Transvaginal ultrasound is an imaging technique used to create a picture of the genital tract in woman for examining the uterus, ovaries, and cervical in a female. A specialized transducer that produces the ultrasound waves is inserted directly into the vagina, close to the pelvic structures. Thus often producing cleare and less distorted images than obtained through transabdominal ultrasound technology, where the transducer is located externally on the skin of the abdomen.

Purpose of Vaginal Ultrasound

Transvaginal ultrasound can used to evaluate problems or abnormalities of the female genital tract. It may provide more accurate information than transabdominal ultrasound for women who are obese, for women who are being evaluated or treat for infertility, or for women who have difficulty keeping a full bladder. Types of conditions or abnormalities that can be examined include:

  • The endometrium of woman with infertility problems or who experiencing abnormal bleeding
  • Sources of unexplained pain
  • Congenital malformations of the ovaries and uterus
  • Ovarian cysts and tumors
  • Pelvic infections, such as pelvic inflammatory disease
  • Bladder abnormalities
  • A misplaced IUD (intrauterine device)
  • Other causes of infertility

Transvaginal ultrasound can also be used during pregnancy. The test can be administered during any stage of the woman’s menstrual cycle. Its capability of producing more complete images means that it is especially useful for identifying ectopic pregnancy, fetal heartbeat, and abnormalities of the uterus, placenta, and associated pelvic structures.

How to Prepare for Vaginal Ultrasound?

A full bladder is not required for transvaginal ultrasound, as is required for transabdominal ultrasound. She can continue to take medications prescribed by her health care, although she should not drink liquids for four hours before the test.