What's going on in your womb?
How ultrasound scans can help diagnose infertility
If you’re having difficulty getting pregnant it can feel very overwhelming and difficult. There are several potential fertility problems and solutions, and knowing what’s happening in your womb is a great place to start so you can understand your next steps.
A pelvic scan offers a detailed insight into the possible causes of any gynaecological conditions that may affect your chances of getting pregnant. There are different types of pelvic scan, so make sure you read what they are for to make sure you’re making the right choice for you.
What can a pelvic scan tell you?
A pelvic scan uses ultrasound sound waves to build up a picture of what's happening inside your womb. It can be performed by moving an ultrasound probe over the pelvic area or a transvaginal probe is inserted into the vagina for a clearer and more accurate image. At an Ultrasound Direct pelvic scan, the sonographer will clearly explain everything involved with the transvaginal probe and get your consent before performing the scan.
A Fertility Pelvic Scan takes a detailed look at:
the size, shape and condition of the uterus (womb)
the pelvic area
the lining of the womb (also called the endometrium)
follicle measurement (this is a measurement that fertility clinics would use to inform treatment)
The sonographer will write a detailed diagnostic report indicating any potential problems for you to show your healthcare provider to help you decide on your next steps in your fertility journey. They will be looking for any abnormalities such as cysts, polyps, fibroids and issues with the womb lining.
Gynaecological conditions that can cause infertility
A pelvic ultrasound scan can help to diagnose these problems
This is where tissue that behaves like the lining of the womb forms outside the womb causing painful heavy periods and may result in fertility problems. It can be difficult to diagnose endometriosis, so an ultrasound scan can help rule out other problems and identify endometrias which can be a sign of endometriosis.
These are lumps in the inner lining of the womb and most are non cancerous. They can cause no symptoms or heavy periods or bleeding after the menopause.
Polycystic ovary syndrome
This is where harmless cysts grow on the ovaries and the normal ovulation cycle is disrupted. Other symptoms of PCOS include weight gain, heavy periods, acne absence of periods and excess facial and body hair, as well as fertility problems. Eating a good diet, keeping to a healthy weight and taking the diabetes drug metformin can help control symptoms.
These are benign muscular growths that grow in and around the womb. Most women don't suffer any symptoms, but in some they cause fertility problems and heavy, painful periods. They can be treated with medication and surgical techniques.
This is where the inner lining of the womb breaks through the muscle wall of the uterus. It may cause cramping pains; heavy prolonged bleeding and bloating of the stomach before menstrual periods. This can't be diagnosed by ultrasound alone but transvaginal ultrasound can help your doctor eliminate other conditions.
A private ultrasound scan can help you understand the potential causes of your problems getting pregnant and start your fertility journey with all the information you need to take the next step.