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Pelvic ultrasound is a diagnostic imaging technique that uses high-frequency sound waves to produce images of organs and structures in the lower abdomen and pelvis. This may include the uterus and ovaries, bladder, and abdominal wall in the lower region of the abdomen.
Need to Know
Nice to Know
Why is This Exam Done?
Pelvic ultrasounds can be used to evaluate a woman’s bladder, ovaries, fallopian tubes, cervix, and uterus, or a man’s prostate, seminal vesicles, and bladder. Pelvic ultrasounds are commonly used with pregnant women to monitor her baby’s development.
Transvaginal exams are used to obtain a view of the uterus, which may detect fibroids, cancer, scars, polyps, and other abnormalities.
How Does it Work?
Ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves to produce images of the body’s tissues, structures, and blood flow. A transducer/probe and ultrasound gel work in combination to absorb the reflected sound waves to produce images on the monitor.
What Will Happen During the Exam?
The sonographer will request that you lay on the exam bed on your back. Warm, water-based ultrasound gel will be applied on the skin and/or the transducer. The sonographer will use the transducer on the skin moving it around as necessary to obtain images for the physician to interpret.
If the internal exam is necessary, you will be asked to empty your bladder and lay on the exam bed with your feet in stirrups.
The procedure typically lasts for 30 to 45 minutes, but the duration varies depending on the structure being examined.
How Should I Prepare?
You may have been instructed to arrive with a full bladder.
What Are the Benefits and Risks?
The benefits of Pelvic Ultrasound:
- Ultrasound images are shown in real-time
- The structure and movement of the body's internal organs, as well as blood flowing through blood vessels are able to be seen and recorded
- No ionizing radiation is used for this procedure
Risks you should be aware of:
There are no known risks for ultrasound