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Transvaginal ultrasounds are used most often during early pregnancy, when the uterus and fallopian tubes are closer to the vagina. They may also be used later in pregnancy to assess the cervix length or placental location.
A transvaginal ultrasound examination involves placing a small ultrasound probe into the vagina to obtain clear images. It is not a painful procedure and is completed on an empty bladder.
Strict policies and procedures are in place to ensure the disinfection and sterilization of the trans-vaginal probe. The trans-vaginal probe is also covered with a disposable non latex sheath throughout the exam.
The ultrasound results will be sent to your physician, or midwife in a timely manner. We are not at liberty to discuss the findings of the exam with you (as is the case with any other medical test you might have). Some limited information may be given following the examination but the final results will have to be discussed with your doctor or health care provider.
The following ultrasound examinations are available at Women’s Ultrasound Clinic:
Dating Ultrasound – performed in the first trimester.
Integrated Prenatal Screening (IPS) – performed between 11 and 14 weeks.
Measurements of the Nuchal Translucency - a collection of fluid under the skin at the back of a baby’s neck will be taken. The patient will also be required to perform IPS bloodwork at this time. IPS forms should be provided and completed by your health care provider, and presented at the time of your appointment.
Morphology/Anatomy Ultrasound – performed after 18 weeks gestation. Images and measurements of all fetal anatomy will be obtained. Incomplete anatomy ultrasound examinations may require a follow up ultrasound which may be booked prior to the patient leaving the department or by your health care provider.
Level 2 Ultrasound – performed between 18-21 weeks (or any time during second and third trimester). Level 2 or targeted ultrasounds are usually ordered by your physician or health care provider when there is some increased risk in your pregnancy or as a method to complete images that may have been difficult during a previous ultrasound examination. Your physician/health care provider may ask that special attention be given to specific parts of the baby – the brain, the heart, or other organs.
There are no special preparations required for this type of ultrasound. You may have a support person with you during the procedure but any accompanying children should remain supervised in the waiting area. This exam will take ~30 minutes.
Growth Study/Biophysical Profile – performed in third trimester. Growth studies may be performed to monitor the growth of your baby. They cannot be done on a weekly basis as this can result in inaccurate weight estimations - they should only be done after 10 – 14 days from the previous exam (if necessary).
Biophysical profile is an ultrasound that screens for fetal well being – this is generally done in combination with a growth study but may be ordered by your health care provider if necessary. Biophysical profiles assess different parameters in order to assure that your baby is moving well and in a healthy environment.
Doppler Ultrasound – performed in second and third trimester. A doppler ultrasound measures blood flow in the umbilical cord and vessels in the babies head, heart and abdomen. These measurements can provide details about the babies circulation.
Fetal Echocardiography – performed in second and third trimester. This type of ultrasound provides a detailed image of the baby’s heart and blood vessels. It may be used to confirm or rule out a congenital heart defect.
You may have a support person with you during this procedure but any accompanying children should remain supervised in the waiting area. This exam will take ~30 minutes.