Luteum on ultrasound: what does it mean?


  • Interpreting the results of ultrasound
  • The ultrasound showed no pregnancy
  • Any woman who cares about the normal functioning of their reproductive system, at least once in life were in the ultrasound examination of small pelvis organs. In the resulting conclusion often there is an item describing the state of the corpus luteum. What is it?

    The function of the corpus luteum

    Luteum is a temporary gland of internal secretion, which is formed in the ovary women in the second phase of the menstrual cycle, on average, on day 14, immediately after ovulation at the site of the ruptured follicle. The function of the corpus luteum is to maintain a pregnancy if successful fertilization. The prolongation of pregnancy is due to the selection of the sex hormone progesterone.

    Ultrasound monitoring of the pelvic organs the doctor always pays attention to the condition of the ovaries and the presence of yellow bodies in them. However, in some cases it is necessary to do an aimed scan of the gland. These include:

    • When the doctor suspects the presence of the cyst of yellow body.

    • Monitoring of previously diagnosed cyst.
    • Preparing for pregnancy – monitoring of follicular maturation and ovulation. For these purposes, the ultrasound is advantageously carried out at 13-14 days of the cycle.
    • In the diagnosis of infertility.
    • When there is a high level of HCG in absence of pregnancy.
    • Monitoring of progress of pregnancy in the first trimester. On 21-23 day of a cycle is flourishing yellow body, intensely increasing in size.
    • Scheduled examination after removal cyst gland.

    The survey doctor must measure the size of the gland, that it is possible to determine the level of hormonal activity of the corpus luteum:

    • 18-21 mm in the second phase of the menstrual cycle – ovulation has occurred from the ovary released a Mature egg, a woman’s body is ready to conceive.
    • 20-30 mm – a pregnancy, in the absence of the gestational SAC and low HCG – ovulation did not happen, had a cyst of yellow body.
    • 30-40 mm in the absence of pregnancy, these dimensions indicate the presence of cystic masses of the ovary. During pregnancy such values indicate that there is a cyst, but on nurturing the child’s education is not affected, most often regresses and disappears after birth.
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    Which days is better to do an ultrasound?

    When planning conception and to exercise control over existing cystic masses doctors recommend to do the monitoring on certain days of the cycle. For the study of the corpus luteum ultrasound administered to 13-14 and 21-23 days after the start of menstruation – it is in these terms better, the status of the cancer. Such a study, when examined the ovaries for several menstrual cycles, called folliculometry.

    • The first ultrasound examination is best done at 5-6 days from the beginning of the month, when visible maturing follicles in the right or left ovary.
    • A second ultrasound is carried out on a 9-10 day cycle, before ovulation, it is possible to determine the dominant follicle, which subsequently burst and in its place formed a temporary iron.
    • A third survey administered at 12-13 days from the last menstruation. These days is determined preovulatory follicles with signs of imminent ovulation.
    • At 13-14 days of the cycle in most cases, ovulation occurs. On the surface of the ovary dominant follicle bursts, it goes from a Mature egg and at the same place formed a yellow body. These days ultrasound can assess the size and shape of the gland and identify the ovary, the ovulation – left or right.
    • At 21-24 days after the start of menstruation in case of successful fertilization, the ultrasound shows an increase of the corpus luteum in size. In that case, if conception has not occurred, the physician can observe the regression of the gland, or its transformation into a cyst filled with fluid. In conjunction with ultrasound these days is recommended to give blood to determine the level of HCG.
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    Preparing women for the procedure

    Preparation for ultrasound depends on what the sensor will do the survey. Before performing transvaginal ultrasound, the woman should empty your bladder. An ultrasound examination through the abdominal wall (transabdominal) is best done with a full bladder. Doctors recommend to drink no less than half a liter of plain water or tea.

    The day before the test you should avoid eating gas-forming foods, such as fresh pastries, fruits and vegetables, milk and dairy products. This is because the bowel loops filled with gas, which prevents the passage of ultrasonic rays, thereby reducing the informativeness of the study. In that case, if assigned ultrasound for the diagnosis of pregnancy, the day before the test to donate blood for HCG.

    The methodology of the survey

    Ultrasound of the reproductive system and of the corpus luteum can be done in two ways.

    1. Transabdominal examination

    When conducting research through the abdominal wall, the woman lies on her back and bare tummy. The bladder should be as full. The doctor applies a special gel on the area of study and begins the diagnosis.

    2. Transvaginal examination

    In this case, the woman undresses from the waist and then falls on his back, slightly bending your knees. The doctor puts on the sensor of the condom and insert it into the vagina. Normally, the study should not cause great discomfort.

    On the screen of the ultrasound machine yellow body looks like a small sack, located near the ovary. The doctor performs the necessary measurements and logs them to a conclusion.

    Interpreting the results of ultrasound

    In that case, if after the ultrasound said that the yellow body on the ovary is detected, the doctor suspects the woman is a failure of the reproductive system. In the best case, the absence of the gland caused by a trivial delay period, at worst the failure of hormonal regulation of the cycle.

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    If after a delay of menstruation the female has a yellow body with a size of 20-30 mm, but the uterus was not visualized gestational SAC, the doctor refers the woman for a blood test to determine the level of HCG.

    The ultrasound showed no pregnancy

    It often happens that the woman is planning pregnancy, monitors the status of the corpus luteum throughout the cycle, but the ultrasound does not show the presence of the embryo in the uterus. In this case, the woman should take a blood level HCG – human chorionic gonadotropin. HCG that is responsible for the function of the corpus luteum if pregnancy occurs. On very early ultrasounds aren’t always able to see a very small gestational SAC in the uterus, but blood levels of HCG begin to rise at the first days of delay.

    Summarizing, we can say that ultrasonic diagnostics of the yellow body 21 and 14 days after the onset of menstruation plays an important role in assessing the performance of reproductive system of female organism, helps in planning pregnancy and to evaluate pregnancy in the first trimester.