Is it possible to do ultrasound examinations during menstruation?

Since menstrual flow is an integral and completely natural process for every woman of reproductive age, and ultrasound is one of the most popular modern methods for diagnosing almost all existing gynecological diseases, you should know whether it is possible to do an ultrasound during menstruation.

If a woman is worried about heart pain, or there is a suspicion of diseases of the thyroid gland, lymph nodes, urinary system or abdominal organs, an ultrasound examination can be performed on any day of the cycle, including during menstruation. If an ultrasound of the mammary glands or organs of the reproductive system is necessary, you should consult your doctor in advance about the timing of the procedure. In the vast majority of cases, routine ultrasound is not recommended at this time, but there are exceptions, which will be discussed in this article.

What can an ultrasound detect?

Ultrasound of the pelvic organs is a fairly common diagnostic method. Based on the results of this study, the echogenicity and size of organs can be assessed. The gynecologist determines the position, structure and size of the uterus, its cervix, the size and location of the ovaries. Ultrasound also determines the presence of follicles and neoplasms in the uterus and its appendages. Additionally, the condition of the bladder, kidneys and intestines can be assessed for the presence of stones, sand and tumors. After diagnosis, a conclusion is made orally or in writing, where the doctor describes all the indicators and their compliance with the norm, and a preliminary conclusion is made about the woman’s health.

If there are any deviations from the norm in the examination results, this is a clear sign of the presence of disorders or diseases. In some cases, to clarify the diagnosis, the examination will need to be repeated on different days of the cycle.

Hardening of the wall of the uterus and fallopian tubes may indicate the possible development of a cancerous tumor. If oval or round segments are visible on ultrasound, it may be a cyst or fibroma. If the uterus is reduced in size, and the ovaries, on the contrary, are enlarged, this is a sign of polycystic disease. If the echogenicity of the entire organ is changed, this may indicate the development of endometriosis or the presence of a benign tumor. Depending on the expected diagnosis, the examination is recommended to be done on different days of the cycle; in some cases, an ultrasound may be required during menstruation. The examination results are provided in the form of screenshots and a diagnostic report.

Experts consider ultrasound one of the safest and most informative diagnostic methods. Thanks to ultrasound, it is possible to determine the presence of ovarian fibroids in 90% of cases, and a cyst in 98%. But there are a number of factors that can significantly affect the reliability of the result, including the presence of a woman’s critical days at the time of the procedure. Based on this, a qualified specialist should make a decision on the need for intravaginal ultrasound during this period.

What does the procedure give?

Thanks to the use of ultrasound, a specialist can assess the condition of the abdominal organs (gall bladder, liver, kidneys, stomach, abdominal aorta, spleen, pancreas) and thereby determine the presence of pathological changes in their structure at the initial stages. It turns out that performing an ultrasound for preventive purposes, even during menstruation, makes it possible to timely detect the onset of a serious disease, as a result of which it will be much easier to treat. Echography, in addition to examining the internal organs of the peritoneum, allows you to monitor the blood flow through their vascular system and assess the condition of the mucous membranes.

Using a monitor that displays an image of the area under study, the doctor is able to detect the presence of various neoplasms in the tissues of the liver, pancreas, and so on. These include:

  • hematomas (areas of limited accumulation of blood due to open and closed injuries to any organs with damage to blood vessels);
  • adenomas (benign tumors formed from glandular epithelium);
  • abscesses (foci of purulent inflammation);
  • calculi (accumulation of stones of a dense structure that form in the excretory ducts of human glands);
  • cysts (pathological neoplasms with liquid contents).

Having performed the procedure, the doctor subsequently evaluates the results obtained and prescribes the patient the appropriate treatment for a particular pathology.

When research is not recommended

If a woman’s menstrual cycle is characterized by irregularity, then it is quite natural that on the pre-planned date of an ultrasound of the pelvic organs, menstruation may begin unscheduled. In this case, the study is not urgent, and therefore it is recommended to postpone it to another day of the cycle. There are several reasons why the procedure is not recommended during menstrual periods:

  • during a routine ultrasound it is impossible to assess the condition of the endometrium, since it looks like a heterogeneous structure;
  • minor pathologies in the endometrium and uterine walls may be hidden and not visible to the doctor’s eye;
  • the tissue of the mammary glands is modified during regulation, and such an examination will be uninformative;
  • conducting an ultrasound with a vaginal sensor will cause psychological discomfort to the woman;
  • It is unhygienic to perform a transvaginal examination during menstruation; this is done only when absolutely necessary.

Ultrasound during menstruation - the reasons against

There are special indications for which pelvic ultrasound is allowed to be performed at any time of the monthly cycle, even in the first 3-5 days. This is inflammation of the uterine appendages, complications after an abortion, etc. Most doctors advise going for an ultrasound during menstruation only in such emergency cases. If it is possible to postpone the procedure for 3-5 days, it is better to wait.

