Statistics show infertility affects approximately 15% of women during their reproductive age. An ultrasound is a precise imaging tool that can assess multiple factors causing fertility problems. Discover how a Silver Spring ultrasound can assist with the diagnosis and treatment of infertility.
Why use an ultrasound?
Most people recognize ultrasound for imaging the growing fetus through the abdomen during mid to late pregnancy. The device employs sound waves to generate images of the underlying tissue and bone.
In infertility diagnosis, the ultrasound device is applied transvaginally to assess the endometrial lining and ovaries. It involves inserting a thin instrument through the vagina. Although it causes mild discomfort for some, most patients do not experience any pain during the process.
An ultrasound can examine the anatomy of the reproductive organs. A transvaginal ultrasound uses a specialized transducer to send and receive sound waves. The tool generates images of soft tissue, which assists with the evaluation of the fallopian tube, endometrial lining, and uterus.
Evaluating the ovarian reserve
The ovarian reserve describes the number of eggs in your ovaries. The quantity of eggs diminishes as a woman grows older. But younger women can have a poor ovarian reserve, and older women have a healthy count.
Nonetheless, a poor ovarian reserve could mean an elevated risk of birth complications or miscarriages. An evaluation is necessary, especially for women over 35 seeking to get pregnant naturally or through IVF.
A specialized ultrasound can determine the number of eggs in the ovaries. The ovaries may have thousands of fluid-filled pockets, which break after every menstrual cycle.
A transvaginal ultrasound assists specialists in counting the viable follicles in the ovaries.
An ultrasound exam is also used to diagnose PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome). PCOS is the abnormal production of the male hormone androgen in the ovaries. An ultrasound can identify cysts and other anomalies in your reproductive system.
Ultrasound in IVF treatments
An ultrasound diagnosis is also essential before commencing IVF treatment. In Vitro Fertilization involves extracting eggs and fertilizing them with healthy sperm. The embryo is re-implanted into the uterus after fertilization.
An ultrasound facilitates various stages of the IVF process. The images can evaluate the egg count to determine if hormonal stimulation will be successful. IVF treatment usually involves medication to encourage egg production for preservation or fertilization.
An ultrasound device also provides visuals to guide the egg retrieval process. Ultrasound is the most reliable for generating images of internal organs. The images can attain high levels of accuracy to assist with implanting the embryo back into the uterus.
Your provider may also use advanced 3D ultrasound to diagnose certain infertility problems. Unlike the conventional 2D ultrasound, 3D images provide a three-dimensional view of internal reproductive organs.
3D ultrasound can examine the fallopian tubes and uterine tissue from different perspectives. It may also show movements of the fetus during pregnancy to assess fetal development.
Call Capital Women’s Care to schedule a consultation and learn more about ultrasound diagnostic tests.