If you haven’t read part one yet, click here!
My GP took one look at me and said that I most likely have polycystic ovaries or PCOS (polycystic ovary syndrome) and this was very quickly followed by a blood test, which shows that I have high testosterone. This can be an indicator of polycystic ovaries.
I was referred to an endocrinologist – a hormone doctor, which took around four months for an appointment to come through. The appointment lasted about ten minutes – it was so uneventful and quick that I can’t even write a dedicated blog post about seeing him! I was weighed, then he told me that I needed further blood tests (which I had three days after my appointment) and two scans – a transvaginal scan and a pelvic ultrasound, which I had about two weeks after the endocrinologist appointment.
I got a letter in the post explaining that I would need to prepare myself by drinking two litres of water one hour before the scan and a description of what would happen at part of the scan – a small ‘wand’, called a transducer, is placed a couple of inches inside your vagina to get a better picture of your insides. The procedure is painless and lasts around five minutes.
To prepare myself for the appointment, I drank about a litre of water an hour and a half before my appointment. I really, really needed a wee. My mum drove me to the appointment from work and I complained at her that I needed the toilet the whole drive and then whilst she sat in the waiting room (and I paced back and forth!). I was called in well before my appointment time – the nurse said she had left me a voicemail, which I hadn’t picked up, but thankfully I am always super early for appointments anyway!
It hadn’t said on the letter why exactly you need to drink water before a pelvic ultrasound, so I Googled it and apparently, this is so the full bladder can push your womb forwards.
How does an ultrasound work?
The transductor, simply, emits sound waves and the doctor can tell the shape of your insides – womb, ovaries and vagina – by how these sound waves bounce back. A transvaginal ultrasound will show a more detailed imagine, because it gets much closer to everything they need to see.
The Pelvic Ultrasound
I lay down on the bed, pulled my high waisted leggings down slightly around my hips, the nurse tucked some tissue into the waistband of my leggings, before a jelly (to help the external transducer slide across my skin) was rubbed across the bottom of my stomach. The doctor asked a few questions about why I’d be referred and rubbed the transducer over my stomach, pressing slightly down over my ovaries. This lasted for less then five minutes and then I was allowed to go for a wee.. I literally ran down the corridor!
The Transvaginal Scan
When I went back into the radiology room, I was asked to removed my leggings and underwear and to lie down on the bed again. The nurse very quickly covered me with a little paper sheet, to preserve my dignity, but I wasn’t made to feel uncomfortable in any way.
The doctor checked if I was allergic to latex and, when I said no, rolled a condom over a really long, thin transducer. Probably seeing the horror on my face, she said ‘it only goes in a little bit’ – it is really long so that the doctor doesn’t have to get any closer to your vagina than he or she needs to. She lubricated the wand in front of me (probably too generously, but better to be safe) and then put it into my vagina, about two inches in.
It was completely painless. A smear can feel slightly uncomfortable, but this felt even easier.
I could feel her moving the wand around very slightly to get a better view, which was a bit of a strange sensation, but not uncomfortable or painful, because the wand is quite thin.
This test lasted for about ten minutes and then I was given a tissue to clean up all the lubricant and some privacy to get dressed. My next appointment with the endocrinologist is scheduled for early April.
Now I just wait for my results!
Check back for part 3, coming soon! ♡