Ultrasounds (sonograms) record information from sound waves passed into the body and returned to recording surfaces. They produce images, similar to X-Rays, but no radiation is involved. The ultrasonographer and physician then interpret these images.
A transvaginal ultrasound involves placing a probe into the vagina and manipulating the probe to view the pelvic organs including the ovaries and uterus. It takes less than 10 minutes to complete, and is painless. You should empty your bladder prior to having a transvaginal ultrasound.
An abdominal ultrasound is obtained by placing the sonogram probe on the abdomen. It is recommended that your bladder be full to prepare for an abdominal ultrasound. This type of sonogram also takes approximately 10 minutes and is painless.
Ultrasounds are used for a number of reasons in fertility patients including: monitoring for ART cycles, medication cycles, and transvaginal guided egg aspiration during IVF. Ultrasound is useful to measuring the size of an ovarian cyst or uterine fibroids.