Gynaecological scans can prove invaluable at the detection and prevention of numerous conditions. However, if you do decide to undergo one, it can be a daunting process.
The good news is gynaecological scans are a quick and painless process. Learning as much as you can about them and what to expect can also really lower your apprehension. Below, we’ll reveal everything you can expect when you attend a private gynaecological scan.
What is a private gynaecological scan?
There are different types of gynaecological scans you can undergo. All of them aim to diagnose a number of conditions, helping patients to identify the best course of treatment.
The scans are carried out by gynaecology consultants, and they can include:
- Transvaginal scans
- Abdominal scan
- Transabdominal scan
A Transvaginal scan is where a small probe roughly the size of a tampon, is inserted into the vagina. It can only be carried out on patients who have had sexual intercourse.
An abdominal scan is an ultrasound scan which looks for issues with the bile ducts, liver, kidneys, pancreas, spleen and gallbladder. A transabdominal scan, on the other hand, externally looks at the size and position of the uterus, the ovaries and the thickness of the womb lining.
These scans are carried out alongside a general assessment of your health.
How is a private gynaecological scan carried out?
The majority of private gynaecological scans involve a pelvic ultrasound scan. An image will be produced of the ovaries and uterus to try and identify any abnormalities. Occasionally both a transvaginal and transabdominal scan will be required in order to give a clear idea of any issues present.
Is there anything you need to do to prepare for the scan?
There are a few things you’ll need to do to prepare for your gynaecological scan. If you’re undergoing the transabdominal scan, for example, you’ll need to have a full bladder. It is recommended you drink at least two pints of water an hour before the scan is due to take place.
If you’re undergoing a transvaginal ultrasound, you’ll need an empty bladder. It is recommended you empty the bladder right before the scan takes place. If you’re menstruating, you’ll still be able to have the scan, but you will need to remove your tampon if you use one.
What should you expect?
When you arrive at the clinic, the scan will be explained to you, so you have a good idea of what to expect. You can also find out more at your initial consultation.
You will be asked to lie down and remove or move the lower portion of your clothing so that the pelvis can be assessed. A tiny amount of ultrasound gel will be placed onto the skin before a transducer is moved forwards and backwards over the lower abdomen.
For transvaginal scans, a small probe will be inserted and moved in various directions to capture images. After the scan has been carried out, the results will be discussed with you and you’ll be provided with a report.
Most patients find gynaecological scans a painless and fast process. You can learn more about our private gynaecological scans here.