A transvaginal ultrasound is a test used to look at a woman’s reproductive organs, including the uterus, tubes, ovaries and cervix.

Before the test is performed, you will be asked to empty your bladder.

The test is performed with the patient lying down on a table with your knees bent and your feet in stirrups. You will then introduce a probe, called a transducer, into the vagina. The probe is covered with a condom and gel. The probe sends out sound waves, which reflect off of body structures.

A computer receives the waves and uses them to create a picture. The ultrasound technician or doctor can then see the picture on the computer screen. The health care provider will move the probe around to see the pelvic organs. This test is usually painless, although some women may experience discomfort from the pressure of the probe.

A transvaginal ultrasound may be done for the following reasons:

  • Abnormal findings on examination
  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding or menstrual problems
  • Infertility
  • Suspected ectopic pregnancy
  • Pelvic pain

There are no know harmful effects of transvaginal ultrasound on humans. There is no radiation exposure from this test.