Transvaginal Ultrasound Preparation - click for PDFTransvaginal Ultrasound Image

For patient safety, patients exceeding the posted weight restrictions will not be done at London X-Ray Associates. The weight limit for all Ultrasound exams is 350 lbs.


Ultrasound uses sound, not x-rays, to produce images. A probe placed on or in the body sends a thin high-frequency sound beam (above the range that humans can hear) into the body. The sound bounces off of structures within the body and back to the probe. A computer is able to construct images based on the time required for these echoes to return.

Transvaginal ultrasound is done following a pelvic ultrasound if a closer look at the uterus and ovaries is required. Transvaginal ultrasound is also used to assess early pregnancy. Instead of scanning through the abdominal wall and the full bladder to see the pelvic organs, a long narrow ultrasound probe is placed in the vagina. The ultrasound probe is closer to the structures being examined, allowing us to see the pelvic organs in greater detail. The examination takes about 15 minutes.

Common Reasons for a Transvaginal Ultrasound

Some of the more common reasons for transvaginal ultrasound following a pelvic ultrasound include:

  • Better visualization of abnormalities
  • More accurate measurement of pelvic structures
  • Earlier detection of pregnancy

Who should not have a transvaginal ultrasound?

Ultrasound is an extremely safe procedure and there are very few conditions that would prevent it from being performed. Since a probe must be placed in the vagina, ultrasound may not be possible in those who have had recent vaginal or cervical surgery. Pregnant patients who are in labor may not be able to have a transvaginal ultrasound. Transvaginal ultrasound may be performed earlier in pregnancy without risk.

How do I prepare for the test?

Tampons and pessaries must be removed. You must empty your bladder.

Who performs the examination?

An ultrasound technologist (a person trained to take ultrasound images) performs the examination. At London X-ray Associates, all of our technologists have met and maintain registration standards with the international governing body, the American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonographers.

What happens during the examination?

The examination follows a pelvic ultrasound. You will be asked to empty your bladder and remove your pants/skirt and underwear. The transvaginal probe is cleaned in an antiseptic solution between each use. The probe is approximately the size of a tampon and covered with a single use disposable latex free cover. A small amount of water-soluble lubricant is used to ease insertion. Depending on your preference, the probe can be inserted by either you or the technologist. The procedure should not be painful and you can end the examination at any time. At the completion of the procedure, the probe is removed. You will be given materials to clean yourself.

What can I expect after the examination?

Transvaginal ultrasound generally has no after-effects and you should be able to return to activities of daily living.

What are the risks of the procedure?

Ultrasound is an extremely safe procedure that does not expose the body to x-rays. Ultrasound transmits very small quantities of sound energy into the body but this produces no known harmful effects when standard techniques are used.

Who interprets the results and how do I get them?

The results are interpreted by one of our radiologists (a doctor trained to interpret x-rays and other medical images) and the results are sent to the doctor who ordered the ultrasound by courier or fax.

Arrangements to discuss the results of the ultrasound can be made with the doctor who ordered it.

Are childcare (baby sitting) services available while I have my exam?

No childcare services are available. Please prearrange the following:
Adult supervision in the waiting room must be provided at all times for children while you, the caregiver, are having your exam completed. London X-Ray Associates staff will not be able to provide any childcare needs. We ask that all children be supervised by an adult, other than the patient, while at London X-Ray Associates.
Thank you.