Pelvic Ultrasound

photo by F R Mir

Many physicians use an internal or transvaginal ultrasound as a part of the initial examination process to check that the uterus appears normal and whether the ovaries have a polycystic appearance. The pelvic ultrasound has many uses including assessing follicular development, measuring endometrial thickness, and diagnosing other abnormalities such as large uterine fibroids.

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.

The good news? You do not need to have a full bladder during your transvaginal ultrasounds.

If you are undergoing IVF, expect multiple ultrasounds.

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 Ovulation

After 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 Retrieval

Another 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.


 
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