Learn more about how a transvaginal ultrasound helps us assess a woman’s fertility
A transvaginal ultrasound is an effective tool that the doctors at our Tennessee fertility clinic use to analyze a woman’s uterus and uterine lining. They use this tool to determine whether she has any uterine abnormalities, such as fibroids or polyps. In addition, an ultrasound allows the fertility specialist to examine a woman’s ovaries and determine her antral follicle count, which is an estimate of how many eggs she still has in her ovaries. When a patient is taking fertility medications, we also use an ultrasound to monitor the growth of follicles and the uterine lining.
What can you expect during a transvaginal ultrasound?
When a woman comes to our Tennessee fertility clinic for support, an ultrasound is one of the first diagnostic tools we typically use. The results of the ultrasound can help the doctor determine whether the woman needs more comprehensive testing and help them develop a customized fertility treatment plan.
A transvaginal ultrasound involves a series of simple steps.
Scheduling. When the primary goal of the ultrasound is to determine the woman’s antral follicle count, we’ll likely schedule it to take place between days two and five of her menstrual cycle.
Preparation. To prepare for an ultrasound, the patient undresses from the waist down in the privacy of an exam room. We also provide a sheet for coverage.
Introduction of the ultrasound transducer. After receiving permission from the patient, the doctor, who is sometimes accompanied by an ultrasound technician, enters the exam room. They then cover the ultrasound transducer with a lubricated sheath and slowly insert the tip of it two to three inches into the vagina.
Examination. When the transducer enters the vagina, it uses sound waves to generate images that are sent to a screen. By making small shifts in the location of the transducer, the doctor is usually able to get a clearer view of whatever part of the reproductive organs they’re assessing. Most women report no discomfort during this exam.
After the ultrasound, the doctor reviews the results and discusses the next steps with the patient.
Other fertility evaluations the doctor might recommend
To receive a comprehensive view of a woman’s fertility health, the doctor often orders additional tests. These fertility tests, along with the transvaginal ultrasound, help the doctor create a treatment plan that gives the patient the best chance of taking home a healthy baby.
Bloodwork. Bloodwork allows the doctor to assess fertility hormones that provide information about a woman’s egg supply, ovulation and other factors that affect fertility. Hormones they typically examine include estradiol, follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), anti-Mullerian hormone (AMH), prolactin and thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH).
Preconception genetic screening. As inheritable genetic conditions can affect a woman’s ability to become pregnant and the health of her children, our fertility specialists often recommend preconception genetic screening. When we discover certain inheritable conditions, we might suggest in vitro fertilization (IVF) with preimplantation genetic testing (PGT) to make sure we only transfer a healthy embryo to the woman’s uterus.
An ultrasound, in conjunction with other fertility tests, helps the doctors at our Tennessee fertility clinic make the right infertility diagnosis. Armed with a diagnosis, our team can develop a customized treatment plan that helps the patient fulfill their dream of parenthood. Contact us for more information about our fertility tests and treatments.