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What is a transvaginal ultrasound or sonogram?

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Updated August 07, 2014

6 Weeks Pregnant - First Trimester - Ultrasound Photo Gallery

6 Week Ultrasound

Photo © J. Stratford-Burke
Question: What is a transvaginal ultrasound or sonogram?
Answer: Transvaginal ultrasound is an ultrasound that is used to help determine many things about a pregnancy. A transvaginal ultrasound is performed by using an ultrasound wand that is actually inserted into the vagina. This can be very helpful in early pregnancy as it is able to provide a better view.

Typically this type of ultrasound will be used to determine:

This type of ultrasound is not painful, but for some women it can be embarrassing. It doesn't hurt as much as a vaginal exam.

The images are just as good as other ultrasounds. Though this exam is likely to provide better photos early on because it does not have to have the travel to sound through the abdomen, because the wand is closer to the uterus, giving you the best early pictures. It is used most frequently prior to the eighth week of pregnancy.

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