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Transvaginal ultrasound

Endovaginal ultrasound; Ultrasound - transvaginal; Fibroids - transvaginal ultrasound; Vaginal bleeding - transvaginal ultrasound; Uterine bleeding - transvaginal ultrasound; Menstrual bleeding - transvaginal ultrasound; Infertility - transvaginal ultrasound; Ovarian - transvaginal ultrasound; Abscess - transvaginal ultrasound

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 a table with your knees bent. Your feet may be held in stirrups.

You will be given a probe, called a transducer, to place into the vagina. The probe is covered with a condom and a gel.

  • The probe sends out sound waves, which reflect off body structures. A computer receives these waves and uses them to create a picture.
  • The ultrasound technician or doctor can see the picture on a TV monitor.
  • The health care provider will move the probe around the area to see the pelvic organs.

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

The test is most often painless, although 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:

  • Abnormal findings on a physical exam, such as cysts, fibroid tumors, or other growths
  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding and menstrual problems
  • Certain types of infertility
  • Ectopic pregnancy
  • Pelvic pain

Transvaginal 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:

  • Birth defects
  • Cancers of the uterus, ovaries, vagina, and other pelvic structures
  • Infection, including pelvic inflammatory disease
  • Growths in or around the uterus and ovaries (such as cysts or fibroids)
  • Twisting of the ovaries

Risks

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

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

References

Coleman RL, Ramirez PT, Gershenson DM. Neoplastic diseases of the ovary: Screening, benign and malignant epithelial and germ cell neoplasms, sex-cord stromal tumors. In: Lentz GM, Lobo RA, Gershenson DM, Katz VL, eds. Comprehensive Gynecology. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Mosby; 2012:chap 33.

Katz VL. Benign gynecologic lesions: vulva, vagina, cervix, uterus, oviduct, ovary, ultrasound imaging of pelvic structures. In: Lentz GM, Lobo RA, Gershenson DM, Katz VL, eds. Comprehensive Gynecology. 6th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Mosby; 2012:chap 18.

    • Ultrasound in pregnancy

      Ultrasound in pregnancy - illustration

      The ultrasound has become a standard procedure used during pregnancy. It can demonstrate fetal growth and can detect increasing numbers of conditions in the fetus including meningomyelocele, congenital heart disease, kidney abnormalities, hydrocephalus, anencephaly, club feet, and other deformities. Ultrasound does not produce ionizing radiation and is considered a very safe procedure for both the mother and the fetus.

      Ultrasound in pregnancy

      illustration

    • Female reproductive anatomy

      Female reproductive anatomy - illustration

      External structures of the female reproductive anatomy include the labium minora and majora, the vagina and the clitoris. Internal structures include the uterus, ovaries and cervix.

      Female reproductive anatomy

      illustration

    • Uterus

      Uterus - illustration

      The uterus is a hollow muscular organ located in the female pelvis between the bladder and rectum. The ovaries produce the eggs that travel through the fallopian tubes. Once the egg has left the ovary it can be fertilized and implant itself in the lining of the uterus. The main function of the uterus is to nourish the developing fetus prior to birth.

      Uterus

      illustration

    • Transvaginal ultrasound

      Transvaginal ultrasound - illustration

      Transvaginal ultrasound is a method of imaging the genital tract in females. A hand held probe is inserted directly into the vagina. The probe is moved within the vaginal cavity to scan the pelvic structures, while ultrasound pictures are viewed on a monitor. The test can be performed to evaluate women with infertility problems, abnormal bleeding, sources of unexplained pain, congenital malformations of the uterus and ovaries, and possible tumors and infection.

      Transvaginal ultrasound

      illustration

      • Ultrasound in pregnancy

        Ultrasound in pregnancy - illustration

        The ultrasound has become a standard procedure used during pregnancy. It can demonstrate fetal growth and can detect increasing numbers of conditions in the fetus including meningomyelocele, congenital heart disease, kidney abnormalities, hydrocephalus, anencephaly, club feet, and other deformities. Ultrasound does not produce ionizing radiation and is considered a very safe procedure for both the mother and the fetus.

        Ultrasound in pregnancy

        illustration

      • Female reproductive anatomy

        Female reproductive anatomy - illustration

        External structures of the female reproductive anatomy include the labium minora and majora, the vagina and the clitoris. Internal structures include the uterus, ovaries and cervix.

        Female reproductive anatomy

        illustration

      • Uterus

        Uterus - illustration

        The uterus is a hollow muscular organ located in the female pelvis between the bladder and rectum. The ovaries produce the eggs that travel through the fallopian tubes. Once the egg has left the ovary it can be fertilized and implant itself in the lining of the uterus. The main function of the uterus is to nourish the developing fetus prior to birth.

        Uterus

        illustration

      • Transvaginal ultrasound

        Transvaginal ultrasound - illustration

        Transvaginal ultrasound is a method of imaging the genital tract in females. A hand held probe is inserted directly into the vagina. The probe is moved within the vaginal cavity to scan the pelvic structures, while ultrasound pictures are viewed on a monitor. The test can be performed to evaluate women with infertility problems, abnormal bleeding, sources of unexplained pain, congenital malformations of the uterus and ovaries, and possible tumors and infection.

        Transvaginal ultrasound

        illustration

      Tests for Transvaginal ultrasound

       

      Review Date: 5/16/2016

      Reviewed By: Irina Burd, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Gynecology and Obstetrics at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD. Review provided by VeriMed Healthcare Network. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

      The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. A licensed medical professional should be consulted for diagnosis and treatment of any and all medical conditions. Links to other sites are provided for information only -- they do not constitute endorsements of those other sites. © 1997- A.D.A.M., Inc. Any duplication or distribution of the information contained herein is strictly prohibited.
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