Transvaginal ultrasound is used to evaluate a variety of abnormalities of the
female genital tract. Some of these include the endometrium of women with
infertility problems or abnormal bleeding; sources of unexplained pain;
congenital malformations of the uterus and ovaries; ovarian tumors and cysts;
possible pelvic infection; and causes of infertility.
Transvaginal ultrasound is also used during pregnancy to identify normal intra-uterine
pregnancy; ectopic pregnancy (tubal); fetal heartbeat; and many
abnormalities of the uterus, placenta, and associated pelvic structures that are
incompletely seen with conventional transabdominal ultrasound.
The examination is done with the bladder empty. Many patients prefer
examinations with the vaginal transducer because the bladder does not need to be
You will be lying down on a table. The transducer is a long probe that
is covered with a probe cover and a sterile lubricant and inserted into the vagina. The
healthcare provider will then move the probe within the vaginal cavity to scan
the pelvic structures. The transducer is only about 1 inch in diameter and only
the first two to three inches are inserted into the vagina.
The closer the sound waves are to the area of interest, the clearer and more
detailed the resultant images will be. Because the uterus and ovaries lie deep
beneath the abdominal surface, it can be difficult or impossible to obtain clear
images of details only a few millimeters in size. Due to the transvaginal
transducer being placed to the uterus and ovaries, more information and more
detailed information can be obtained.
Effects of Test
There may be mild discomfort from the pressure of the vaginal probe. Overall,
however, most women find the exam to be more comfortable than an abdominal