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in vitro fertilisation (ivf)

Ultrasound for IVF Treatment

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Ultrasound scan helps in diagnosis, monitoring and planning of IVF treatment. Ultrasound imaging helps in determining the number and size of the follicles in the ovaries, thickness and blood supply of the endometrium lining, detection of fibroids, polyps and female cancer symptoms during IVF. It also helps in monitoring the growth of the fetus after a successful IVF treatment.

Ultrasound or Sonography is a technique, which utilizes sound waves in female’s reproductive organs imaging. Every medical treatment requires timely monitoring to know the progression of the cure of the respective medical condition. Likely, diagnostic services such, as ultrasound scans are helpful in finding out the status of the reproductive health of the female partner before, during and after IVF treatment. In Vitro Fertilization (IVF) or test tube baby is one of the most commonly utilized fertility treatments to treat infertility in couples. Ultrasound imaging can be of various types such as transvaginal ultrasound and abdominal ultrasound. But transvaginal ultrasound is more common when it comes to diagnosing and monitoring female reproductive parts. In this blog, you will find in detail about ultrasound and its various uses in IVF treatments. Let’s start with the role of ultrasound scanning before IVF treatment.

Ultrasound before IVF

When a couple visits a fertility centre or hospital, then one of the first advice which a gynecologist or infertility expert provides to the patients is to opt for imaging tests including ultrasound.

Ultrasound before IVF helps in knowing the causes of female infertility. It helps in diagnosing the underlying issues in female sexual organs. The female has three main reproductive organs namely ovary, uterus and fallopian tube. Below mentioned issues can be determined with the help of an ultrasound scan in any of these organs.

1. Diagnosing Female Uterus

  • Fibroids and Polyps: The uterus of female is being diagnosed for the presence of fibroids or polyps with the help of an ultrasound. In fact, it is also possible to figure out the size of fibroids and polyps. If the size of the polyps or fibroids is larger, then these can be removed with the help of laparoscopy before IVF itself, so that it does not result in any unwanted complications such as implantation problems, miscarriage, stillbirth or early labor during IVF pregnancy.
  • Endometrium lining thickness:The endometrium lining is also visible clearly with the help of the ultrasound. If the health and condition of the endometrium are up to the mark according to the infertility expert, then the IVF treatment is successfully commenced. So, ultrasound helps in finding out whether the thickness of the endometrium is optimum and it has got the required blood supply for successful implantation.
  • Uterus shape and Size:Shape and size of the uterus can be easily determined with the help of the ultrasound. Abnormal shaped uterine cavity and small sized uterus pose difficulty in conceiving. Usage of ultrasound helps in identifying these issues before hand before starting the IVF treatment to ensure the success of the treatment.

2. Diagnosing Female Fallopian Tubes

Every female has twofallopian tubes which should function properly in order to conceive a baby. Ultrasound helps in diagnosing the following problems in female’s fallopian tubes:

Diagnosing Female Fallopian Tubes

3. Diagnosing Female Ovaries

A transvaginal ultrasound is a usual diagnosis method to view the ovaries. It helps in visualizing as well as evaluating the ovaries and associated issues like ovarian cysts, ovarian cancer, primary ovarian insufficiency, and absence of single or both the ovaries. A transvaginal ultrasound allows evaluation of the ovaries in planes which is not possible to be imaged directly.

  • Number of Developing Follicles: The presence of eggs, as well as the condition of the ovaries is a great measure of female’s fertility as these are the essential assets of a female reproductive system, which contribute, in the successful formation of embryos. So, before commencing with the IVF treatment, ultrasound scans are performed along with other pre-pregnancy tests to check the number of developing follicles. Baseline pelvic ultrasound is also recommended in some of the cases for finding out the condition and functioning of both the ovaries.
  • Cyst in Ovaries: A regular pelvic/transvaginal ultrasound is performed to visualize ovaries to detect the presence of cysts in the ovaries.
  • Presence or absence of ovaries: With a regular transvaginal ultrasound, it is possible to see ovaries as it creates a clearer picture with the help of sound waves. Apart from other conditions like ovarian cysts and cancer, presence or absence of one or both the ovaries is determined.
  • Ovarian tumor:One of the best advantages of using ultrasound for IVF is that it has got excellent ability to detect cancers of the female organs which the regular abdominal scans are unable to detect.

Ultrasound during IVF

Ultrasound during IVF treatment is a crucial part of the entire treatment. It helps in monitoring the growth of follicles and check endometrial thickness during ongoing IVF treatment.

