Ultrasound scans are an essential part of infertility testing and fertility treatment. If you’ve had a child before, you may be familiar with the kind of ultrasound done during mid to late pregnancy. Even if you’ve never had a child, you may have seen pregnancy.
For fertility testing and treatment, the majority of ultrasounds are done transvaginally—that is to say via the vagina—with a slender specialized wand.
The ultrasounds are not painful, though they can be slightly uncomfortable.
During infertility testing, ultrasound scans can provide information on the ovaries, endometrial lining, and uterus. Specialized ultrasounds can be used to evaluate ovarian reserves, the uterine shape in more detail, and whether the fallopian tubes are open or blocked.
During fertility treatment, ultrasound is used to monitor follicle development in the ovaries and the thickness of the endometrial lining. Ultrasound is also used during IVF for egg retrieval, to guide the needle through the vaginal wall to the ovaries. Some doctors use ultrasound during embryo transfer.