Ultrasound in gynecology: when to do?
Many ladies are concerned about the issues related to the conduct of women’s diagnostic procedures. Why the prescribed ultrasound of the pelvic organs? Is it permissible to do an ultrasound during menstruation? Can I have sex a day before exam? How to prepare for the exam, that the result was the most accurate?
Ultrasonography (us) – highly informative method of examination of internal organs without damaging the skin. The technique is safe, painless and widespread, as it allows to reliably diagnose many different pathologies. After the procedure requires medical supervision and, therefore, it can be performed on an outpatient basis and on the same day to go home.
What research methods are used in gynecology?
Most often, the gynecologist appoints an ultrasound of the pelvic organs. Thus visualized, the uterus with cervix, fallopian tubes, ovaries, bladder and rectum. You can see the shape of the bodies, thickness of their walls, the presence of liquid content, to identify pathological formations (cysts, tumors). There are some special types of ultrasound examinations:
- echohysterosalpingography – evaluation of fallopian tubes after filling them with a contrast agent or saline, used in the diagnosis of infertility,
- folliculometry – examination of follicles in the ovary at any stage of development,
- Doppler – assessment of the intensity of blood flow in certain blood vessels, which is especially important when examining pregnant.
How is the procedure?
There are 4 ways to examine a woman the ultrasonic transducer.
- Transabdominal – through the abdominal wall. The patient lies back and exposes the belly from the breastbone to the pubis. The doctor applies a special gel and apply a transducer to different angles.
- Transvaginal – with the introduction of the special sensor into the vagina. The woman lies on her back, with legs bent at the knees. This method is considered the most accurate as the sensor is as close as possible to the studied organs. To comply with the sterility of the sensor is worn a condom. If necessary, a valid implementation of ultrasound during menstruation.
- Transrectal – with the introduction of a special slim sensor (also in a condom) into the rectum. Many girls worried, do an ultrasound virgins. This is the way to examine women who have not started sex life. The method as informative, how many transvaginally.
- Intrauterine devices: the sensor has a thin probe is introduced deep into the uterine cavity. Examination is used to diagnose pathological processes in the uterine wall.
How to prepare for the exam?
Preparation for the procedure depends on how it is performed. In any ultrasound (not only gynecological, but also the abdomen) for two days before examination it is better to stick to a diet that does not allow excessive gas is to abandon cabbage, black bread, carbonated beverages, whole milk and legumes. In the last 12-24 hours before the examination it is advisable to take some time drugs simethicone (e.g. Espumisan) – they eliminate even small gas bubbles in the colon, which will increase the accuracy of the survey.
The inspection is carried out «full bladder». To do this an hour before the procedure, you must drink about 1 liter of liquid (e.g., in a queue at the reception) or just to urinate for 2-3 hours.
Before examination using a vaginal sensor, it is recommended to take hygiene of the external genitalia, especially if the ultrasound is performed during menstruation. Gynecologists are not forbidden to have sex before the procedure, if there are no other contraindications.
At the transrectal access to the rectum must be free from stool. To study for 10-12 hours take a laxative drug or mikroklizmy or glycerol candle and then put a small enema.
Intrauterine study does not require on the part of the patient training and even filled bladder. However, it is desirable to examine the microflora of the vagina that, when the procedure is not to transfer the infection from the outside into the uterus.
When to perform ultrasonography of the female genital organs?
Certain organs most are available for inspection at different stages of the menstrual cycle. Most often an ultrasound of the pelvic organs are prescribed for 5-7 days after menstruation, when the endometrium (the inner layer of the uterus, growing every month and is shed during the period of bleeding) is fairly thin, and is possible to see the slightest changes (polyps, tumors, fibroids). Also during this period of the cycle it is possible to distinguish pathological ovarian cysts from similar physiological entities, increased at the time of ovulation of the follicle or yellow body that emerged after the release of an egg.
The patency of the fallopian tubes evaluated after 5-20 days of the menstrual cycle, however, preferable to perform the procedure the day before ovulation (day 8-11 of the cycle), when the cervix is most revealed, and the fallopian tube is the least spasmatic – these are all necessary conditions for the meeting of egg and sperm in vivo.
In any case, this issue should be discussed with your doctor, who recommends an ultrasound procedure. Depending on what kind of a disease he suspects the timing can be adjusted.
In urgent cases, the inspection is done regardless of the day of the cycle can be carried out ultrasound during menstruation.
Indications for study
The gynecologist recommends a diagnostic procedure with the following complaints:
- pain in the lower abdomen or during sex;
- memenstrual bleeding including after intercourse;
- purulent discharge from the vagina;
- the presence of intrauterine device;
- signs of diseases of the urinary system.
What pathology shows a gynaecological ultrasound?
A survey allows some detail to examine the internal organs in the pelvis any day of the cycle and to identify the following deviations.
- From the uterus: congenital malformations, inflammatory processes, polyps or tumors, thickness of the endometrium (the willingness to IVF), the fixing of the embryo after fertilization, pathological contents of the uterus (blood, pus, remnants of the ovum), the position of the intrauterine device.
- Ovaries: their number and anatomical location, size of follicles and yellow body, cysts and neoplasms, inflammation.
- Adjacent space: the presence of adhesions, abnormal fluid accumulation, signs of inflammation.
Also assess the condition of the rectum and when a sufficient filling of the bladder. The common finding in the study have recently become polyps and neoplasms in these organs.
Ultrasound in pregnancy
A separate line should be talking about the application of ultrasound diagnostics while carrying the baby. The developed screening programme, under which every pregnant woman must undergo an ultrasound procedure three times:
- 10-14 weeks
- in 20-24 weeks,
- at 30-34 weeks.
These examinations are extremely important for mom and baby. They show the number of fetuses in the uterus, matching the pace of growth gestational age, congenital anomalies and developmental defects already in the first trimester of pregnancy, as well as departures during II and III trimester, which can be adjusted. All this allows the woman to carry a pregnancy with minimal complications, to prepare for childbirth and to give birth to a healthy baby.