How Ultrasound Checks for Ectopic Pregnancy


doctor performing ultrasound on a pregnant woman's abdomen

An ectopic pregnancy is one in which the fertilized egg implants somewhere other than in the patient’s uterus. Most ectopic pregnancies develop in one of the Fallopian tubes. The embryo can’t develop normally and will have to be removed. If it continues to develop within the Fallopian tube, it could eventually cause the tube to rupture, which will result in heavy bleeding and severe pain. At our office, we can use ultrasound technology to check for this type of pregnancy.

What Causes Ectopic Pregnancies?

Most of the time, ectopic pregnancy has no known cause. Doctors, however, have identified risk factors that increase the chances of a patient having an ectopic pregnancy. Such risk factors include the following:

• Scarring from earlier surgeries in the pelvic area
• Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
• History of STDs
• History of ectopic pregnancy
• Use of fertility drugs
• Treatments for infertility
• Surgery on the Fallopian tubes

What is Transvaginal Pelvic Ultrasound?

Transvaginal pelvic ultrasound is a diagnostic tool that we can use to check for an ectopic pregnancy. We use a device that lets us take pictures of the vagina and the surrounding area.

Ultrasound is a name for the high-frequency soundwaves used. The technician uses a device called a transducer that emits ultrasound waves. The waves bounce off the different tissues and are then converted into electrical impulses that form a picture.

Ultrasound has a number of advantages. It does not involve using radiation, so it is quite safe. It is also comfortable. The high-frequency waves can show the desired image in great detail. Ultrasound examinations also usually do not involve injections, unless the doctor decides to have one administered.

Transvaginal pelvic ultrasound is an outpatient procedure that can be performed in the comfort of our office. The transducer will display images in “real time,” and the technician will also take still photographs.

Learn More

To learn more about ectopic pregnancy or transvaginal pelvic ultrasound, talk to our specialist at Madonna OBGYN and Medical Spa, located in Geneseo and Rochester. Contact us today to schedule an appointment.