Vaginal Ultrasound - No or Yes?

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Vaginal Ultrasound - No or Yes?

Postby agonize » Tue Sep 22, 2015 6:24 am

I'm curious to hear about everyone's experience with vaginal ultrasound.

1) Is it necessary from a medical perspective? Can I wait until after week 12 to just get the abdominal ultrasound?
2) Does the vaginal ultrasound simply confirm the existence of baby? Or can it solve problems if there are any?

Here are my worries with the vaginal ultrasound. Though I've read multiple accounts that vaginal ultrasounds do not cause m/c's. However, I just want to be prudent. When I was pregnant the first time in July, I had gone to get a pap smear. The doctor assured me that though I was pregnant, the pap smear would not hurt the baby, but during the pap, she drew blood and a few days later, I miscarried. I've been assuring myself that the pap did not cause the m/c, but a part of my mind just doubt it. The good thing is that the pap revealed that I am indeed very healthy, so going into this next pregnancy, I feel confident that I'm not part of the high-risk pregnancy group.

So, knowing all that about me, do you guys think it's still necessary to get a vaginal ultrasound? If I don't get one, when is the earliest time possible to get an abdominal ultrasound?
Me--Sophia: 30, DH: 32
July 2015: chemical pregnancy
Sept 2015: BFP @ DPO 12;
EDD: 6/3/16
11w4d: :hb: 165 (doppler)
12w5d: :hb: 156 (ultrasound)
15w6d: :hb: 140 (doppler)
20w5d: :hb: 149 (ultrasound) It's a BOY!
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Re: Vaginal Ultrasound - No or Yes?

Postby FrostedFuji » Tue Sep 22, 2015 7:19 am

Hey hon, congratulations on your bfp :) Have you been told that you will need a vaginal ultrasound, or are you just concerned about the possibility?

I can tell you from experience that it is far less invasive than a pap smear. I understand your concern with your previous pap and miscarriage so close together, but I really agree with your doctor that the loss of your pregnancy wasn't related - just very unfortunate timing.

The first ultrasound will confirm that your baby is developing correctly for gestational age, that is that your baby is the right size, there's an appropriate yolk sac, and that there's a heartbeat if the pregnancy is far enough along (usually around 6 weeks). It's also used to ensure that baby implanted in the uterus, so your pregnancy isn't ectopic. Waiting until 12 weeks might end up in serious problems if your pregnancy is ectopic and nobody knows.

As far as abdominal vs. vaginal, the ultrasound tech at my midwife's office always starts with abdominal and only moves to vaginal if it's necessary. Between 6 and 8 weeks you can often see everything from the abdominal, but the earlier it is the harder it can be so a vaginal may be necessary to see everything. The vaginal ultrasound wand isn't exactly comfortable, but it also doesn't go in further than a tampon. It won't disturb your cervix, or go anywhere near baby itself. It's simply another angle from which the tech can get a good image of baby, with fewer layers of your body in the way :)
Fuji: 28; H: 29

Our first baby!
Willow Del, born at 37,5 on 12/8/15
5 lb, 7.5 oz; 18.25" long
Former code name Little Jedi

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Re: Vaginal Ultrasound - No or Yes?

Postby agonize » Tue Sep 22, 2015 8:22 am

Actually no one has told me that I needed a vaginal ultrasound, but when I was pregnant the first time, the doctor office said that in order for me to receive prenatal care, I'd have to agree to a vaginal ultrasound so that they can verify that I am indeed pregnant. Obviously I never made it that far, since the pap stopped the process short.

Judging by what you are saying, I feel much better knowing that an abdominal ultrasound is possible week 6- 8. Perhaps, I'll just wait until 8 weeks before I make that appointment then? I'm just afraid of going to the doctor's office and they putting pressure on me to do certain tests. With the pap, I felt uneasy about it, but the doctor did not let me leave until I consented to it. I wanted to reschedule another appointment for the pap, but she insisted that she can just do it right there. I felt like I had no choice but to listen and ended up paying for it.

