They did this at my 20 week scan - it looks like a very long, thin....ummm...dildo I guess!! It had a slightly rounded, bulbous top (haha oh god this description is bad!) It was slightly uncomfortable but not painful and they used lubricant. They used it to measure my birth canal. It really shouldn't be painful and you could practice breathing to relax. I saw my birth canal on the screen, and the baby!
Don't worry in the slightest - it's honestly easy, and nowhere near as bad (if you're anything like me) as you'll be thinking. Not painful, not uncomfortable, just a little bit odd-feeling. Not the most dignified of procedures but they'll give you big paper towel to cover yourself up and as they do this all the time they won't be embarrassed or awkward at all. The most close to anything like 'discomfort' (and it wasn't even that, really) I felt was when they moved the scope gently from side to side to get pics of both ovaries. Less traumatic by far than a cervical smear (mostly cos I had awful smear last time, the trainee nurse forgot to close the speculum before she pulled it back out...)
I should add that I am not the most relaxed about these kind of things and tend to tense up - and even I couldn't find anything traumatic about the scan! Have had it done years ago before pregnancy and now am pregnant a dating scan at 8 weeks. A breeze both times, honestly.
I think they do the ultrasound vaginally because the position of the pregnancy at this stage means that they wouldn't be able to see it properly otherwise and also they might be able to find out where the bleeding is coming from - although they never did get to the bottom of the latter in my case. Don't know why it's different for checking for ectopics but presumably they are just checking the tubes for that (I have had both as well and at the same stage in pregnancy also (different pregnancies)). I didn't find the vaginal painful or uncomfortable although of course it is undignified - but then I guess you get used to that when you're pregnant! They use this thing that looks a bit like a dildo (! - sorry, but it does) and it stays in for a couple of minutes while they check out what's going on. When I had mine done - every week from 6-12 weeks because of bleeding - I was able to see the baby and a heartbeat, which I found very reassuring. I hope it all goes well for you.
For a scan where they are just checking baby / the womb and are not measuring birth canal or anything else the probe only goes slightly inside the vagina, so it is nothing like having a vaginal examination or smear. I had two when I had a missed miscarriage and other than feeling a bit cold it was no big deal at all, wasn't really aware of it.
I had this at my twelve week scan to measure my birth canal. I was a bit when they brought it out because it is a bit dildoesque but they do only put the tip in and it was lovely seeing a different view of the baby. It's not remotely painful so please don't worry!
Yes, definitely don't worry - I didn't mean to alarm you! It is honestly nothing like a smear test and didn't cause me any discomfort at all - and I speak as someone who couldn't tolerate the internal exams they give you when you're in labour so I have a low pain threshhold when it comes to my bits.