A Follicular scan looks at the ovaries and uterus internally using a sterile (clean) transducer paying particular attention to the follicles within the ovaries. A follicle is a fluid area in which the eggs grow. The follicle increases in size as the egg grows. Follicular tracking involves scanning the ovaries regularly during your menstrual cycle and observing the follicles as they increase in size. Ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves, which pass through the skin and are reflected by the internal organs to create a picture on a screen with the help of a computer. These pictures are then interpreted by the Radiologist/Radiographer/Sonographer/Gynecologist.
Why is a Follicular Scan done?
Unsure if ovulating
Not ovulating at all
History of miscarriages
Patients using Clomid
When a Follicular Scan is done?
Follicular Scans can be done several times usually between the 9th and 25th day of the menstrual cycle. It is a painless procedure and helps the doctor to see the follicles within the ovary.
How to prepare for a Follicular Scan?
As soon as the period starts, one should make the initial ultrasound appointment.
If the patient has a prescription for clomiphene citrate (Clomid) given by the referring doctor, take the tablets as instructed by the doctor. Timing of any further visits will be advised after each scan but are typically every other day until the woman has ovulated.
For hygiene reasons, please have a bath or shower before coming in for the scan. The woman will also be asked to empty the bladder before going for the scan.
What happens during a Follicular Scan?
The patient/woman will be taken to the examination room. Then, will be asked to undress from the waist down and covered with a sheet.
She will be asked to lie on her back on a special bed with her knees bent.
Most women find the examination less uncomfortable than having a smear performed.
Once the woman is in a comfortable position, a sterile lubricated covered electronic device called a transducer will be gently inserted into the vagina.
The transducer is a little bigger than the size of a finger or tampon. Only the tip of the transducer (about 2- 3inches) is put in the vagina to look at the uterus and ovaries.
What can a Follicular Scan detect?
Release of the egg
Follicles that failed to grow
Premature rupture of the follicle
Implantation of egg into the womb
How many Follicular Scans are needed?
During a woman’s normal menstrual cycle, it is recommended to 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.
How long does it take to complete a Follicular Scan?
Scans are easy to perform, taking between 5-10 minutes each. Patients receive a report from their doctor detailing the findings.
Is the Follicular Scan safe?
Ultrasound has been around for the last 30 years and there are no known side effects. It does not involve the use of x-rays and it is a simple, painless procedure. This scan does not have any effect on fertility.