Getting a Pelvic Ultrasound ordered from your physician usually occurs because he/she is interested in seeing your uterus or ovaries. The two essential parts of a woman’s female anatomy includes the uterus and the ovaries.
The uterus or “womb” is a pear shaped organ that can be seen in female patients of all ages. Typically pelvic ultrasounds are requested on patients age 14 and older, unless medically indicated at an earlier age. Ultrasounds are ordered by physicians to determine size and location as well as ruling out medical conditions that impair or change the function of the uterus.
The uterus provides structural support to the bladder, bowel, pelvic bones and organs. The uterus helps separate and keep the bladder in its natural position above the pubic bone and the bowel in its natural position behind and around the uterus.
Young women typically have pelvic ultrasounds because period irregularities or sudden or longstanding pelvic pain. Middle aged and older women have pelvic ultrasounds because of breakthrough bleeding, period irregularities, uterus enlargement, pain, masses felt on clinical exam etc.
A Pelvic Ultrasound is performed to visualize not only the uterus but also both ovaries. The ovaries lie on both sides of the uterus, right and left. Ultrasound evaluates the ovaries for blood flow as well as ruling out ovarian cysts, tumors etc.
Having a Pelvic Ultrasound Complete simply means that your physician has requested that a full bladder “
Transabominal” technique be performed in addition to an internal technique called a “Transvaginal” ultrasound.
It is necessary to use a full bladder to see the uterus outer borders in women who have fibroids or tumors involving the uterus. The uterus often becomes quite enlarged and the bladder then provides a window which allows visualization of the uterine margins. A vaginal ultrasound, while highly effective, has limited mobility and therefore cannot see large tumors or fibroids that might arise off the edge of the uterus.
Using the Transabominal and Transvaginal techniques together, the physician can get a very thorough look at the female anatomy, which allows for a comprehensive report of what’s going on.
Pelvic-Gynecology Ultrasound Prep
This type of Diagnostic ultrasound requires a physician or provider order prior to performing exam.
Picture Perfect Ultrasound requires that all patients needing a pelvic ultrasound to arrive at their appointment with a full bladder. Please drink 32 ounces and have that fluid finished (1) one hour prior to your exam time. You can drink any type of fluid you wish.
For example, if you have a 2:00 pm Ultrasound appointment, please have your 32 oz of fluid finished by 1:00 pm. The timeframe between 1pm and 2pm allows the fluid you consumed to arrive into your bladder. Please do not empty your bladder until after your ultrasound exam has begun.
A full bladder helps push the bowel in your pelvis aside in order to provide a natural window to see your uterus and ovaries. Evaluating patients through this “transabdominal” approach, means that we can scan from the outside of your lower pelvis to image the uterus and ovaries.
Patients that are under 18 or those that are not sexually active will ONLY receive pelvic ultrasounds scanned transabdominally or through the skin of the lower belly.
Sometimes it is necessary to perform a secondary part of a Pelvic Ultrasound. If we are unable to see your ovaries well or if we have questions about your uterus, an Endovaginal ultrasound may be needed. At this time, you will be asked to empty your bladder and undress from the waist down.
A Endovaginal Ultrasound is performed with an empty bladder and an hand held Ultrasound probe is inserted into the vagina. We do ask patients to assist us in the insertion of the probe to help the patient feel comfortable with the procedure. The vaginal probe does have a non-latex sheath covering the probe, protecting the patient and protecting the probe. KY Lubricant is added to the end of the probe to ease the insertion.
The pelvic ultrasound will be reviewed and interpreted by a Licensed Radiologist. The results will be provided from the Radiologist to your referring physician. Please refer back to your referring physician for results.