What is an ultrasound?
The ultrasound generates images using the physics of sound waves, so it is safe to use in pregnancy as well as during fertility monitoring. Soft tissues reflect and absorb sound based upon their density and other factors. The ultrasound transducer emits sound into the body area being examined and collects the returned echoes which are interpreted by a computer and displayed on a monitor.
What type of ultrasound is mused most often in your office?
The vaginal probe is the most common type of ultrasound used in the infertility evaluation. The transducer (probe) is placed inside the vagina allowing the physician or sonographer to examine the ovaries and uterus. The number and size of the follicles on the ovaries can be determined and the width of the uterine lining can be measured. Ultrasound is useful for evaluating other conditions including uterine abnormalities (fibroids, polyps, and congenital abnormalities), ovarian tumors, and for documenting pregnancy.
How many ultrasounds will I need?
Patients typically undergo several vaginal ultrasounds when receiving ovulation induction drugs as in stimulated intrauterine insemination (IUI) or in vitro fertilization (IVF) cycles. Medication dosages are adjusted based upon each patient's individualized response to medications. This response is measured by the ultrasound evaluation of the size and number of follicles in conjunction with blood estradiol hormone levels.