Ultrasound Blog

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What is Follicle Scan?

Conceiving a baby is one of the most important decisions a woman will make.  While many have no trouble conceiving, for others it can be a slow and frustrating process.  Sometimes, the best way to conceive is to be able to determine when ovulation will happen during a menstrual cycle, and a method used for this is a follicle scan.

What is Follicle Scan?
When asked, many people have no idea of what a follicle scan is.  This type of scan is a series of ultrasound vaginal scans used to identify if a woman is ovulating and pinpoint when a follicle ruptures and releases an egg.  Also called follicle tracking, it helps couples determine when intercourse should be done to have the best chance of conception.

When Should a Follicle Scan Be Done?
A follicle scan should be done several times during a woman’s menstrual cycle, usually from days 9-20.  A basically painless procedure, a follicle scan lets the doctor see the development of the follicle within the ovary.  Using small plastic probes inserted in the vagina, sonographers are able to track the egg’s development within the follicle.

What Can Follicle Scanning Detect?
In addition to detecting when the follicle ruptures and releases the egg, several other things can be seen with a follicle scan, including:

Follicles that fail to grow
Follicles that rupture prematurely
Implanting of the egg into the womb lining

Tracking these issues allows the patient and medical staff to keep close watch on everything, and to quickly realize if something is wrong.

How Many Scans Are Needed?
During a woman’s normal menstrual cycle, it’s recommended that she have 4-6 scans.  This is done to ensure the exact moment when ovulation has occurred, which can be seen on the scan when the follicle disappears from the picture or the follicle walls become collapsed or irregular.  Scans are easy to perform, taking between 5-10 minutes each.  Patients receive a report from their doctor detailing the findings.

Why Get a Follicle Scan?
There are several major reasons why a scan is needed, including:

Unsure if ovulating
Not ovulating at all
History of miscarriages
Patients using Clomid
IVF treatment

By having a follicle scan, the chances of conceiving are greatly increased.