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Transvaginal ultrasound

Endovaginal ultrasound; Ultrasound - transvaginal

 

Transvaginal ultrasound is a test used to look at a woman's reproductive organs, including the uterus, ovaries, and cervix.

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 usually 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.

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  • Ultrasound in pregnancy

    Ultrasound in pregnancy

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  • Female reproductive anatomy

    Female reproductive anat...

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  • Uterus

    Uterus

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  • Transvaginal ultrasound

    Transvaginal ultrasound

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    • Ultrasound in pregnancy

      Ultrasound in pregnancy

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    • Female reproductive anatomy

      Female reproductive anat...

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    • Uterus

      Uterus

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    • Transvaginal ultrasound

      Transvaginal ultrasound

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    A Closer Look

     

      Self Care

       

        Tests for Transvaginal ultrasound

         
         

        Review Date: 7/28/2014

        Reviewed By: Cynthia D. White, MD, Fellow American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Group Health Cooperative, Bellevue, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Isla Ogilvie, PhD, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

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