An ultrasound procedure is an extremely common diagnostic test used for a wide variety of medical problems. If you are undergoing infertility testing or therapy, you will likely have a number of sonogram studies over the course of your treatment. Though it can seem intimidating, sonograms are actually a quick and painless way of learning a lot about your reproductive health.
What is Ultrasound?
An ultrasound uses sound waves to allow your doctor to examine parts of your body that are normally not visible. A pelvic ultrasound can also be performed to get a better picture of your reproductive organs. This type of test is commonly performed during infertility testing and fertility treatments.
A transvaginal ultrasound may be used during your fertility workup to assess the health of your cervix, fallopian tubes and ovaries. But this is not the only time that you may need a transvaginal ultrasound. If you are undergoing IVF, IUI, or are receiving hormonal fertility drugs, like Clomid, a transvaginal ultrasound may also be performed.
Unlike the abdominal ultrasound, a full bladder is not necessary for this type of sonogram. During the procedure, the ultrasound probe will be inserted into your vagina. Some liken the feeling to inserting a tampon; it should not feel painful. To create an image, the sound waves produced by the ultrasound equipment will travel along the vagina and bounce off the ovaries. The image relayed back will be of your fallopian tubes, ovaries and egg follicles.
Ultrasound During Treatment
Many infertility treatments and procedures utilize ultrasound, particularly transvaginal ultrasounds. Ultrasound is used to monitor follicular growth, establish when certain procedures, such as retrieval, should be carried out, and to guide your fertility specialist during egg retrieval for IVF.
If you have received fertility drugs to stimulate your egg follicles, the sonogram will be used to keep an eye on the follicular growth and development. Ultrasound can also help to detect whether the fertility medication is causing ovarian hyperstimulation syndrome, a serious condition in which the hormone therapy over-stimulates the follicles, causing them to grow too much.
If you are to undergo egg retrieval, a sonogram will be used to watch for signs of ovulation in order to time the collection of your eggs. When your eggs are retrieved, your fertility specialist will use ultrasound to get a clear image of your ovaries and guide them in the retrieval process. Also, after conceiving, a sonogram can be used to follow the growth of the pregnancy. The doctors at The Center for Advanced Reproductive Medicine & Fertility are highly skilled at performing all aspects of pelvic ultrasound. They have accumulated decades of experience on thousands of women.
To schedule your initial fertility consultation or to undergo diagnostic testing, please call our office at 732-339-9300 or request an appointment online.