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Is it silly to worry about internal probe?

(17 Posts)
Freyaee Tue 02-Apr-13 01:00:59

Hi, just looking for your thoughts on whether I am right to worry about this or if it's all in my head (I am a bit neurotic so could be!)

I had an internal ultra sound yesterday and they didn't put anything over the probe they put inside you. I've had it done twice before, once in a different clinic and once in the same hospital, and both times they put a latex cover over the probe, whereas this time they did not. Do you think this was an oversight or could they feasibly clean the probe between scans? Just a bit concerned about hygiene. I should have questioned it at the time but I didn't as the scan was to confirm a miscarriage and my mind was not focused on it. Has been playing in my thoughts since though.

Have any of you had internal ultrasounds without the probe being covered? Is it silly to call the hospital and ask? Thanks for your help.

Lynzi85 Tue 02-Apr-13 01:43:13

Hi freyaee sorry to hear that's why you needed the internal scan. The times i needed one and what I know of friends also having them are they are always covered, I've had two at the same place so the scan was the same sort of one used each time. If you are worried or concerned don't be afraid to call and ask and don't let them palm you off either hospitals hate to be questioned on their policies but at the end of the day it's your body and a very personal procedure as well! Good luck xx

Freyaee Tue 02-Apr-13 02:22:16

Thanks Lynzi, I am a bit afraid of being fobbed off. The nurses were great during the scan and my treatment overall was good (though a&e beforehand was a nightmare!) just this one concern. I will give them a call tomorrow, you're right that I should be able to question it and get a considered reply.

JennaRainbow Tue 02-Apr-13 10:35:06

Hi freyaee, thank you for bringing this up, I've got mine tomorrow so I'll definitely keep an eye on what they're doing, I hope the hospital puts your mind at rest. I know this might sound a bit odd but could you talk me through exactly what they did? I'm so nervous and unsure about everything as it's our first, especially when they start going internally!

glossyflower Tue 02-Apr-13 10:54:34

It should be covered but it may have been a disposable one?

Freyaee Tue 02-Apr-13 13:09:37

Hi Jenna,
Yes sure, they will ask you to remove all your clothes waist down and lie on a chair with a paper sheet covering you (completely doesn't preserve your modesty but at least it's there!) they should cover the probe with a sheath type thing and put lubricating jelly on it. They warn you before they insert it and it doesn't hurt at all. It's kind of a long thin slightly angled probe and they move it about to see different parts of your womb / ovaries (they are looking at a screen to the side of you). It really is not at all painful or even uncomfortable.
Afterwards they leave you to clean up and get dressed before talking trough the results.
I hope it goes well, no need to worry about it honesty.

I'm going to call the hospital now and see what they say re my uncovered probe...

Freyaee Tue 02-Apr-13 13:13:04


By the way, if you're just having an external scan though they do it on your lower abdomen and you keep your clothes on, just pull the waist band down a bit. You may only need an internal scan if you're early in your pregnancy and they need a better view, so hopefully yours will just be external smile

Freyaee Tue 02-Apr-13 13:33:17

Just spoke to the nurse who scanned me and she was adamant that she definitely put a cover on the probe. Her words were 'I am the most vigilant person with that' and she was very keen to impress upon me that it did have a cover. I said I wasn't accusing her of anything and that my treatment was great, but I was certain I didn't see one, but she just wouldn't have it - she said I just must have not noticed it as she always puts a cover on.

Well, I guess I will take her word for it and hope I don't get an infection! At least if she did happen to forget with me then hopefully she never has before - so technically the probe would be clean wouldn't it?!

Anyway, I will try not to worry about it any further as I would much prefer to think she is right and I am mistaken. Just keep an eye on your probe during scans ladies...

BabyHMummy Tue 02-Apr-13 14:51:09

Sounds dodgy to me! If you are adamant they didn't it does become your word again theirs but they shouldn't be that arsey about it! Sounds more like arse covering

I have had a couple at different hospital to check for growths etc and have either had a sheath on it or have watched hem take it out of a sterile wrapper and dispose in the washable bin afterwards.

If you are not happy with her response and are certain a cover wasn't used then make it formal and ib writing so if the west happens and you develop a problem the hospital cannot claim they weren't alerted to the possibility.

Freyaee Tue 02-Apr-13 16:27:53

That's a good idea BabyH. I'll do that, just in case. I know that the risk is probably small, but it's still a bit concerning!

BabyHMummy Tue 02-Apr-13 19:11:51

Chances are you won't suffer any ill effects from the procedure and the nurse may well have been correct and the May have put the sheath on between patients so as jot to hold you up to much but can't hurt to put it in writing just in case. And it alerts hospital to the potential that they have a big problem to be addressed

GreatSoprendo Tue 02-Apr-13 19:46:16

I've had loads of internal scans a part of my IVF (it's fondly known as 'dildo-cam' in our house!) and the nurse has always, on every single occasion, asked me whether I have a latex allergy before proceeding as the cover is latex (it's basically like a condom). Do you remember if she asked she about latex? If she didn't, maybe the cover was missing?

I agree with previous posters - probably nothing to worry about but put something in writing so its on record just in case.

Lynzi85 Tue 02-Apr-13 21:02:23

Glad you rang freyaee , that sounds like bull from the nurse, the risk is probably very low for infection but you have just been through something traumatic and a little more TLC on the matter would probably of helped this situation along and calmed your worries, I wouldn't want to get anyone in trouble but if she is adamant that she put it on then you would remember , I def remember the times I got them as you are lying pant less under a sheet waiting on them putting it on before they begin! Plus if she is so thorough then putting it in writing will do no harm! Hope your good xx

Bodicea Tue 02-Apr-13 22:02:16

Frey i am a sonographer and I know for certain we would never do a scan without a cover. It is totally alien to us not to cover it, it would feel unnatural immediately. We are often very stealthy about taking them off though , wrapping them in a glove as we remove the probe in one fell swoop. Perhaps that is what happened xxx

Bodicea Tue 02-Apr-13 22:03:01

Also we always clean the probe between scans anyway so needn't worry x

Freyaee Tue 02-Apr-13 22:52:16

Thanks Bodicea, that does make me feel better. I hope it was cleaned - that at least is good to know.

GreatSoprano, Dildo-cam! grin She didn't ask about a latex allergy (which I was definitely asked both other times) and I remember looking at the probe more than once to check because I was sure it wasn't covered. I really should have said something then and there, silly of me really. I'm sure I'll be fine, just one of those things that niggles.

Lynzi, they were very nice to me at the time, I think she was concerned today that I might make a fuss (which, if I do get an infection, I will!) and wanted to be firm in her response. You're right though, putting it in writing might be a good idea.

I know she does it over and over every day and it will be second nature to her, but we all make mistakes. On the other hand, having has three scans doesn't make me an expert so I may just have missed it as she said.

Fingers crossed that I'm wrong, I'd rather be!!

Thanks for all your replies too, it's one of those uninteresting things to other people but I'm a bit of a worrier, so it's good to have some support.

needrawhelp Wed 03-Apr-13 21:24:09

Another Sonographer here. Where I work we now only use latex free covers so no longer ask about latex alergy. Agree with Bodicea that it would be almost impossible for a Sonographer to forget the cover- part of the routine, squirt of gel in condom, condom on probe, ky gel on top. As for the Sonographer being defensive- she was probably that shocked at the accusation!

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