Prior to transvaginal ultrasound you will empty your bladder. You will be asked to lie on your back with your feet slighty lowered. You will be completely covered with a sheet during the examination. Most women find the examination less uncomfortable than having a PAP smear performed. A sterile thin, lubricated, covered transducer probe will be gently inserted into your vagina. Only the tip of the transducer is put in the vagina.
Transvaginal ultrasound is a standard part of the examination. It gives clearer information for almost all women, but is particularly useful in women who:
- Are overweight.
- Are being assessed as part of fertility treatment.
- Are unable to maintain a full bladder.
- Are post-menopausal.
- Have a retroverted (tilted back) uterus.
Transvaginal ultrasound creates a clearer picture than transabdominal scanning because the transducer probe is closer to the organs being viewed. However, transvaginal ultrasound looks at a smaller area than transabdominal ultrasound.
Very occasionally, sterile saline is put into the cavity of the uterus through a tiny tube (catheter) to look at the lining of the uterus.