Patient Resources

Types of Ultrasound Scans for Infertility

Ultrasound scans are an essential part of infertility testing and fertility treatments in women, and can also be used throughout a woman’s pregnancy for a variety of different reasons. There are several types of ultrasounds that can be done depending on what stage you are at in your pregnancy journey. Here are some of the ultrasounds you may receive from your infertility doctor Cary at NCCRM or from your OB/GYN while trying to conceive and/or once you have confirmed you are pregnant. 

Abdominal Ultrasound

Abdominal ultrasounds are typically performed during mid to late pregnancies. For this type of ultrasound, a gel will be applied over your abdomen, which will make it smooth and easy for the ultrasound probe, also known as a transducer, to be slid over your skin. Sound waves are emitted by the transducer which echos or bounces back when they hit your internal organs. The ultrasound machine interprets these signals and turns them into a digital image. Your OB/GYN or infertility doctor Cary may ask you to drink a lot of water beforehand because a full bladder will push your intestines out of the way, which makes your reproductive organs easier to see. 

Transvaginal Ultrasound

Transvaginal ultrasounds are very similar to abdominal ultrasounds, except that they are performed vaginally so that the OB/GYN or infertility doctor Cary can assess the reproductive organs more closely. Here the transducer is shaped in the form of a slender and long wand. A condom is pulled over the wand, and a lubricating gel is applied on the tip before placing it inside the vagina, right before the cervix. Digital images are then captured based on the echos emitted from the sound waves. When it comes to fertility testing and treatments, transvaginal ultrasounds provide the best imagery because the transducer tip is placed right below the cervix, which is closer to your reproductive organs. They can also be done early on in pregnancies to provide a more accurate due date if that is unclear, as well as to check for other issues relating to pain, bleeding, cysts, or any other issues that could potentially lead to a miscarriage. 

Antral Follicle Count

This procedure is done with the usual transvaginal ultrasound device but requires special training for the technician to complete accurately. Antral follicle counts are typically done in the early phase of your menstrual cycle so that your physician can visually count the number of egg-containing follicles that are developing on both of your ovaries. Antral follicle count ultrasounds can help determine your ovarian reserves and possibly help diagnose polycystic ovarian syndrome

 (PCOS). You may or may not have an antral follicle count exam as part of your basic fertility workup. It may also be scheduled separately or at the same time as a general ultrasound scan.

3D Ultrasound

Ultrasound scans usually produce 2D images, but with the help of advanced technologies, it is now possible to generate three-dimensional images. This type of ultrasound helps detect the problems in fallopian tubes and uterine abnormalities which are not easily visible in two-dimensional ultrasound scans.


In this scan, the infertility doctor Cary transfers a saline solution through a catheter into the uterus. As the saline fills the uterus, it gets easier to visualize the shape of the uterus and check for any existing adhesions within the uterus. A sonohysterogram can be done during a basic fertility workup but is more commonly used for specific situations.

Hysterosalpingo – Contrast Sonography (HyCoSy)

This scan is similar to a sonohysterogram, except a dye, or a saline solution, mixed with air bubbles is used to determine whether the fallopian tubes are open or blocked. The advantages of having an HyCoSy over an HSG are that the HyCoSy may cause less discomfort than an HSG. Additionally, HyCoSy doesn’t require radiation or iodine exposure, and an HyCoSy can also be done at the same time as a general ultrasound exam. 


Ultrasound scans play a very important role in your fertility treatment as they can ensure a successful pregnancy. For more information about these types of ultrasounds from the specialists at NCCRM fertility clinic Cary NC, visit our website or call our office today. NCCRM was established in 1992 to provide advanced reproductive techniques to couples who dream of having their own child. We invite you to put your confidence in our team at NCCRM, we look forward to working with you!

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