Transvaginal ultrasound is one of the main tools a physician has when it comes to diagnosing PCOS. The images found on the ultrasound, in conjunction with the results of blood tests and a thorough patient history and physical, are used to diagnose this syndrome.
How Is a Transvaginal Ultrasound Performed?An ultrasound probe is placed inside the vagina, which transmits an image of the internal organs onto a screen.
Does Transvaginal Ultrasound Hurt?Some women may experience very mild discomfort during the ultrasound, depending on the ease in which the sonographer can locate the internal reproductive organs.
How Does a Transvaginal Ultrasound Diagnose PCOS?Some physicians use the Rotterdam criteria to diagnose PCOS, which requires presence of two of the following:
- increased follicles
- infrequent, irregular or no ovulation
- evidence of hyperandrogenism -- physical symptoms of high androgen levels (such as acne or facial hair), or lab results that confirm increased levels
However, in the United States, many physicians do not typically rely solely on that definition in order to make a diagnosis. There are many women who have cystic ovaries without symptoms of hyperandrogenism, and many women who have been diagnosed with PCOS who do not have classically cystic ovaries.