A follicle tracking ultrasound scan is an examination to measure the size of any active follicles in the ovaries that can contain an egg. The scan is useful to accurately predict when ovulation might be expected to maximise the chances of the egg being fertilised by natural means. In the case of fertility treatment the ultrasound scan will determine how many follicles are present and when egg extraction is best performed.
The follicle tracking ultrasound scans usually involve 1 – 3 scans and are typically carried out over a series of day intervals, commencing around day 7 – 9 from your last menstrual cycle. If having IVF fertility treatment your clinic will tell you when these scans need to be performed and are sometimes done in conjunction with hormone blood tests to check for levels of Progesterone, Oestradiol, Luteinsing Hormone (LH) and Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH), see Female hormone blood tests.
What do we check for on the follicle tracking ultrasound scan?
The scan is performed transvaginally as it gives much clearer images; a full bladder is not required.
The scan will evaluate the size, shape and condition of the:
• Uterus / womb
• lining of the womb / endometrium
• both ovaries
• pelvic area / adnexa