Does a Transvaginal Ultrasound Hurt?

If you are having certain kinds of scan, such as a gynaecological ultrasound or an early pregnancy scan, then it may be necessary to perform a transvaginal ultrasound. The transvaginal or internal scan can sound scary, but it is very safe and shouldn’t cause more than slight discomfort.

Transvaginal Ultrasound Scan

What Happens During a Transvaginal Ultrasound?

The transvaginal scan is performed using a specially designed ultrasound probe that is inserted into the vagina. The probe is very small and it will be inserted carefully, using lots of lubrication to prevent discomfort. Having a transvaginal ultrasound may feel a little bit uncomfortable or embarrassing, but it shouldn’t hurt. If you have had a cervical smear before, then you will probably find that the transvaginal scan is less uncomfortable because there is no need to hold the vagina open with a speculum.

The Transvaginal Ultrasound Probe

To give you some idea of what to expect, the ultrasound probe will usually:

  • Be about the same diameter as a tampon
  • Need to be inserted just a few inches into the vagina

What Will You Feel?

When you have an internal scan you should expect that:

  • You will need to remove the lower half of your clothing and lie down for the scan, which can feel a bit embarrassing
  • The probe will be inserted slowly and carefully, but you may still feel some discomfort as it moves
  • The probe will make contact with your cervix, which can feel uncomfortable for some women
  • You will feel some pressure as the probe is moved during the scan to take pictures from different angles

Some women may experience more discomfort during an internal scan as everyone is different. Let your sonographer know if you are uncomfortable or in pain, and inform them of any issues with your cervix or vagina before the ultrasound so they can take extra care.

What If I Feel Uncomfortable?

If you have any worries before or during the scan, you should let your sonographer or doctor know so that they can reassure you and help you to relax. You might also want to try breathing deeply or using other techniques to help keep your muscles relaxed and your mind calm. Remember that you can tell the sonographer to stop if you need to take a break at any point.

Read Our Reviews  

Thank you to all our patients for considering coming to our clinic. We aim to meet the highest standards.

Clinic Locations

Visit our clinic in Central London and Cheshire


137 Harley Street, London W1G 6BF
Nearest Underground Tube Stations

Baker Street
Regent’s Park
Great Portland Street


Talbot Road, Talbot Road, Alderley Edge, Cheshire SK9 7HR
Nearest Overground Train Station

Alderley Edge