Fertility journeys can often be a source of stress and worry accompanied by many factors. For individuals worried about their fertility, embarking on a fertility journey, or going through a fertility journey, monitoring of fertility health plays a large role. Fertility ultrasound scans play a crucial role in this journey, providing couples and individuals with the opportunity to monitor and evaluate ways to enhance their chances of conception. In this blog post we’ll explore fertility ultrasounds, how they work, why and when they’re necessary, and their role in assisting hopeful parents on their path to parenthood.
What is a fertility ultrasound?
Fertility ultrasound scans, otherwise know as pelvic ultrasounds or transvaginal ultrasounds, are safe, quick, and non-invasive imaging procedure used in the evaluation of the female reproductive system. These ultrasounds facilitate high-frequency soundwaves to produce quality real-time images of anatomy in the pelvic region. Ultrasounds are a vital tool in evaluating and monitoring various conditions related to fertility.
Why is a fertility ultrasound scan performed?
Ultrasounds aimed at assessing fertility may be performed for a number of reasons, including:
- If a couple has been trying to conceive without success, doctors may recommend a fertility evaluation which often includes ultrasound scans to assess for any issues
- Women with irregular menstrual cycles or other signs of ovulatory dysfunction may undergo ultrasound monitoring to evaluate follicular development and ovulation.
- Those with a known history of conditions such as PCOS, fibroids, or endometriosis may undergo ultrasounds to assess their impact on fertility, and to monitor the progression, if any, of the condition, especially during the fertility journey.
- Couples considering assisted reproductive technologies (ART), like in vitro fertilization (IVF), often undergo a series of ultrasounds to monitor the response to fertility medications and to plan the timing of egg retrieval. These ultrasounds are performed at intervals, each scan is important to the fertility journey and allows for precise planning.
What can a fertility ultrasound assess?
Assessing the different factors of the reproductive system allows for a more comprehensive evaluation of the pelvic region and reproductive organs. Some of these factors include:
- Follicular Monitoring: Fertility ultrasounds are frequently used to monitor the growth and development of ovarian follicles. During a typical menstrual cycle, a mature follicle containing an egg is necessary for successful conception. Ultrasounds help fertility specialists track the size and number of these follicles, ensuring that the optimal time for fertilization is not missed.
- Ovarian cysts: For women who may have or suspect ovarian cysts, an ultrasound can help identify the characteristic cysts on the ovaries and assess the potential impact on fertility.
- Uterine Abnormalities: Fertility ultrasounds can reveal any structural abnormalities or conditions in the uterus, such as fibroids, polyps, or endometrial thickness. Identifying and addressing these issues is essential for a successful pregnancy.
- Tubal Assessment: Fertility ultrasounds can check for blockages or abnormalities in the fallopian tubes. Blocked fallopian tubes can prevent the egg from meeting the sperm, resulting in infertility.
- Ovulation Tracking: For those who are actively trying to conceive, fertility ultrasounds can confirm ovulation by detecting the corpus luteum, a structure formed after the egg is released from the follicle.
What to expect during the procedure
Two scans are usually performed for a thorough evaluation of the pelvic region and organs: A pelvic ultrasound scan and a transvaginal ultrasound scan. Therefore, there is minimal preparation that must be taken to ensure the best quality images.
In preparation for the scan you may be asked to drink a lot of water so that your bladder is full for the first scan, this allows clinicians to have a better look at the organs.
You may also be asked to change into a gown for easier access.
During the scan:
- Preparation: These scans are performed with the patient lying. The transabdominal scan of the pelvis (over the tummy) is performed first, with a gel applied over the abdomen. The transvaginal scan is performed second. Before the transvaginal scan is performed patients are told to use the toilet so the scan is performed on an empty bladder. For the TV scan, a slender probe is inserted into the vagina to give a clearer look at the anatomy.
- Ultrasound scanning: The transducer probe emits high frequency sound waves which bounce of structures and create real time images on the monitor.
- Image interpretation: Images taken during the scan are interpreted by sonographers or doctors to evaluates any findings. The information attained is crucial in diagnosis and deciding next steps.
The entire procedure is usually painless; however, some find the transvaginal ultrasound scan to cause some discomfort. The entire process usually takes around 30 minutes to complete.
To conclude, fertility ultrasound scans are a valuable tool in the aiding the fertility journey. The combination of the transabdominal scan and transvaginal scans allows clinicians to attain highly valuable information from two perspectives which are beneficial in taking measurements and closely evaluating health of the reproductive organs. If someone is experiencing issues conceiving or experiencing any worrying symptoms, then it is important to consult with a healthcare provider regarding next steps. Being informed about the procedure and its results can aid better decisions regarding wellbeing and peace of mind.
At Fusion Healthcare, our affordable private fertility ultrasound scans which may help you save time and prioritize your health, and with quick access to other affordable services which may benefit you, our private ultrasound scans may be just what you need to take charge of your health and give you some peace of mind.
If you are interested in having a private ultrasound scan at a clinic based in Luton, Bedfordshire that please contact us below:
TEL: 01582 249449
Additionally, to see the full range of our private medical services, please visit our website: https://www.fusionhealthcare.co.uk/[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]