What is a Female Pelvic Ultrasound?
The Female Pelvic Ultrasound is a non-invasive diagnostic exam that captures images of the major organs in the pelvis including the uterus, ovaries, cervix, bladder, fallopian tubes, and surrounding structures including blood vessels, kidneys, and the bowel. Ultrasound is a very safe and reliable diagnostic imaging resource that assesses pathology and guides physicians towards your individualized treatment plan.
When Would I Need A Female Pelvic Ultrasound?
The following is a non-exhaustive list of items diagnostic pelvic ultrasound can provide information regarding:
- Size, shape, and position of the uterus and the ovaries
- Unexplained vaginal bleeding or postmenopausal bleeding
- Length and thickness of the cervix
- Blood flow through the pelvic organs
- Fibroid tumors, masses, cysts, and other tumors that could be found within the pelvis
- Pelvic inflammatory disease
- Infertility evaluations
- Ectopic pregnancies
- Abnormalities or changes to the shape of the bladder
- The cause of unexplained pelvic pain
Should you have any concern of pelvic signs or symptoms, a referral from a general practitioner or family doctor is required for a diagnostic pelvic ultrasound.
How to Prepare for my Pelvic Ultrasound?
There are a few steps to follow in order to prepare for your pelvic ultrasound. The trans-abdominal pelvic ultrasound requires a full bladder. Drink 4 full glasses (32 oz.) of liquid, with the exception of milk. Please complete drinking fluids at least 1 hour before your appointment, and do not empty your bladder from two hours before your appointment. The trans-vaginal pelvis ultrasound requires the bladder to be voided right before the images are taken. If both assessments are being performed, you will have the trans-abdominal ultrasound first, and then you will void your bladder and return for the trans-vaginal ultrasound. Otherwise, there are no fasting restrictions or any other preparations.
A water-based gel is used to improve the transmission of the ultrasound waves; however, should you have any allergies to gel it is important to let the ultrasound technician know. In addition, please let the ultrasound technician know if you have had any previous surgery around the imaged area.
If you are pregnant or suspect that you may be pregnant, please notify your doctor. If you have any queries or concerns with preparing for your ultrasound, please discuss these with your physician before your appointment.
What to Expect During My Pelvic Ultrasound Appointment?
Upon arrival, you will be shown to a private room where the ultrasound technician will offer you a medical gown to change into and you will lie on a padded examination table. You will be asked to remove any jewelry that may interfere with the ultrasound procedure.
We offer both methods of trans-abdominal and trans-vaginal diagnostic ultrasound. During the trans-abdominal ultrasound, the ultrasound technician will apply a small amount of a water-based gel to the transducer head, and gently move it along your abdomen with mild to moderate pressure to capture clear images. During the trans-vaginal ultrasound, the ultrasound technician will apply a small amount of a water-based gel to the transducer head, and gently insert the transducer into the vagina to capture clear images. You may experience slight discomfort with the trans-abdominal ultrasound because your bladder will be full and slight discomfort with the trans-vaginal ultrasound when the probe is inserted into the vagina. The referral from your general practitioner or family doctor will determine which method of diagnostic ultrasound is most appropriate for you.
The assessment will be approximately 30 minutes long.
Soon after your appointment, the radiologist will review your images and send a report of your diagnosis to your general practitioner or family physician. Once the report is reviewed, your doctor will contact you with the results.