Transvaginal UltrasoundThe transvaginal ultrasound is used to assess the health of your harder-to-see reproductive organs, including:
- your cervix
- your fallopian tubes
- your ovaries
The vaginal ultrasound is also an essential part of assisted reproductive treatments, especially IVF and IUI. It is used to analyze the health of the eggs in your ovaries and it is also helpful in determining how your follicles are responding to hormone treatment. Transvaginal ultrasound is also used to determine when to induce ovulation during IVF treatment.
What Happens During a Transvaginal Ultrasound?During a transvaginal ultrasound, an ultrasound probe is inserted into your vagina. This is not painful, and feels very much like a tampon. Ultrasound waves emitted by the probe travel up your vagina and bounce off your ovaries. This provides your reproductive specialist with a very clear image of your eggs and ovaries. You do not need to have a full bladder during your transvaginal ultrasounds.
Using Ultrasounds in Infertility TreatmentsUltrasounds are used frequently during infertility treatments and procedures. They are often used in order to monitor the growth of egg follicles and to determine when procedures should be completed. They are also used to aid in egg retrieval.
Ultrasounds in IVFUltrasounds are commonly used throughout different periods in infertility treatments like IVF.
After Hormone Treatment
After initial hormone injections are given, ultrasound is used to monitor follicular growth and development. Your doctor will use a transvaginal ultrasound in order to count the number of follicles in your ovaries and to assess their size and health. This will help your doctor to decide when it is time to give you hCG in order to stimulate ovulation.
Ultrasound is also used to monitor for hyperstimulation syndrome, a condition in which the ovaries become overstimulated by hormone therapy and swell to large sizes.
After OvulationAfter your follicles have been stimulated to ovulate, your doctor will perform another ultrasound. This ultrasound will be used in order to detect when it is time to remove your developed eggs.
During Egg RetrievalAnother ultrasound will be performed in order to guide egg retrieval for IVF. It is necessary that your specialist has a precise image of your ovaries in order to remove the right eggs at just the right time.