Transvaginal ultrasound

Definition

Transvaginal ultrasound is a test used to look at a woman's uterus, ovaries, tubes, cervix and pelvic area.

Transvaginal means across or through the vagina. The ultrasound probe will be placed inside the vagina.

How the Test is Performed

You will lie down on your back on a table with your knees bent. Your feet may be held in stirrups.

The ultrasound technician or doctor will introduce a probe into the vagina. It may be mildly uncomfortable, but will not hurt. The probe is covered with a condom and a gel.

In some cases, a special transvaginal ultrasound method called saline infusion sonography (SIS) may be needed to more clearly view the uterus.

How to Prepare for the Test

You will be asked to undress, usually from the waist down. A transvaginal ultrasound is done with your bladder empty or partly filled.

How the Test will Feel

In most cases, there is no pain. Some women may have mild discomfort from the pressure of the probe. Only a small part of the probe is placed into the vagina.

Why the Test is Performed

Transvaginal ultrasound may be done for the following problems:

This ultrasound is also used during pregnancy.

Normal Results

The pelvic structures or fetus is normal.

What Abnormal Results Mean

An abnormal result may be due to many conditions. Some problems that may be seen include:

Risks

There are no known harmful effects of transvaginal ultrasound on humans.

Unlike traditional x-rays, there is no radiation exposure with this test.


Review Date: 4/19/2018
Reviewed By: John D. Jacobson, MD, Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Loma Linda University School of Medicine, Loma Linda Center for Fertility, Loma Linda, CA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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