A gynecological ultrasound is a noninvasive medical exam that produces images of the female reproductive system. The ultrasound allows medical professionals to visualize almost all organs and tissues within the female pelvis. This includes the:
Why Is a Gynecological Ultrasound Performed?
A gynecological ultrasound can be used for a multitude of reasons, such as the assessment for any of the following:
- Size, shape, and position of both the uterus, ovaries, and cervix
- Presences of liquids in and thickness of the endometrial layer, myometrium, and fallopian tubes
- Blood flow through all organs
Though a great imaging tool, an ultrasound cannot diagnose a patient with a specific disease. Fortunately, the tool may help in distinguishing certain features that may be helpful in pointing in the direction of a specific disease. An ultrasound could help with distinguishing and treating:
- Tumors and cysts
- Pelvic inflammatory disease
- Assessing follicle size for procedures such as IVF
- Ectopic pregnancy
- Postmenopausal bleeding
A gynecological ultrasound can also support the conduction of other medical procedures such as an endometrial biopsy.
In most gynecological ultrasounds, you will be told by your provider to drink a substantial amount of water an hour before showing up for your ultrasound. The amount could be up to 24 ounces. However, in the case of transvaginal ultrasounds, you will be required to empty your bladder right before the procedure. Your provider may request other specific preparations from you when observing your unique situation.
In a transabdominal ultrasound, you will be asked to lay on your back during the duration of the procedure. Gel will be put onto your abdomen. A transducer will then be pressed against your abdomen over the area of interest. The transducer helps form images on the monitor by using sounds waves. After the completion of the procedure, the gel will be removed, and you can now empty your bladder.
Contrastingly, in a transvaginal ultrasound, you will be asked to lay down on the examination table and your legs will be supported with stirrups. A long thin transducer covered with a sheath and lubricated will be inserted into your vagina. This may cause some discomfort but will not be painful. The transducer will then be angled to project the area of interest onto the monitor. Just as the transvaginal transducer, the transvaginal transducer will also use sound waves to piece together images. At the completion of the procedure, the transducer will be removed.
You will be able to carry on your day as you would normally after the conduction of the ultrasound and no adverse effects are likely to happen. In accordance with the findings of the scan, you doctor may advise you additional guidelines. The findings from the ultrasound and other information collected by your provider should be able to provide you with a suitable diagnosis.
ObGyn Ultrasounds in Buffalo Grove, Schaumburg, Hoffman Estates, Barrington & Bartlett, IL
For more information, call Women’s HealthFirst at (847) 808-8884 or request your appointment now. We have five locations near Chicago, Illinois, to serve you. Established patients are encouraged to visit the convenient online patient portal to request an appointment, message our team, update their records, and more.