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Procedures: Transvaginal Ultrasound

Description and Purpose

A transvaginal ultrasound , also known as an endovaginal ultrasound or ultrasonography , uses a small ultrasound transducer (about the size of a tampon) that is inserted directly into the vagina. This is used as an alternative to an ultrasound examination through the abdominal wall, as this technique produces a much sharper image, not only because of the close proximity to the uterus, but also because this transducer is more sensitive. The reasons for a transvaginal ultrasound examination include:

Preparation and Procedure

A sterile condom is slipped over the handheld transducer (or probe ), which is then covered with lubricating gel and placed in the vagina. The probe rests up against the cervix . The rest of the test proceeds the same way as transabdominal ultrasound . The images are seen on a video monitor and a hard copy may be made on film. The whole procedure should take about 1 hour.

Advantages Disadvantages
  • No exposure to X-ray radiation.
  • Inexpensive
  • The image is not as high in resolution as a MRI

The information in this page is presented in summarised form and has been taken from the following source(s):
1. The Yale University School of Medicine Patient's Guide to Medical Tests, Barry L. Zaret M.D., Senior Editor, published by Houghton Mifflin. Online:

Other HON resources 
   From MedHunt

Transvaginal Ultrasound
Endovaginal Ultrasound
    From HONselect
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Ultrasonography, Interventional

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Ultrasonography, Interventional


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Contact Last modified: Oct 20 2004