A male pelvic ultrasound is performed to analyze and assess any abnormalities within the pelvis cavity. This low-risk diagnostic image allows for a clear visualization of the pelvic organs and structures, allowing the doctor to be able to understand what might be causing any unexplained symptoms or health problems. A male pelvic ultrasound focuses on the function and shape of the bladder, as well as examining the prostate for any abnormalities in shape, size, or tumours. A trained technologist performs the ultrasound by applying conductive gel to the lower abdomen and using the ultrasound probe to move the gel around in order to receive an image. The male pelvic ultrasound has two stages; the first stage takes about 5-15 minutes and images are collected with a full bladder. Once the technologist has all the images needed, you will be asked to empty your bladder and you will go through a similar process, this time with an empty bladder. The entire examination takes approximately thirty minutes.
Why Would I Need a Male Pelvic Ultrasound?
There are multiple reasons as to why a male may be sent to have a pelvic ultrasound assessment; they include but are not limited to:
- Abnormal shape or size of the bladder
- Delay in the ability to start passing urine
- Difficulties with completely emptying the bladder
- Symptoms of urgency to use the bathroom/decreased control of the bladder
- Identifying an enlarged prostate
- Visualizing abnormalities with the lymph nodes, fluid, blood, or masses within the pelvic cavity
- Infections, tumours, or calcifications of the prostate
How Do I Prepare for My Exam?
Before you come in for your ultrasound, there are some preparation steps you must follow in order to get an accurate image. On the day of the test you may eat as usual and continue all of your medications. Ninety minutes before the start of your test, you will be asked to go to the bathroom to empty your bladder. Once your bladder is empty, you will need to drink at least five glasses of water over the next thirty minutes in order to ensure your bladder will be full at the time of your examination. One hour before your appointment time, do not drink anymore water and do not go to the washroom. If you are concerned about this preparation step and think it will be difficult to adhere to, please discuss your concerns with your physician before your appointment.
What Should I Expect During My Ultrasound?
You may be asked to remove your clothing or any objects that would interfere with the technologist’s ability to perform the ultrasound. In the event of being asked to remove your clothes, you will be given a gown or will be draped for privacy. Although very little pressure is applied to your lower abdomen, you may have some slight discomfort during the portion of the exam where you are assessed with a full bladder. Ultrasound is a very safe and reliable diagnostic imaging resource and assists the doctor in making a decision about an individual’s diagnosis and future treatment options.