Ultrasound of uterus and ovaries: normal size, preparation
Ultrasound examination of uterus and ovaries in gynecology is the most affordable and effective examination technique. Using ultrasound the doctor can promptly diagnose various gynecological diseases in women, to assess the size, location and structure of female reproductive organs.
In any cases assigned to the research?
For the purpose of ultrasonic diagnosis of the condition of the uterus and ovaries there are certain indications. These include:
- Pain in the lower back.
- Suspected cancer of the uterus and ovaries, the diagnosis of polyp of the uterus.
Types of ultrasound in gynecology
For ultrasound of the pelvic organs there are two basic methods:
- Transvaginal ultrasound is given with a special sensor that is inserted to the woman’s vagina. Method is more accurate, can show a pregnancy in the early stages, but in some cases its application is impossible.
- Transabdominal – the doctor makes a scan through the abdominal wall, organs visualized better with a full bladder.
How to prepare for the exam?
In preparation for the examination depends on what methods a doctor will use in diagnosing.
When performing transvaginal studies the woman recommended to be prepared to fully empty the bladder.
If transabdominal examination preparation is that the bladder should be as full. This is due to the fact that ultrasonic waves pass through a good water environment, this greatly improves the visualization of internal organs. So shortly before the survey it is recommended to drink about a liter of fluids – plain water or tea.
It is important to find out in advance which method will be conducted so as not to confuse the method of preparation.
A common item in the preparation for both types of study is the restriction of the use of foods that increase flatulence the day before the examination – distended bowel loops prevent the passage of ultrasound to the pelvic organs, distorting the results.
When is the best time to conduct the research?
For diagnosis of gynecological diseases the study is best done in the early days of the cycle, 5-7 days after the onset of menstruation, when the endometrium (inner lining of the uterus) has the smallest thickness, whereby a better visualization and increases probability of detecting tumors and polyps.
In order not to confuse the days of the cycle and right to come to the examination, women are advised to keep a calendar in which to mark the days of menstruation.
For evaluation of ovarian function it is better to do several ultrasound within one menstrual cycle. Revealed which the dominant follicle, tracked the progress of maturation, the release of a Mature oocyte and formation of the corpus luteum. Also diagnosed the presence of cysts on the surface. Correct for all of these processes play a major role in a woman’s ability to conceive and bear children.
The decoding results of the survey
When performing ultrasound diagnosis of pelvic organs the doctor acts according to the examination report which involves study of the following parameters:
- The location of the uterus in the pelvis: the uterus is normal in position anteflexio, that is, deflected slightly forward.
- The external contour of the uterus: normal clear and smooth. Uneven contours can be caused by benign tumors or cancer. When the doctor reveals the blurring of the edges, then we can talk about inflammation of the surrounding tissues.
- Dimensions: length on average is 7 cm, thickness 6 cm, the length in the front-rear direction may be in the range of 4.5 cm.
- Echogenicity of the myometrium: normal uniform, increasing this parameter raises the question of the development of cancer.
- The thickness of the endometrium: this parameter directly depends on the woman day of the menstrual cycle. To facilitate the diagnosis of endometrial changes were divided into phases:
- Regeneration – restoration of the endometrium after menstruation (day 2-4, the beginning of the cycle).
- Proliferation – the growth of the endometrium. The thickness of the mucosa can be increased from 3-5 to 10-15 mm (5-14 day).
- Secretory phase – the endometrial thickness during this period reaches the maximum values on the day of ovulation, 16-20 mm. Mucous membrane is preparing for a possible pregnancy.
- Assessment of the uterine cavity: homogeneous, with clear and smooth edges.
- The status of the cervix: cervical length in the norm can be 36-41 mm, cervical canal mucous-filled mass. The diameter of the endocervix 2-4 mm. In the case when the diameter is increased, it indicates the presence of inflammation or serious diseases such as cervical cancer and endometriosis.
- Free fluid in papadimitrou space: normal in the second half of the menstrual cycle in the pelvis may be a small amount of liquid that came out of the ovary when ruptured dominant follicle. The presence of fluid behind the uterus in the first half of the cycle indicates the presence of an inflammatory process in the pelvis.
- Assessment of ovaries: in conducting the examination, the doctor draws attention to the contours of the bodies normal clear and bumpy due to the presence on their surface of the follicles. The size of the ovaries in the normal rate of 2.5 cm width, 3 cm length and 1.5 cm thickness. The ultrasound should determine one dominant follicle and a few ripening.
Ultrasound in various diseases of the uterus and ovaries
A cyst is a pathological formation of hollow, filled with liquid and are located on the surface or in the body of the ovary. In most cases, the development of cysts is determined by the physiological function of the body and does not pose a serious danger. However, in some cases of rupture of the dominant follicle on the day of ovulation does not occur, it increases its size and turning into a follicular cyst. These cysts are called functional, because its appearance is due to the normal functioning of the ovaries. In most cases, education is itself in a few cycles and prevents pregnancy. On ultrasound ovarian cyst looks like a rounded bubble shape filled with hypoechoic fluid.
Ovarian cancer is a malignant tumor that develops on the surface and in the body of the body. The exact causes that can cause this severe disease is still not identified. One theory says that cancer is caused by a disruption of the normal healing process the surface of the ovary after follicle rupture during ovulation. There is evidence of the Association of the disease with hereditary predisposition and the patient’s age – younger women are sick less often. Cancer rarely occurs in women who have gone through pregnancy and breast-feeding. During the ultrasound examination, the physician is able to suggest the presence of cancer, noting on the monitor pathological education in a variety of sizes with sharp edges. To confirm the diagnosis, do a laparoscopy.
Ultrasound examination of the pelvic organs is of great importance in the early detection of gynecological pathologies. Timely diagnosis of serious pathology is able to deliver the woman from serious problems, so it is best to do monitoring at least once per year.