What is a transvaginal scan (TVS)?
“Transvaginal” means an internal examination through the vagina. TVS probes have extraordinary resolution and may provide unique information regarding the fetal anatomy, placenta, womb, cervix and other important structures.
Technically, examination by TVS during pregnancy is identical to gynaecological ultrasound. The special high-resolution probe is aseptically cleaned, covered with a sterile cover (like a condom) and sterile lubricating gel. The transducer inserted is no larger than a finger. It is gently passed into the vagina to generate images of the baby, while you lay on your back. This may cause some slight discomfort but should not cause any pain. It is important you let us know if you have a latex allergy, in which case we will use latex-free probe covers.
The operator performing the transvaginal scan in pregnancy must have a high level of expertise and experience. TVS scan represents a significant challenge for the doctor or sonographer because of difficulties in obtaining correct images. As such, there are only a few specialists in London performing transvaginal assessment of the early fetus, including Dr Ushakov.
Please empty your bladder immediately before the transvaginal scan. Even a small amount of urine in the bladder will change the position of the womb and will reduce the quality of image. A trained chaperone is also available and present for internal examinations and may be requested for any of our other scans.
Is TVS safe?
TVS uses the same safe ultrasound waves as transabdominal scans to obtain the images of the baby and womb. The probe cannot get into direct contact with the fetus. Normally, due to better resolution the time of TVS imaging is shorter in comparison to a transabdominal scan (approximately 10 minutes). We use rigorous aseptic technique for preparation of the probe and there is no risk of infection.
Visit our Instagram account for comparison of transvaginal (TVS) & transabdominal scans for the SAME pregnancy. Can you see how much better the resolution of the TVS scan (1st video)? This is generally the case for ultrasound scans up to 11weeks when the fetus is still very small, less than 1.6 inch!