In most instances, transvaginal ultrasound will be offered in addition to transabdominal ultrasound, when the clinical question has not been clearly answered.
Because of the nature of the ultrasound beam, the further away the probe is from the region of interest, the less detailed the image becomes. Usually when performing pelvic or pregnancy examinations a transabdominal (over the abdomen) scan is initially done, utilising the full bladder as a 'window' to give an overview of the uterus and ovaries or pregnancy. The transvaginal scan is then performed to assess these areas in more detail, such as the lining of the uterus, follicular number on the ovaries, accurate measurements for dating a pregnancy or to exclude an ectopic, to give a few examples.
Preparation before your ultrasound is very important. Please follow the instructions given to you at the time of booking carefully and thoroughly. We recommend you wear a separate top to bottoms during your appointment as this makes changing for the examination easier.
When a pelvic (transabdominal) ultrasound examination is requested, a full bladder is necessary to provide a clear window to the uterus.
Once the decision has been made to perform a transvaginal ultrasound examination, you will be asked to empty your bladder.
Transvaginal ultrasounds are performed alongside a normal pelvic ultrasound and are useful as it allows the sonographer to get closer to the area they are imaging. This part of the scan will only take a short amount of time and the sonographer will do everything they can to make you feel comfortable.
You will be asked to empty your bladder before this part of the scan. For the transvaginal ultrasound examination the vaginal transducer is covered in a disposable, protective rubber sheath. Usually, the patient is asked to insert the transducer into the vagina with assistance from the sonographer. The insertion of the vaginal transducer is similar to the insertion of the vaginal speculum that most women have experienced, during a pap smear examination.
Once the transducer is in position, the sonographer moves it to image the pelvic organs. Only a small portion of the transducer will be placed in the vagina. The transducer’s long length provides a handle for the sonographer to grasp. The transvaginal ultrasound examination is recognised as being safe, with minimal discomfort.
You will always be offered a transvaginal for any pelvic examination due to the important information it allows our doctors to put into their report to your referring doctor. Most first trimester pregnancy examinations require an
internal scan, but it becomes more limited to areas such as the cervix and placenta in later pregnancies. You will be asked to sign a consent as part of our questionnaire and any contraindications or concerns can be discussed with the sonographer at the time of the examination. You must always alert the staff to any latex allergy as latex free probe covers will need to be used.
Each of our practices use a variety of equipment including Philips, Toshiba and GE machines.
Your ultrasound will be performed by a sonographer who is a specially trained medical professional.
The images captured by the sonographer are viewed by a radiologist who will provide a report of findings.
Watch: Having a Transvaginal Ultrasound with Queensland X-Ray
How much will it cost?
Fees for radiology procedures will vary depending on a variety of factors. We will advise you about the cost of your service at the time of booking but if you do have any questions, contact us and one of our team will be happy to help with your query. You can read more about our billing information here.
How do I access my images?
At Queensland X-Ray, we provide our patients with their images and results online. To access your images and results, you’ll need to register for an account when you visit one of our practices. If you’ve already registered, you can access the Patient Portal here.