Transvaginal ultrasound helps us discover helpful information about a woman’s fertility
The doctors at our Southern California fertility clinic use a transvaginal ultrasound to assess the shape and size of a woman’s uterus, her uterine lining and whether she has uterine abnormalities like fibroids or polyps. This ultrasound also allows the fertility specialist to analyze the health of the woman’s ovaries and determine her antral follicle count, which is an estimate of how many eggs are still in the woman’s ovaries.
In addition to performing an ultrasound during initial fertility testing, we use it to monitor the growth of the follicles and the uterine lining while a patient takes fertility medications.
What happens during a transvaginal ultrasound?
The ultrasound is one of the first evaluations we recommend when a woman comes to our clinic. The findings can help our team determine whether the woman needs more extensive testing, and in some cases reveal the fertility treatments that will be helpful for her unique circumstances.
This type of ultrasound consists of a series of simple steps.
Timing. If we will be evaluating a woman’s antral follicle count, the ultrasound will likely occur between the second and fifth day of her menstrual cycle.
Preparation. Before the transvaginal ultrasound, the woman will undress from the waist down in an exam room. We provide a sheet for coverage.
Placement of the ultrasound transducer. When the woman is ready, the fertility specialist, who is sometimes accompanied by an ultrasound technician, enters the exam room. The doctor or the ultrasound technician covers the ultrasound transducer, or probe, with a lubricated sheath. They then gently insert the tip of the transducer into the vagina.
Examination. As soon as the specialist inserts the transducer, it begins transmitting images to a screen. Ultrasound utilizes sound waves to generate an image of whatever part of the body the specialist is assessing. Subtle shifts in the transducer might be made to gain a better view of certain areas of the reproductive organs. Most women report no discomfort during this exam.
Following the ultrasound, a doctor at our Southern California fertility clinic reviews the findings with the patient and discusses the next steps.
Additional fertility evaluations we typically recommend
In addition to a transvaginal ultrasound, the doctors at our Southern California fertility clinic commonly use other tests to assess a woman’s fertility and monitor her progress when taking ovulation medications.
Bloodwork. Bloodwork offers important information about a woman’s ovarian reserve (egg supply) and levels of hormones like estradiol, prolactin, follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), anti-Mullerian hormone (AMH) and thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH).
Preconception genetic screening. This screening helps us discover whether the woman has any inheritable genetic conditions. If testing reveals such a condition, we might recommend in vitro fertilization (IVF) with preimplantation genetic testing (PGT) to ensure we only transfer a healthy embryo to the woman’s uterus.
These tests, in addition to an ultrasound, help the fertility specialists at our clinic make the right infertility diagnosis. With this information, our team can create a treatment plan that gives the patient the best possible chance of fulfilling her dream of motherhood. Contact us for more information about our fertility evaluations and treatments.