In the event that the pregnancy is ectopic, is there anything they can do? I just feel like these ultrasound just confirms a fact, but doesn't solve any issues. In other words, if I'm going to lose the baby anyway, why not just let things happen in its due course?
Me--Sophia: 30, DH: 32
July 2015: chemical pregnancy
Sept 2015: BFP @ DPO 12;
EDD: 6/3/16
11w4d: :hb: 165 (doppler)
12w5d: :hb: 156 (ultrasound)
15w6d: :hb: 140 (doppler)
20w5d: :hb: 149 (ultrasound) It's a BOY!
agonize
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Re: Vaginal Ultrasound - No or Yes?

Postby FrostedFuji » Tue Sep 22, 2015 8:51 am

Losing an ectopic pregnancy can be life threatening for the mother, depending on the factors involved such as where the zygote implanted. If it were ectopic, it is sometimes safest to do a medical termination before the pregnancy progresses, as the embryo will continue to grow until it cannot be sustained.

It is certainly rare, but it can happen.

If your doctor demands you consent to a vaginal ultrasound before anything continues, however, I would ask why. If you are not comfortable with your doctor and think s/he may require things you are not okay with, I'd suggest switching doctors if you can. You should be able to have a good working relationship with your doctor, based on trust and informed consent. If he or she makes demands and/or requires things without explaining why it is necessary for your health and your baby's, that is not cool and you deserve better care.
Fuji: 28; H: 29

Our first baby!
Willow Del, born at 37,5 on 12/8/15
5 lb, 7.5 oz; 18.25" long
Former code name Little Jedi

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Re: Vaginal Ultrasound - No or Yes?

Postby Yelibaby » Wed Sep 23, 2015 9:27 am

I would definitely have the early u/s, just to rule out an ectopic pregnancy. My MIL had two and lost both her tubes and couldn't have any more children after my DH. An ectopic pregnancy diagnosed on time can save your life and your tubes.

I've had 3 vaginal u/s with this pregnancy, none have given me any issues.
Me: 31
DH: 29
TTC #1 since OCT 2014. After 1 year Nuvaring.

BFP Feb. 15, 2015 - MC at 7 weeks
BFP Apr 2015 - cp
BFP May 24th, 2015 (My bday - 9dpo)

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Beta 10dpo - 35// 12dpo - 100// 14dpo - 255// 17dpo - 1186.4// 21dpo - 7763.4

Progesterone 10dpo - 56.4 (oral progesterone)
Progesterone 14dpo - 61.3 (vaginal supplements and shot)

Please be my rainbow baby!!
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Re: Vaginal Ultrasound - No or Yes?

Postby TrebleLily » Thu Sep 24, 2015 10:51 am

I went in for my first ultrasound last week at 7w3d (or 7w5d according to baby measurements). They wanted to try for an abdominal US first so they had me drink a ton of water, which was absolute torture. I finally gave up on holding it as I sat in the waiting room, and ran to the washroom for relief. So I emptied my bladder maybe 20 min before my appointment, and was sure that because of this they'd have to do vaginal. Well, when I got in, the tech still did it be abdominal and told me my bladder was too FULL so she needed me to empty a little out again. (ARG! My recommendation after all this is to ignore the amounts they tell you to drink and just do what feels right for your body!). She was then able to see a little bit of baby and heartbeat, but she wouldn't let me see the screen and said that it was too unclear from abdominal and vaginal would give a much better picture which she would like to do. So I went pee- again!- and came back in for the vaginal ultrasound. From this she was able to get a clear view of baby and measure the heartbeat and everything. The vaginal ultrasound is really not very invasive at all, and it gives such a more clear picture in early pregnancy that I'm glad I went for it.
Me:31 DH: 46
DS: May 9,2016
Excited to be joining the 2 under 2 club!! Due Date November 1st

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Re: Vaginal Ultrasound - No or Yes?

Postby elohcin » Wed Dec 09, 2015 2:45 pm

Generally, most providers will try an abdominal first (especially if you request). I've had ultrasounds at 6ish weeks with several pregnancies and we've always had great images and audio with abdominal and no need for vaginal. If they don't find anything (or can't see it well enough), then they move on to vaginal.
Me (30) DH (33) Married 12 years!
Mama to 4 in arms (ages 10, 8, 6, 3) and 11 in Heaven
Thanking God for a new little one coming our way in 2016!
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