Ultrasound during IVF

Response to Ovarian Stimulating Drugs

When a female is undergoing IVF treatment, the growing follicles can be efficiently monitored and evaluated so that the gynecologist or infertility expert can determine the number of eggs available for embryo formation process.

Check Endometrial Thickness

The endometrium lining is also visible clearly with the help of the ultrasound. If the health and condition of the endometrium are up to the mark according to the infertility expert, then the IVF treatment is successfully commenced. Yet the thickness of the endometrial lining plays a decisive role whether it would support implantation after the treatment. Ultrasounds are done to know the thickness of the endometrium and if it is found to be between 8 to 11 mm, and only the process of embryo transfer (ET) is carried out. Otherwise, ET process is delayed till the next cycle.

Ultrasound after IVF

Ultrasound after IVF treatment is performed to check the success of the treatment. If the treatment is successful, then ultrasounds are carried out to check the growth and development of the baby inside the uterus.

Confirm Pregnancy

Once the IVF treatment is completed and the embryo is transferred into the uterus of the patient, pregnancy tests are performed in the woman at least twice. This helps in confirming the pregnancy. This is followed by ultrasound scans, which help in determining the right implantation of the embryo in theuterus of female undergoing the treatment. In case of further requirement, ultrasound scan is recommended to the patient after a week or two.

Early Fetal Heartbeat

Fetal heartbeat is also detected with the help of ultrasound after IVF treatment, which helps the doctor monitor and keeps a check on the growth of the fetus in the woman.  

Which type of ultrasound is used during IVF treatment?

Transvaginal ultrasound is one of the most commonly suggested ultrasounds to check the health of woman’s reproductive organ. The procedure of transvaginal ultrasound is quite simple. During this procedure, a probe covered with condom is inserted into the vagina of the patient. A certain kind of gel is applied on the probe, which shows the entire picture of the reproductive system especially that of the uterus of the woman. The best part is that there are no side effects of this procedure on the body of the individual who is undergoing it.

Transvaginal ultrasound

It is always necessary that couples who are planning for the babies consult their gynecologist or infertility specialist before diagnosis. They should also understand the ways by which they can improve their chances of success. This helps in undergoing the right diagnostic tests followed by suitable fertility treatment. These days, diagnostic tests of quality-standards are readily available at all fertility centers and hospitals.

Thus, ultrasound scans are a vital part of the IVF procedure. At every stage of IVF, it will ensure that the treatment progresses successfully and completes with the aid of proper utilization of the ultrasound scans which have evolved to an appreciable extent, thus leading to the development of successful pregnancy. If you want to get your fertility treatment started then give a call at +917899912611 to connect with fertility advisors.

Dr. Chitwan Dubey

About The Author

Obstetrician, Gynecologist Dr. Chitwan Dubey
Mumbai

Dr. Chitwan Dubey is a leading Obstetrician and IUI Expert currently working at SevenHills Hospital in Andheri, East Mumbai. She has been practicing in the same field for over a decade and her areas of expertise are Endometriosis, Ectopic Pregnancies, Fibroids, Total Lap Hysterectomies, and Fertility Enhancing Diagnostic etc. She completed MBBS from Rant's Medical College in 2004 followed by MS in Obstetrics and Gynaecology from Mumbai University in 2006. Dr. Chitwan Dubey is an honoured member of Indian Medical Association (IMA). For contact details of Dr. Chitwan Dubey visit elawoman.com

SOURCES AND REFERENCES:

  1. What is ivf (in- vitro fertilization)? In Vitro Fertilization, Elawoman - 2018
  2. What is in-vitro fertilization (ivf) and its needs IVF treatments, Elawoman - 2017
  3. Noticeable sign of infertility in women female infertility, Elawoman - 2017
  4. Top 10 early pregnancy symptoms early labor during IVF pregnancy, Elawoman - 2017
  5. Symptoms of fallopian tube blockage fallopian tubes, Elawoman - 2018
  6. Polycystic ovary syndrome (pcos) causes, symptoms treatment and problems Cyst or Infection in tubes, Elawoman - 2017
  7. Embryo transfer procedure in ivf embryo transfer, Elawoman - 2017
  8. When to take pregnancy test? pregnancy tests, Elawoman - 2018
  9. What are the functions of uterus? uterus of female, Elawoman - 2017

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Aug. 1, 2018, 1 p.m. 4.5

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