A pelvic ultrasound exam will most likely be performed at some time during your fertility evaluation and treatment. This is an important procedure that uses ultrasonic sound waves to view your internal pelvic organs. It can provide a wealth of information about your uterus, tubes, and ovaries. The ultrasound exam is performed in your doctor's office or in a nearby hospital. The procedure is conducted either by your doctor or a specially trained ultrasound technician.
Ultrasound often plays an important role in both the diagnosis and treatment of infertility issues. For example, ultrasound can diagnose certain potential problems within your pelvis by identifying a mass or cyst. Ultrasound is also used in the treatment of infertility, such as retrieving eggs for in vitro fertilization (a process in which an egg is fertilized in a dish in a laboratory and then placed inside the woman to achieve pregnancy).
Your doctor may also want to get an estimate of how many eggs you have remaining. A good test for this is the antral follicle count (AFC). Antral follicles are tiny saclike structures that surround each egg. The doctor will visualize and measure these follicles within each ovary. For best results, this test must be performed early during your menstrual cycle, typically on day 3 of your cycle. The number of antral follicles found correlates well to the number of viable eggs that remain in your ovaries.
The pelvic ultrasound is almost always performed using a vaginal approach. That's because it allows the doctor to see your internal pelvic organs up close and with great detail and clarity. For this exam, you'll be asked to remove your underwear and recline on the exam table, much as you do for a pelvic or Pap test. You'll have a sheet draped over your lower body for privacy. The lights in the room will be dimmed and a specially shaped vaginal probe transducer will be inserted into your vagina. Prior to insertion, the probe will be covered with a lubricated condom for your safety and comfort. Because the transducer is inside of your vagina and close to your cervix, it is able to transmit clear and detailed images of your uterus, tubes, and ovaries, which are projected on the television-like monitor.
You will experience no pain or discomfort during the vaginal approach pelvic ultrasound. The ultrasound procedure takes between 15 and 30 minutes. Your doctor will have a conversation with you about the ultrasound examination's findings. You can then work together and plan your next step toward becoming pregnant.
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A Beginner's Guide to Healthy Pregnancy. If you suspect, or know, that you are pregnant, we ho pe you have already visited your doctor. Presuming that you have confirmed your suspicions and that this is your first child, or that you wish to take better care of yourself d uring pregnancy than you did during your other pregnancies; you have come to the right place.