Experts name several reasons why ultrasound is not recommended during menstruation.

  • During menstruation, there is blood and clots in the uterine cavity, this prevents the doctor from discerning some pathologies at an early stage.
  • When bleeding occurs, the ultrasound image does not always show small neoplasms (cysts, polyps, tumors). This leads to misdiagnosis and worsening of the disease.
  • During menstruation, an ultrasound will not determine the exact thickness and condition of the endometrium - the inner mucous membrane of the uterus. And this indicator is necessary for diagnosing a number of diseases - endometriosis, endometritis, chronic infections, hormonal imbalance, etc.
  • An ultrasound during your period is just very inconvenient. Pelvic scans are usually done using a vaginal probe, and the patient may experience severe discomfort. Both psychological (due to the presence of blood) and physiological – slight pain.

When menstruation is not a hindrance and an ultrasound is worth doing

The date of the pelvic ultrasound is determined by the attending physician; there are situations when it is impossible to wait for the end of the regulation and an emergency examination is required; there are also a number of pathologies that can only be identified with the onset of critical days. We list all the situations in which an ultrasound examination is necessary during the regulatory period:

  • too much discharge during regulation is a direct indication for immediate ultrasound diagnosis, since many pathologies can only be distinguished during this period;
  • if there is a suspicion of a short-term pregnancy, any spotting, even the most scanty, may be a sign of an ongoing spontaneous abortion;
  • ectopic development of the fetus is suspected;
  • if menstruation turns into uterine bleeding or bleeding between menstruation;
  • if tumors of various types, polyps, endometrial hyperplasia are suspected, gynecological ultrasound is best done in the first days of the cycle;
  • in the first days of the cycle, you need to do an ultrasound diagnosis, the main purpose of which is to recognize a specific type of cyst with a size of up to 1 cm. If you miss time, the formations become denser and diagnosis becomes difficult;
  • Follicle screening is carried out throughout the entire menstrual cycle, including during menstruation, in order to determine the period of ovulation, the woman is examined from the 1st to the 15th day of the cycle. A diagnostic procedure may be prescribed again for the treatment of infertility or in case of irregularities in the menstrual cycle;
  • acute inflammatory processes in the organs of the reproductive system;
  • sharp and unbearable pain in the lower abdomen.

Benefits of Ultrasound

The ultrasound procedure has a wide range of advantages, which include:

  • availability . The necessary equipment is available in any clinic and medical center, and the cost of the study is as low as possible;
  • painlessness . During the study, the patient does not experience any discomfort;
  • speed of result . The diagnosis is made either during the examination of the affected organ, or after deciphering the result by the attending physician;
  • safety . The manipulation does not pose any harm to health and is prescribed even during pregnancy;
  • accuracy . Ultrasound allows you to examine organs and pathologies in detail. An error is only permissible if the patient did not comply with the necessary instructions.

What kind of ultrasound can be done

During an ultrasound examination, the patient does not feel any discomfort; this is an absolutely safe diagnostic procedure that is not capable of affecting the patient’s well-being. If a specialist has prescribed an ultrasound of organs that are not related to the reproductive system, then it can be performed on any day of the menstrual cycle. During menstruation, you can do an ultrasound of the kidneys, abdominal cavity, bladder and other internal organs without any fear.

But there are a number of emergency situations in which a gynecological ultrasound can be performed during menstrual periods:

  • heavy bleeding;
  • suspicion of an ectopic fetus or miscarriage in the first weeks of pregnancy, especially with abnormally scanty periods;
  • if you suspect the presence of cysts, hyperplasia, benign and malignant neoplasms and other pathologies of the reproductive system;
  • severe pain syndrome of unknown etymology;
  • when studying folliculogenesis, for such studies it is necessary to do ultrasound at all stages of the menstrual cycle.

Only a specialist can prescribe an ultrasound examination during the procedure, based on the existing symptoms; self-examination during this period is not recommended.

Magnetic therapy and menstruation

The influence of the magnetic field has a beneficial effect on the woman’s body. This method of treatment has proven effective in the fight against inflammatory diseases, adhesions, and infertility.

The device has special attachments that allow you to influence not only externally, but also internally. Control occurs using a computer; the physiotherapist alternates polarities during the session. The technique is prescribed during exacerbation of endometritis, colpitis, endocervitis. The magnetic effect is complemented by conservative treatment, and the woman feels relief much faster. At the same time, the period of taking medications is significantly reduced, the body does not experience greater stress, and recovers faster.

As a rule, the technique is not used during menstruation. The risk of bleeding increases. Treatment begins after the end of the critical days. Timely administration of therapy helps a woman get rid of many problems and restore the health of the reproductive system. Magnetic therapy helps a woman bear a healthy baby.

