Transvaginal Ultrasound (TVUS)

Reviewed by Dr. Huma Rasheed, MBBSCheckmark | Last updated: April 6, 2020

What Does Transvaginal Ultrasound (TVUS) Mean?

Transvaginal ultrasound (TVUS) is a procedure where an ultrasound probe is inserted about two or three inches into the vagina (transvaginal means through the vagina) to thoroughly examine the female reproductive organs, including the uterus, fallopian tubes, ovaries, cervix, and the pelvic area.

A transvaginal ultrasound uses sound waves to obtain images without any radiation involved. It allows for optimal visualization of the female pelvic organs by providing higher quality images than would be obtained from an abdominal ultrasound scan.

FertilitySmarts Explains Transvaginal Ultrasound (TVUS)

A transvaginal ultrasound may be required for a number of reasons.

During pregnancy:

  • To confirm the date of pregnancy
  • To monitor the baby's heartbeat, movements, and growth
  • Assess the condition of the placenta
  • Examine the cervix for any changes that could result in a miscarriage or premature delivery
  • Detect an ectopic pregnancy (a condition where an embryo implants outside the uterus)

In a non-pregnant woman in cases of:

  • An unexplained vaginal bleeding
  • An abnormal pelvic exam
  • Pelvic pain
  • Bleeding after menopause
  • Detecting cysts, uterine fibroids, or polyps
  • Confirming the accurate placement of an intrauterine device (IUD)
  • Excessive bleeding, pain, or signs of infection
  • Evaluating and monitoring the treatment of infertility: If you are on fertility medications, the ultrasound scan can be used for monitoring endometrial development, ovarian follicle development, and ovulation. The doctor may also use transvaginal ultrasound to guide medical instruments during in vitro fertilization (IVF) procedures like egg retrieval

What to Expect During a Transvaginal Ultrasound

During a transvaginal ultrasound, the woman is asked to empty the bladder, then to undress from the waist down and wear a gown or cover with the provided sheet. The patient then lies down with the legs parted and bent at the knee joints.

The doctor or technician then covers up the ultrasound probe (or wand), applies a lubricating gel over it, and finally inserts the probe inserted into the vagina.

The probe is gently moved to capture every end of the pelvis while the images are obtained in real-time.

Transvaginal Ultrasound (TVUS)

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