What is a pelvic ultrasound?
Pelvic ultrasounds are a diagnostic tool that creates images used to assess internal organs in both men and women.
Female pelvic Ultrasounds – In female pelvic ultrasounds, images are quickly captured allowing for the review of pelvic organs such as the uterus, cervix, vagina, fallopian tubes, and ovaries. Female pelvic ultrasound may be performed using one or both of 2 methods:
- Transabdominal (through the abdomen). A transducer is placed on the abdomen using the conductive gel.
- Transvaginal (through the vagina). A long, thin transducer is covered with the conducting gel and a plastic/latex sheath and is inserted into the vagina.
- The type of ultrasound procedure performed depends on the reason for the ultrasound. Only one method may be used, or both methods may be needed to provide the information needed for diagnosis or treatment.
Male pelvic Ultrasounds – A male pelvis ultrasound allows for the review of male pelvic organs including the bladder, prostate gland, and surrounding blood vessels.
Frequently asked questions:
You may have been referred for a pelvic ultrasound for a variety of reasons including swelling, pain, bleeding, or if abnormal tests are reported in the organs within your pelvic area.
Drink a minimum of 24 ounces of clear fluid at least one hour before your appointment. Do not empty your bladder until after the exam.
If you are having both transabdominal and transvaginal ultrasounds done, you’ll start with a full bladder. You will be asked to empty it before the transvaginal ultrasound.
Your sonographer will explain the procedure to you and offer you the opportunity to ask any questions that you might have about the procedure.
For a transabdominal ultrasound (female and male)
You will be asked to remove any clothing, jewelry, or other objects that may interfere with the scan. If asked to remove clothing, you will be given a gown to wear. You will lie on your back on an examination table. A gel-like substance will be applied to your abdomen. The transducer will be pressed against the skin and moved around over the area being studied. You may empty your bladder when the procedure is completed.
For a transvaginal ultrasound (female)
You will be asked to remove any clothing, jewelry, or other objects that may interfere with the scan. If asked to remove clothing, you will be given a gown to wear.
When a pelvic ultrasound is performed, there are little to no risks. However, patients may experience discomfort from the pressure placed on their pelvic region from the transducer. This pressure is to allow for the sonographer to capture the best images of your internal organs.