Gynaecological ultrasound is used to assess the female pelvic region focusing on the uterus and the ovaries. Most gynaecological ultrasounds are performed trans-vaginally as this almost always shows a clearer view of the pelvic organs. Therefore an empty bladder is required.
If you are not sexually active or feel uncomfortable having a trans-vaginal scan, it is possible to have a trans-abdominal ultrasound which will require a full bladder.
Egg Timer Test
The egg timer test estimates the ovarian reserve – the number of good quality eggs left within the ovaries. This gives an indication of the likely fertility status of a woman. The test involves a single blood test and a trans-vaginal ultrasound between days 3 - 5 of the menstrual cycle. The blood test measures levels of several different hormones, and combined with the scan result gives an estimate of the ovarian reserve.
Saline infusion is a test where a small volume of saline (salt solution) is inserted into the uterus. This allows the lining of the uterus (endometrium) to be clearly seen on an ultrasound scan therefore making it easier to assess the uterine cavity and endometrium accurately and detect certain pathology like polyps.
This procedure is usually recommended to some women who might be having difficulty conceiving, as it detects any blockages in the fallopian tubes. The fallopian tubes are a pair of thin tubes connecting the ovaries to the uterus. In reproduction, an ovary bursts, releasing an egg, which then travels along the fallopian tube and into he uterus.
Therefore, to obtain a pregnancy the tubes must be open and clear from any blockages. When there are tubal blockages, this prevents the egg from meeting the sperm, so it becomes very difficult or impossible for conception to take place.
If your doctor wants to test whether or not your fallopian tubes are clear, they will often refer you for a Tubal Patency (contrast) Procedure. There are many different names for this procedure, the most common being the Contrast as this is the name of the product solution used. It is also referred to as Tubal Patency Testor Hystero-Salpingo Contrast Sonography.