The Intrauterine Assessment Program (IAP)

Ultrasound Services

The Intrauterine Assessment Program (IAP)

What is the IAP?

The intrauterine assessment program is offered by Beam Radiology to provide imaging of the uterus before and after an intrauterine contraceptive device is inserted. This program targets the clinical challenges of delineating the typical symptoms associated with IUCD (IUD) insertions, from a patient presenting with symptoms of malposition, embedment, or perforation. This offers peace of mind and clarity to both the patient and the physician.

This program utilizes 3D ultrasound via a transvaginal approach to answer these questions directly, accurately, and in a timely manner.

Before IUCD Placement:

A referring physician can order this exam prior to the IUCD insertion to ascertain the viability of this approach. We assess for contraindications such as mullerian duct anomalies, fibroids, endometrial polyps, retroflexion, etc. This method can also be very useful to evaluate the endometrial measurement from cornual tip to tip, and correlate with the device “arm span,” this can guide device selection criteria, or indicate the need for another contraceptive approach if the distance is not suitable.

After IUCD Placement:

The referring physician would also order this exam following IUCD placement to assess for embedment, malrotation, malposition, or perforation. With this simple exam there can be high confidence about the placement of the device or whether it does, in fact, need to be removed and replaced. This saves valuable time for the patient, increases overall satisfaction of the patient by limiting the time spent in discomfort/pain, and provides reassurance for efficacy and proper placement.

Beam Radiology is the first company in Calgary to offer this test. Our priority is patient care.

Ask your doctor about this program if you are planning to have an IUD inserted, or have any questions about your current IUD.

Below there is a side-by-side comparison of the visualization of an embedded IUD. This is an IUD that needs to be removed and replaced. The current method would not indicate that the IUD is embedded, but the IAP identifies this easily. 

Below is an image of the utility of the pre-insertion assessment.

Frequently asked questions:

During a female pelvic ultrasound, a sonographer (ultrasound technologist) uses a transducer to acquire images of the internal soft tissue organs. These structures and spaces are documented for review by the doctor, a radiologist. Using these images, the radiologist will compile a report for the referring physician regarding the anatomy of that patient. For the IAP the patient will not need to fill their bladder prior to arrival. The ultrasound technologist will instruct you to lie down on the bed and expose your abdomen so that images can be acquired of the kidneys. After the transabdominal portion of the exam is completed, you will be asked to change into a gown or undress from the waist down. You will lay down on the exam table with a sheet covering your lower body. The transducer will be covered by an endovaginal probe cover and sterile gel will be applied to the outside of the cover. This is how the 3D ultrasound is performed. The technologist will pass you the transducer, while keeping you covered, and you will be able to insert it yourself. Nothing about this process should be painful or uncomfortable for you so you will be encouraged to communicate with the sonographer if anything does bother you at all.

Speak with your physician about the IAP. It is an exam that can ordered easily on the Beam General Requisition. It is not available through other radiology companies currently.

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