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Can a transvaginal ultrasound scan be performed when you are having your period?

Can a transvaginal ultrasound scan be performed when you are having your period?

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The answer

Transvaginal ultrasounds can be performed when you have your period. It wouldn't make any difference to the scan, but you will have to remove your tampon, beforehand. It really depends on whether you feel comfortable enough to go ahead with the procedure during menstruation. If not, you could always ring up to postpone your appointment.

Women can have transvaginal scans at any time in their life – whether you are pregnant, going through the menopause or menstruating.

The only time you are unlikely to have this internal ultrasound scan is if you are a virgin or have not had an internal examination before.

What is a transvaginal ultrasound?

“Transvaginal” means “through the vagina”. During the procedure, a small ultrasound probe – lubricated, and covered with a hygienic sheath – is gently put into the vagina. The probe is not much larger than a tampon and shouldn’t cause much pain or discomfort.

The ultrasound probe sends out high-frequency sound waves. When these bounce off the organs, they are turned into an image. This allows your doctors to examine the womb, ovaries and pelvic organs.

Transvaginal ultrasound scans usually take around 15 minutes.

If you would like more information about ultrasound scans, see our NHS factsheet.

Answered by the Health at Hand nurses  

Sources and further reading

Ultrasound scan – NHS Factsheet

Ovarian cyst – NHS factsheet

Fibroids – NHS Factsheet

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