Ultrasound examination is a popular diagnostic method of gynecology, characterized by accessibility, safety and informativeness. The research results are quite accurate and help the doctor assess the condition of the pelvic organs and identify all the existing pathologies.
There are two types of ultrasound, which is performed to examine the pelvic organs - transabdominal and transvaginal. In the first case, the ultrasound probe is located on the front wall of the abdominal cavity, in the second it is inserted into the vagina. Transvaginal ultrasound allows you to more clearly examine all internal organs and identify even the slightest changes.
How it works?
With transvaginal ultrasound, the device’s sensor is inserted into the woman’s vagina. Given that the vaginal walls are very thin and there is no adipose tissue, you can get a clear image of the internal organs.
At the time of the procedure, the woman practically does not feel any discomfort - the sensor is a thin (up to 3 cm in diameter) plastic rod 12 cm long. There is a channel at the tip of the rod with a special needle designed to collect tissue samples for biopsy.
Ultrasonic waves passing through the tissue, allow you to display on the monitor the image of the investigated organs. If necessary, the procedure can be repeated several times - the effect of ultrasound on the body has no negative effects.
What can be seen on an ultrasound of the uterus and appendages?
Transvaginal ultrasound allows you to fully explore the fallopian tubes, ovaries and appendages. At the time of scanning, a specialist can notice the following pathologies - an ovarian cyst, fluid in the uterine or pelvic cavity, rupture or pathology of the ovaries and fallopian tubes, the presence of neoplasms, fibroids, erosion, inflammatory processes, and the like.
Very often, transvaginal ultrasound is indicated for women in early pregnancy. Scanning allows you to confirm or deny the fact of pregnancy and to establish if there are fetal malformations. For example, only with transvaginal ultrasound, you can fix the fetal heartbeat for up to 5 weeks. At later stages of pregnancy, ultrasound through the abdominal cavity is recommended.
Such a study is often prescribed by reproductologists - monitoring the development of the ovaries makes it possible to accurately determine the most suitable moment of conception. To eliminate obstruction of the fallopian tubes, a contrast amplifier is introduced into the cavity.
Indications for appointment
Transvaginal ultrasound examination facilitates diagnosis and allows to identify pathologies and lesions of the pelvic organs. A gynecologist, reproductologist or surgeon may issue a referral for research.
The main indications for ultrasound are:
- copious spotting from the vagina that does not coincide with the menstrual cycle;
- causeless pains in the lower abdomen, which periodically increase;
- disruptions in the menstrual cycle, a pathological change in the duration of menstruation;
- lack of pregnancy with active sex for more than 6 months.
Additionally, experts advise each woman to undergo a transvaginal examination procedure at least once a year. This will allow you to identify diseases at an early stage of development and prevent complications.
Special preparation for the procedure is not required. If necessary, ultrasound is performed on the day of appointment. The study takes place with an empty bladder - before the diagnosis, a woman needs to visit the toilet, and one hour before the appointed time to refuse food and fluids.
Patients with diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, accompanied by increased gas formation, are recommended to take medications that prevent this phenomenon.
Cycle day selection
Women who have difficulty conceiving or who suffer from an irregular menstrual cycle are advised to conduct a study before ovulation. In this case, the scan results will be more accurate. If it is possible to plan the procedure in advance, you must select a date that falls on the 5-8 day of the cycle.
Examination in the second half of the menstrual cycle, that is, after ovulation, is prescribed for suspected endometriosis. For accuracy, an ultrasound scan is performed several times on different days of the cycle - this way you can track the dynamics of the development of pathology. In case of uterine bleeding, which is not menstrual flow, emergency ultrasound is indicated.
Ultrasound in early pregnancy
Thanks to an ultrasound scan through the vagina, the doctor can determine the presence of a fetal egg several days after conception. The procedure is prescribed to exclude early pathologies - the threat of interruption, pathology of the development of the placenta, improper fixation of the fetal egg.
Features of the procedure
Before the study, a woman should completely expose the lower half of the body. The patient is laid on her back on the couch, bends her legs at the knees and spreads them wide. In this position, it will remain during the entire scanning time.
An ultrasound transducer that is inserted into the vagina is called a transducer. Before starting the procedure, a condom is necessarily put on it, which is additionally lubricated with a special gel. Lubrication function - reduced discomfort for women and improved contact of the transducer and the walls of the vagina.
The specialist performing the study carefully inserts the sensor into the vagina - in the absence of internal injuries, the patient does not experience pain or discomfort. The scan duration is about 5 minutes.
Deciphering the results of the study is carried out by the attending physician.
Limitations and contraindications
There are practically no contraindications for transvaginal scanning. The restriction is the 2nd and 3rd trimester of pregnancy - at this time, insertion of the sensor into the vagina can provoke an increase in uterine tone.
For virgins, the transducer is not inserted into the vagina, but into the anus - in order to exclude mechanical damage to the hymen.