Properly selected physical procedures speed up the healing process and a woman’s recovery after illness. Therapeutic electrophoresis, magnetic therapy in addition to conservative techniques help preserve women's health, and many will be able to realize their cherished dream of becoming a mother.

What day is the best day to get tested?

In very rare cases, women plan in advance to have an ultrasound scan during the procedure; usually during this period they have to do an emergency examination. In most cases, patients are advised to schedule an ultrasound after their period. But what to do in cases where your period unexpectedly arrived on the date planned for the examination, or it was delayed a little, and at the time of the ultrasound there is still spotting? The answer to this question can only be obtained from your attending physician.

There are pathologies for the detection of which it is necessary to strictly adhere to the timing of the ultrasound. For example, in order to detect inflammatory processes in the uterus and appendages, an ultrasound examination is carried out in the first phase of the cycle, between its fifth and tenth day. It is important to monitor on what day of the cycle a gynecological ultrasound is performed if endometriosis is suspected, because more reliable information will be provided by the study in the second phase of the cycle, when the thickness of the endometrium is maximum.

If the gynecologist suspects the presence of inflammatory processes in the uterus and appendages, and also suspects the presence of oncological tumors, he recommends ultrasound diagnostics immediately after menstruation. In case of postoperative complications, ultrasound of the pelvic organs is performed as prescribed on any day of the cycle.

Only a doctor can determine the exact date when to perform an ultrasound of the pelvic organs, judging by the symptoms, expected diagnosis and general health of the patient.

Contraindications for the procedure

Ultrasound examination is a safe procedure that can be performed even on newborns. There are no health risks during manipulation. Contraindications for the procedure are situations where the result may be deliberately false. Ultrasound is not recommended in the following cases:

  • when the patient did not carry out preliminary preparations, for example, refused to diet. In this case, the doctor will not be able to guarantee a reliable result, since he simply will not see the affected tissue;
  • if the skin has multiple lesions, such as burns or scars. In this case, the procedure will be ineffective and cause pain;
  • if there is an accumulation of gases in the intestines.

Thus, ultrasound examination of the abdominal cavity is in no way related to the menstrual cycle. The procedure is carried out at any convenient time. The result depends only on how accurately the patient followed the doctor’s instructions.

Preparation for the procedure

Preliminary preparation for the examination is required on any day of the menstrual cycle, but ultrasound of the pelvic organs during menstruation requires the woman to do this more carefully. A transvaginal examination is usually performed, so following general recommendations will help make the result as objective as possible.

Before the ultrasound, you must empty your bladder and bowels. If a woman’s digestive system is prone to gas formation and bloating, then on the eve of a visit to the doctor, foods that cause fermentation and accumulation of gases should be excluded from the diet. A few days before the ultrasound, you should not eat cabbage, legumes, pastries, brown bread and soda.

If a woman is prone to constipation, then to achieve a more reliable examination result, it is best to do an enema first, but douching before the procedure is strictly prohibited, because this can cause infection in the uterine cavity.

Before undergoing the procedure, it is recommended to take a shower and also take moisture-absorbing diapers and wet wipes with you. In private clinics, the medical staff usually takes care of such hygiene products, but to be completely sure, you should still have them with you.

Can menstruation affect the results of an abdominal ultrasound?

Before the procedure, a woman has a natural question: is it possible to do an ultrasound of the abdominal cavity during menstruation? To answer this, you need to understand how the menstrual cycle affects the results of the manipulation. Let's start with the fact that the abdominal cavity includes:

  • pancreas;
  • kidneys;
  • spleen;
  • liver;
  • gallbladder.

During the study, the doctor measures the size of the listed organs, determines their location, and also determines whether there are pathological formations or free fluid in the tissues.

Thus, the menstrual cycle and PMS can in no way interfere with the procedure or distort the results. Menstruation can become an obstacle to a pelvic examination, but has nothing to do with the abdominal cavity.

performing an ultrasound

Diagnosing the ovaries

For menstrual flow, there are 2 ways to perform ultrasound examinations. They differ in the principle of implementation. These include:

  • transabdominal method;
  • transvaginal.

Often, in order to get a complete picture of the condition of a person’s genital organs, both methods are used.

The transabdominal method is external, less labor-intensive and time-consuming. The doctor moves the meter along the visible part of the patient’s abdomen, having previously smeared it with medicinal gel. All indicators of the condition of the ovaries are displayed on the monitor .

The most accurate indicators are produced by the second method - transvaginal. When using it, the sensor is placed inside the girl’s body through the vagina.

The size of the sensor here is significantly smaller than during a transabdominal examination, which ensures the most comfortable and least painful procedure for the patient.

To maintain the required level of hygiene and for the comfort of the examinee, a gel-coated condom is placed on the sensor. Such an ultrasound does not last long and produces more accurate results. With good professional training of the medical worker, the patient does not experience severe discomfort.

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