What to Expect: Transrectal Ultrasound (TRUS)
Sometimes we just gotta take up the tailpipe. Luckily, this procedure isn’t as bad as it sounds. To put your mind at ease, here are some notes about what you can expect from a TRUS and why it is an important test to help get to the bottom of fertility issues.
What it is
Like the scrotal ultrasound, TRUS employs ultrasound technology to image the the plumbing of the male reproductive tract. Similar to submarine SONARs, ultrasounds use high frequency sound waves to build an image of internal tissue structures. In the case of the transrectal ultrasound, the doctor is looking to see the structure of the various tubes that transport sperm and the prostate gland. Sometimes, if there is a suspicion of prostate cancer, they may also take a small sample of tissue to biopsy.
Why it’s done
The first line test for diagnosing fertility issues is usually the scrotal ultrasound because it is less intrusive and often sufficient for imaging the majority of testicular causes of infertility. However, either the semen analysis or scrotal ultrasound will cause the doctor to suspect a blockage higher up in the body or issues with the prostate. In these cases, a transrectal ultrasound offers a magnificent view of the entire reproductive tract and offer definitive diagnosis of obstructive causes of infertility.
What to expect
To help you prepare, we’ve written down a rough idea of what you can expect during your appointment. Most physicians provide patients with an informational sheet that will outline specific instructions on how to prepare your appointment. It is important to read through the information they give you and follow the instructions.
This doesn't need to be a taboo subject left in a closet, nor do men need to go through this alone. Education and community are key elements to improving health. Don't cook your balls is a space for us to share science and experience advance the state of male reproductive health care.
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