Transvaginal Ultrasound

Author: Dr Monica Pahuja*

What are the prerequisites for having a transvaginal ultrasound done?

There are many reasons for which transvaginal ultrasound may be a useful examination:

  • pelvic pain;
  • all gynaecological symptoms;
  • assessment of endometrium;
  • presence of polyps or fibroids;
  • assessment for suspected polycystic ovaries;
  • ovarian cysts or tumours;
  • screening for ovarian cancer;
  • assessment of early pregnancy (dating);
  • possible miscarriage;
  • ectopic pregnancy.

What are the absolute contraindications for a transvaginal ultrasound?

  • Paediatric age group.
  • Premature rupture of the membranes.
  • Bleeding associated with known placenta praevia.

Patient consent (verbal or written) is always obtained. A patient is always allowed to decline the test.

What are the relative contraindications for a transvaginal ultrasound?

  • Virginal status.
  • Patient refusal.

What are the adverse effects of a transvaginal ultrasound?

There are no adverse effects of a transvaginal ultrasound.

Are there alternative imaging tests, interventions or surgical procedures to a transvaginal ultrasound?

CT is used in the clinical setting of staging known gynaecological malignancy. MRI is used for local staging of gynaecological malignancy.

Further information about transvaginal ultrasound:

Please advise the radiologist of the date of the last period and if there is a history of gynaecological surgery as well as the nature of this surgery.

Useful websites about transvaginal ultrasound:

Australian Society for Ultrasound in Medicine Website:

*The author has no conflict of interest with this topic.

Page last modified on 26/7/2017.

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