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Doctor insights on: Is Transvaginal Ultrasound More Accurate Than A Pelvic Ultrasound

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What's the difference between a pelvic ultrasound and a transvaginal ultrasound?

What's the difference between a pelvic ultrasound and a transvaginal ultrasound?

Nearly same...: There are two ways to image the pelvic organs. One is by transabdominal route (transducer in placed on the skin of lower abdomen with a distended urinary bladder); and the other is transvaginal ultrasound where the transducer is placed inside the vagina to assess pelvic organs. Transvaginal ultrasound means just that; whereas, pelvic ultrasound includes both transabdominal and transvaginal US.

Dr. Michael Gabor
2,254 Doctors shared insights

Sonogram (Definition)

An ultraound, also known as a sonogram, is a painless and relatively inexpensive imaging test that utilizes sound waves instead of ionizing radiation. There are no side effects. Ultrasound can give us two-dimensional, and in some applications three-dimensional, images of structures and organs in virtually any part of the body. In addition to diagnostic uses, such as evaluating abnormalities in the abdomen, pelvis, and breast, ultrasounds are commonly used to guide needle and catheter placement in a variety of surgical ...Read more


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What's hiding my ovaries on a pelvic ultrasound? Can be seen on transvaginal ultrasound instead.

What's hiding my ovaries on a pelvic ultrasound? Can be seen on transvaginal ultrasound instead.

Normal variation: The position of the ovaries varies quite a bit from women to women within the pelvis. Secondly, gas within adjacent bowel loops will distort ultrasound images and 'hide' anything behind that loop. Thus looking from a different angle ie transvaginally, we can find the ovaries that we can see on the transabdominal portion of a scan.

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Would an pelvic ultrasound, transvaginal ultrasound or cat scan show up a miscarriage?

Would an pelvic ultrasound, transvaginal ultrasound or cat scan show up a miscarriage?

Ultrasound: A combination of ultrasound (either transabdominal or transvaginal), B-hcg levels, and clinical information are used to diagnose a miscarriage. CT is not used because of its ionizing radiation.

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Can a transvaginal ultrasound and/or pelvic ultrasound show enlarged lymph nodes around the ovary?

Can a transvaginal ultrasound and/or pelvic ultrasound show enlarged lymph nodes around the ovary?

Yes,: But not reliably. Regional bowel gas can obscure pelvic lymph nodes. Also the position of the ovaries is variable, and they may not be situated next to internal iliac nodal chains. So not seeing enlarged lymph nodes on a pelvic sonogram is not sufficient to exclude them. CT or MRI is much better.

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Is a pelvic ultrasound as good as a transvaginal u/s at measuring size of ovaries? Are they both accurate?

Possibly equal: It really all depends on how well the ovaries are seen. If the bladder is full and the ovaries are well demonstrated transabdominally then measurements will be as accurate. Transvaginal ultrasound usually provides a more detailed look at the ovaries because the transducer is right next to them. However, sometimes the ovaries are hard to find transvaginally. Each patient is different.

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Does a pelvic transvaginal ultrasound hurt?

Does a pelvic transvaginal ultrasound hurt?

No: A transvaginal ultrasound is done by inserting an ultrasound probe into the vagina to better evaluate the pelvic organs. Lubrication is applied to the top of the probe to ease insertion. An ultrasound should not be painful. Some women describe a "pressure" sensation but pain should not be experienced.

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What does it mean if fluid was found in a transvaginal pelvic ultrasound?

It depends: There is a small amount of normal fluid in the pelvis that is often seen on ultrasound. The answer to your question depends on how much fluid, what kind of fluid (what it looks like on us) and where the fluid is.

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Would a palpable soft tissue mass in pelvic area be seen on pelvic or transvaginal ultrasound?

Would a palpable soft tissue mass in pelvic area be seen on pelvic or transvaginal ultrasound?

Maybe: It depends upon where the soft tissue mass is. Transvaginal or pelvic ultrasound is great for evaluating the uterus, ovaries, bladder, and even the appendix (when it's inflamed). But it's not a great modality to evaluate intestinal, muscle, or fat masses.

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Hi I am 27 and had a pelvic & a transvaginal ultrasound it was extremely painful and the tech said I have free fluid in my pelvic what does this mean?

Few things: Sometimes the exam can be painful just because it is an uncomfortable procedure other times because there is an abnormality they are pressing on. The free fluid depends on how much. A tiny amount is normal in females.

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Can anyone tell me if the pelvic transvaginal ultrasound hurts like a pap?

Can anyone tell me if the pelvic transvaginal ultrasound hurts like a pap?

Neither should hurt: If pap smears were painful, please discuss it with your doctor. You may need to relax and not tense/constrict your vagina around the speculum.

