Transvaginal Ultrasound Scan (TVS) During Pregnancy

Transvaginal Ultrasound Wand 

Pregnancy is a sensitive time for a woman and extreme care needs to be taken to ensure that the mother and the baby are doing fine. Among various tests conducted to check the well-being of the pregnant woman and the baby, a transvaginal ultrasound scan (TVS) is one of the most reliable tests in today’s time. A transvaginal ultrasound is a type of scan through which helps the doctors examine the female reproductive organs and determine how the baby is developing. If you are pregnant, read on to know more about the transvaginal scan and why it is performed.


What Is a Transvaginal Scan?

All ultrasound tests use high-frequency sound waves to project as-is images of the pregnant woman’s internal organs. These tests help doctors diagnose abnormalities, if any. The same principle is applied in a TVS test for pregnancy. During this test, the doctor examines female reproductive organs like ovaries, vagina, cervix, fallopian tubes, and uterus. This is an internal examination of the organs where the doctor inserts an ultrasound probe into the vaginal canal and the sound waves help create an image of the foetus inside. On magnifying the image, the doctor identifies any abnormalities or inconsistencies.


Wand used during transvaginal scan

When Is a TVS Ultrasound Needed?

Doctors usually suggest conducting a TVS scan within the first six to ten weeks if there is a history of miscarriage or ectopic pregnancy or if the pregnant woman is in pain, is bleeding, or has undergone infertility treatment. This test is also carried out after ten weeks until the end of the term. A TVS scan also becomes necessary if the mother-to-be has a history of preterm labour; in this case, it becomes necessary to check her cervix. It can also be recommended if the mother-to-be is overweight and the images are not clear during regular scans.

How Much Time Does it Take to Perform a TVS?

It takes about 30 to 60 minutes to perform a transvaginal scan, which also includes the time to prepare the mom-to-be for the test. It is conducted when the doctor wants to take a look at the foetus’s growth during the early stages of pregnancy, i.e. before ten weeks. A transvaginal scan allows the doctor to see the baby as it is not possible to do so through abdominal scans since the baby is tiny and sits low in the mother’s abdomen.

Why Is a Transvaginal Ultrasound Performed?

By conducting this test, the doctor is able to listen to a baby’s heartbeat and can detect any abnormalities. Among other benefits of transvaginal ultrasound test, the doctor can eliminate any possibilities of ectopic pregnancy and ensure that the pregnancy is going along well. It also helps find out whether the woman is carrying twins or triplets. If she notices abnormal bleeding or spotting or has pain in the lower abdomen, the doctor uses this test to determine the causes of the same.

Examining the baby by conducting an ultrasound scan during pregnancy

How to Prepare for a TVS

Since the test requires undressing from below the waist, it is advisable to wear appropriate clothing such as slacks or salwar kurta while going for the test. A TVS is carried out by either doctors or technicians, and they can be of either sex. So if you prefer a female to conduct the test, make sure you inform the clinic in advance. Many women find the TVS more comfortable than an abdominal scan since it doesn’t require a full bladder. In fact, an empty bladder is better to get a clear picture of the baby easily.

TVS Ultrasound Procedure

If you are going for a transvaginal scan, you should know about the procedure. So here’s what you will be asked to do so. After undressing from the waist down, you will be asked to lie on your back with your legs spread out and bent at the knees. The nurse will cover your lower half with a sheet. The doctor will insert the probe about two to three inches into the vaginal passage. The probe is covered with a latex sheath which has gel on it to allow easy entry. You might feel uncomfortable initially, but you should try to take a deep breath and relax for a quick and pain-free test.

What Happens After the Scan?

If you feel tensed during the scan, your muscles might feel sore for a while. You might feel uncomfortable initially and even notice spotting right after the scan. This generally happens if the tiny blood vessels around the cervix burst. However, this is normal, unless and until the bleeding is followed by lower abdominal cramps, in which case you must inform your doctor.

Risks and Side Effects of Transvaginal Ultrasound Scan

As there is no radiation involved while performing the transvaginal scan, it is considered safe for both the mother and the baby by the medical fraternity. There are no risk factors involved in this kind of imaging technique. However, if you feel extremely uncomfortable during the test, then inform the doctor immediately.

What Do the Results Show?

The results of the TVS are analysed by a radiologist and then sent to the doctor. These results help the doctor in diagnosing conditions like fibroids, cysts, cancer, pelvic infection, miscarriage, low-lying placenta, ectopic pregnancy, and routine pregnancy.

Pregnant woman looking at the ultrasound scan of her baby

How Much Does the Transvaginal Ultrasound Scan Cost?

The cost of a TVS scan might vary from city to city. Even the type of medical centre you chose might affect the cost. But on average a TVS scan should cost between Rs 700 and Rs 1100.


1. Can a TVS Cause Miscarriage?

As long as the transvaginal ultrasound is conducted by a trained professional at a known facility, there will be no risk of a miscarriage. Like any other pregnancy ultrasound, a TVS is considered safe and there is no need to worry.

2. Is TVS Ultrasound Painful?

The TVS scan can be painful if you stress and your muscles remain tight during the test. For a pain-free experience, it is suggested that you relax and take deep breaths before and during the test. However, if the pain persists, consult your doctor immediately.

Although you may experience minor discomfort and feel awkward during the TVS scan, its results are reliable and are available within 24 hours. And this risk-free test is highly recommended to get the clear picture of the foetus and of the mother’s internal organs.