In a nutshell
This paper compared ultrasound carried out through the abdomen (transabdominal) with ultrasound carried out through the vagina (transvaginal) for women undergoing embryo transfer. Authors concluded that transvaginal ultrasound was associated with less discomfort than transabdominal ultrasound. Transvaginal ultrasound also allowed for better visualization results in embryo transfer.
In-vitro fertilization (IVF) is a procedure where the egg is fertilized by the sperm in a laboratory dish outside the body. The embryo is then implanted back onto the uterus. Methods of transferring the embryo to the uterus has not been extensively studied. Ultrasound is a type of body imaging technique. It can be used to help guide the transfer of embryo. Ultrasound can be transabdominal or transvaginal. Transabdominal means that probe is placed over the abdomen and this method requires patients to have a full bladder. This can sometimes cause some discomfort to patients. Transvaginal means that the probe is placed in the vagina.
Methods & findings
120 women aged between 18 and 40 years who underwent embryo transfer were studied. All women were randomly assigned to receive either transvaginal or transabdominal ultrasound to help guide embryo transfer after IVF. At each embryo transfer, patients rated the pain and discomfort before, during, and after the procedure.
Women who had a transvaginal ultrasound reported less pain and discomfort before, during, and after the procedure than women who had transabdominal ultrasound. Anxiety levels were higher in women receiving transabdominal ultrasound before and during the procedure than women receiving transvaginal ultrasound. The uterus was significantly better visualized in transvaginal ultrasound than transabdominal ultrasound.
Pregnancy rates did not differ significantly between the two types of ultrasound. Live birth rate was 31.6% in women who received transvaginal ultrasound. This was similar among women who received transabdominal ultrasound (25%).
The bottom line
The authors concluded that transvaginal ultrasound allowed for better visualization results in embryo transfer. There was also less pain and discomfort associated with transvaginal ultrasound.
Published By :
Fertility and Sterility
Mar 24, 2017