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Hi I had a pelvic ultrasound done, it wasn't a transvaginal, it was a normal pelvic ultrasound. If I was 9 weeks preg, would they be able to see it?

Hi I had a pelvic ultrasound done, it wasn't a transvaginal, it was a normal pelvic ultrasound. If I was 9 weeks preg, would they be able to see it?

Ambivalent: At 9 weeks gestation by last menstrual period a transabdominal ultrasound should pick up the pregnancy. If it doesn't, it should be followed immediately by a transvaginal ultrasound. The rationale for first trimester ultrasound is to determine, whether there is one or more embryo's, whether there is a heart beat or not, and whether the pregnancy is in the uterus or outside.

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My doctor referred me to do a transvaginal pelvic ultrasound. What is this for?

My doctor referred me to do a transvaginal pelvic ultrasound. What is this for?

Assess uterus/pelvis: Your physician would order such a test for imaging of your ovaries, uterus, tubes (or all female pelvic organs). Please discuss with your doctor what the indication and anticipated information is. It is a very safe and painless test that may cause some discomfort due to the insertion of a vaginal probe.

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I'm getting a pelvic/transvaginal ultrasound this monday. Not sure how they going to do it when I have a latex allergy.

I'm getting a pelvic/transvaginal ultrasound this monday. Not sure how they going to do it when I have a latex allergy.

Latex free- nitrile.: Latex allergy is common enough that hospitals and radiology departments have worked all this out. Please make sure they know you have latex allergy. Nitrile sheaths are sometimes used.

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If I have a transvaginal ultrasound done and they still say nothing is wrong, should I push for a pelvic laprascopy? Have all the symptoms of endometriosis and have had tests done and dr's tell me see nothing wrong. Have very heavy and painful menstruatio

If I have a transvaginal ultrasound done and they still say nothing is wrong, should I push for a pelvic laprascopy? Have all the symptoms of endometriosis and have had tests done and dr's tell me see nothing wrong. Have very heavy and painful menstruatio

Hmmm, this can be: A tough one. Painful, heavy menses can be remedied with a trial of birth control pills or other forms of hormonal suppression depending on your medical history, etc. Might be best to try this before pursuing laparoscopy. Okay to ask your doctor about their opinion on surgery. Answer will depend on your particular situation. Don't be afraid to bring it up and one can also seek a second opinion.

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Can a transvaginal and pelvic ultrasound detect whether or not there is cervical cancer?

Can a transvaginal and pelvic ultrasound detect whether or not there is cervical cancer?

No: The best eval for cervical cancer would still be pap smear, exam and biopsy of abnormal areas identified. Ultrasound would suggest advanced stage of concerns.

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Gynae performed transvaginal pelvic ultrasound scan since sep'11-mar but in no'12 I was operated for 2 choc cysts & fibroid. How could she miss these?

Gynae performed transvaginal pelvic ultrasound scan since sep'11-mar but in no'12 I was operated for 2 choc cysts & fibroid. How could she miss these?

Not perfect: It depends on the size of the cysts. You were having pain, ultrasound did nor reveal a problem, then got laparoscopy and saw the problem. Doctors nor ultrasounds are perfect. I would get on the pill for the endometriosis. There are times when being on the pill increases ovulation when you get off; just 2 or three months can make a difference.

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Can a transvaginal or pelvic ultrasound pick up cervical cancer?

Can a transvaginal or pelvic ultrasound pick up cervical cancer?

Cervical Cancer: Transvaginal or pelvic ultrasound is usually for higher structures such as uterus and ovaries. Cervical cancer screening is with a full pap smear exam/ cytology.

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How precise is the pelvic and transvaginal ultrasound for early detection of ovarian cancer?

How precise is the pelvic and transvaginal ultrasound for early detection of ovarian cancer?

Limited: Ultrasound, tumor marker evaluation, history, and physical exam have not been shown to be effective in adequately screening for this disease (even when used all together). This is a disease we don't really have a handle on right now. This doesn't mean patients who have pelvic pain or risk factors shouldn't be evaluated, but the tools available have not been shown to increase life expectancy.

Dr. Michael Gabor
225 Doctors shared insights

Transvaginal Ultrasound (Definition)

An ultrasound is an imaging study in which a probe emits and receives sound waves which rebound off of internal organs in order to visualize them. For a transvaginal ultrasound a specially designed probe is lubricated and placed into the vagina in order to better ...Read more


Dr. Milton Alvis Jr
2 Doctors shared insights

Pelvic Ultrasound (Definition)

This is an ultrasound test to examine the organs of the pelvis, typically using either a trans-abdominal or trans-vaginal approach, depending on what is suspected, such as ovarian ...Read more