I recently heard someone refer to the sonogram transducer used during routine ultrasounds as the “Magic Wand.” This commentary got me nostalgic for my IVF days in which I was all too familiar with that sonogram transducer. [By the way, I had to look up that word, transducer, so don’t feel bad that you didn’t know what I was referencing.]
I’m going to assume when most people start their journey with infertility, they haven’t yet had any or many ultrasounds. But you’ve probably seen an ultrasound scene in the movies. Seems pretty harmless, right? They rub some gel-like stuff on your belly, move the wand around and there you go. WARNING!! WARNING!! That is not going to be your experience with your early ultrasounds during IVF.
First off, the ultrasounds performed during an IVF cycle (and for that matter during early stages of pregnancy) do not probe your belly. Nope, lucky you, because you, your vagina and that probe are going to become quite familiar with each other. So picture this, you rush to the doctor for early monitoring, sit in the waiting room until they call your name. Finally, you move from the waiting room to the examination room. While you’re getting settled in the room and preparing to wear that beautiful paper gown, your nurse is entering your name and cycle date information into the ultrasound machine. Then you see it … Just sticking up in its holster … the transducer … this phallic contraption that could pass for an unattractive dildo. And then the nurse does it . . . She slaps on a condom and spreads that awesome gel-like substance all over the probe. And then she leaves you in the room to wait some more. So there you are … sitting on an exam table, getting ready to make yourself comfortable in stirrups and sitting next to you is that wand staring at you with its gel head.
Finally, the doctor comes in. Before you know it, you’re lying down, legs up in stirrups, knees out to the sides and take a deep breath and there goes the probe into your vagina. It’s this awkward moment … your legs are up, your insides are on display on the screen, and your doc is probably talking about the weather or last night’s football game. You are all trying anything to try and keep the moment casual and anything but awkward. But how is it not awkward when some man is inserting something into your vagina while you’re husband is standing there on the sidelines watching, not being the one probing you? As your insides become on display on the screen, all the sexual innuendos go out the window. The sonogram is generally not painful and only lasts a few minutes (maybe seconds) and it’s over … well maybe it could be compared to sex 🙂
Those about to or have gone through IVF, will become very familiar with that transducer and hopefully it will become a magic wand for you by turning you from infertile to parent.