As uncomfortable as it may seem, but yes, a transvaginal ultrasound is an important procedure in diagnosing problems within the reproductive system of a woman as well as the pelvic organs that include the vagina, uterus, cervix, urinary tract, among others.
This is required when the mere scanning through the surface of the skin, as with the case of a pelvic and abdominal ultrasound are not sufficient to produce a clear image of the innermost parts of the pelvic areas such as ovaries, fallopian tubes, uterus, and bladder.
It is still the same ultrasound we know that uses the high-frequency sound waves to create images of the internal organs intended to identify potential abnormalities that can help physicians in properly diagnosing certain illnesses and conditions.
The only difference is that, instead of it being pressed against our skin, the ultrasound wand is being inserted by the doctor or the ultrasound technician inside the female body through the vagina. Yes, there! But there are reported cases in certain clinics wherein the patient herself was the one inserting the device to herself. Yaiks!
Okay, enough of all the awkwardness. How much does transvaginal ultrasound cost?
Average Cost of Transvaginal Ultrasound
When it comes to health care, the average transvaginal ultrasound price is quite difficult to determine as there is no single pricing policy in the United States and the costs are dependent on several factors that you need to know and understand prior to availing any medical services.
According to Healthcare Bluebook, the fair price of a transvaginal ultrasound is $278. This represents the reasonable amount you need to pay when seeking this particular service.
ClevelandClinic.org charges non-obstetric transvaginal ultrasound at $752, while MetroHealth.net charges the same service at $362 when covered by insurance and $217.20 when paid in cash by uninsured patients.
The University of Michigan charges transvaginal ultrasound for pregnant with insurance at $620 and $372 without. Non-pregnant insured patients are charged $863 and uninsured patients are charged $518.
What Comprises the Transvaginal Ultrasound Price?
The average transvaginal ultrasound price includes the actual imaging procedure and the interpretation of the doctor reading the images to produce the official result of the test. But this does not include the doctor’s fee when the result is presented to your physician for either further evaluation or for the treatment plan.
Follow up check up with your physician or any specialist especially if the results turned out to be positive for any disease or there was any deviation from the normal values and appearance based on the interpretation of the image.
As per EverettClinic.com, the average consultation or visit to an OB-Gynecologist for issues pertaining to pregnancy and other female reproductive system; to a Nephrologist which deals with kidney diseases; and to a Urologist that specializes in the urinary tract, all ranges from $167.50 to $378.50.
In cases where the transvaginal ultrasound failed to yield a very clear, convincing, or conclusive result, another procedure called sonohysterogram may be recommended. This is also another type of ultrasound but this time, using a fluid that will be put into the uterus through the cervix using a thin plastic tube, will give a more detailed image than a normal transvaginal ultrasound. The average cost of this procedure is $1,097.
Shopping for Transvaginal Ultrasound
Almost all of the hospitals, clinics, and other medical facilities offer transvaginal ultrasound. If you have the luxury to go around and search for the cheapest deal, much better. But if not, just settle with the one nearest your place for convenience sake since you would probably be going back to claim the result anyway. That is if someone else, not your doctor, is performing the ultrasound and your case is not considered as urgent.
Factors Affecting Transvaginal Ultrasound Cost
Identifying how much does transvaginal ultrasound cost is supposedly a very pretty straightforward task. But with all the factors contributing to the overall cost of the procedure, it is very important to identify and understand each as well in order to come up getting the cheapest deal.
- Location – as always, the cost of living and cost of doing business in a particular state, county or city plays an important role in the costing of any product or service.
- Facility – whether you availed the service in a large hospital, in a multispecialty or diagnostic facility, or in a doctor’s clinic also spells the difference in the transvaginal ultrasound price, mainly due to the equipment used as some are more sophisticated than others.
- Insurance – your out-of-pocket expenses would depend on the amount your insurance provider is willing to cover.
- Condition – most hospitals and clinics charges pregnant and non-pregnant cases differently, while some of them charge the same amount whatever the patients’ case may be.
Your manner of preparation prior to the transvaginal ultrasound is dependent on what organ needs to be checked or the reason behind the procedure. The ultrasound might require you to either have an empty bladder, partially full or totally full to the extent of feeling the need to urinate anytime soon.
If your bladder is required to be full, you need to drink 32 ounces of any kinds of liquid 30 minutes to an hour prior to the ultrasound.
Your doctor may recommend a transvaginal ultrasound for a variety of reasons but mainly to check any existing conditions and as a precaution. These may include the following:
- Excessive bleeding during menstruation or menorrhagia, or the absence of menstruation other than menopause or amenorrhea
- For abnormal abdominal or pelvic diagnosis
- Ectopic pregnancy
- Pelvic pain
- To check for the presence of Polycystic Ovarian Syndrome (POS)
- To check for uterine fibroids
- To check if the IUD has been placed properly
On the other hand, an OB-Gynecologist may require a pregnant woman to be subjected to transvaginal ultrasound to monitor the overall well-being of the fetus like checking its heartbeat, and any other condition that might lead to miscarriage, and to look for the possible source of bleeding.
Contrary to what most people may believe, the transvaginal ultrasound poses no risks of exposure to radiation, is noninvasive, and is generally painless, unless the patient has issues with her vagina, like when she’s experiencing pain during sexual intercourse.
After the procedure, you may resume your normal activities like nothing happened.