Skip to main content


Ultrasounds are performed by specialised technicians called sonographers. Ultrasound is a diagnostic imaging tool which utilises sound waves of high frequency to create images of the body with the use of a hand-held device called a transducer.

The transducer produces and receives the sound waves and demonstrates anatomical function in real time showing movement. Ultrasound is regarded as generally safe as it does not provide exposure to ionising radiation like x-rays and CT scans.

How do I prepare for my ultrasound?

What happens during an ultrasound?

What is a transvaginal ultrasound?

Your ultrasound will be performed by a sonographer, a specially trained medical professional in performing ultrasounds. A transvaginal ultrasound is an internal ultrasound that is performed through scanning with a clean, specialised transducer that is placed just inside the vagina. This type of ultrasound is typically performed for imaging pelvic structures, as the transducer is closely positioned to these structures and allows for greater detail that would not be otherwise achievable through a scan through the abdomen in most circumstances. The transvaginal scan can assess in detail the lining of the uterus, follicles in ovaries, and dating measurements for early pregnancies. The transvaginal ultrasound is recognised as a safe and private procedure that provides minimal discomfort. Images that are captured by the sonographer will then be viewed by our radiologist, who will then provide a report to send to your referring doctor.

Why do I need transvaginal ultrasound?

In most circumstances, subject to eligibility, the clinical question for a pelvic or early pregnancy ultrasound would be more clearly answered when a transvaginal ultrasound is offered in addition to the abdominal ultrasound. Due to the nature of the ultrasound beam, image detail tends to decrease the further away the transducer is from the structures being scanned. A scan over the abdomen is typically initially performed with a full bladder to provide an overview of the pelvic structures. The transvaginal scan is then performed afterwards with an empty bladder to provide further detail.

What are the preparation requirements for a transvaginal ultrasound?

It is recommended that you wear separate top and bottom clothing for your appointment as this will ease changing during the examination. You may be asked to arrive with a full bladder to allow a clear window of the pelvic structures during the abdominal scan. This part of the scan will generally be brief to keep you comfortable. Following informed consent for the transvaginal ultrasound, you may then empty your bladder.

What happens during a transvaginal ultrasound examination?

The transvaginal transducer is covered in a clean, disposable, protective covering. Usually, patients will be asked to insert the transducer into the vagina with assistance from the sonographer if required. The insertion process is like the insertion of a vaginal speculum that most women would have experienced in procedures such as pap smears.

Once the transvaginal transducer is in position, only a small part of the transducer is placed in the vagina. The long length of the transducer provides a handle which allows the sonographer to grasp the transducer and move it to image the pelvic organs.

Do I need a transvaginal scan?

A transvaginal scan will most often be offered for any female pelvic examination as it provides crucial information for our radiologist to report to your referring doctor. Most first trimester pregnancy examinations require a transvaginal scan to accurate foetal measurements and to confirm location and number of pregnancies. You will be required to read and sign a consent form, and you may address any of your concerns with the sonographer performing your ultrasound. Consent can be withdrawn at any time. You must always alert our staff if you have any allergy to latex, to allow us to utilise a latex-free cover for the examination.