the tests are still unclear, you may be called again for a transabdominal ultrasound, which will provide a clear picture and help in detecting any kinds of problems you may have with the pregnancy.