A pelvic ultrasound provides pictures of the structures and organs in the lower abdomen or pelvis. There are two types of pelvic ultrasound: abdominal (transabdominal) and vaginal (transvaginal, endovaginal) ultrasounds.
How is the procedure performed?
Transabdominal: For most ultrasound exams, the patient is positioned lying face-up on an examination table that can be tilted or moved. A clear water-based gel is applied to the area of the body being studied to help the transducer make secure contact with the body and eliminate air pockets between the transducer and the skin that can block the sound waves from passing into your body. The sonographer (ultrasound technologist) or radiologist then presses the transducer firmly against the skin in various locations, sweeping over the area of interest or angling the sound beam from a farther location to better see an area of concern.
Transvaginal: Transvaginal ultrasound is performed very much like a gynecologic exam and involves the insertion of the transducer into the vagina after the patient empties her bladder. The tip of the transducer is smaller than the standard speculum used when performing a Pap test. A protective cover is placed over the transducer, lubricated with a small amount of gel, and then inserted into the vagina. Only two to three inches of the transducer end are inserted into the vagina. The images are obtained from different orientations to get the best views of the uterus and ovaries. Transvaginal ultrasound is usually performed with the patient lying on her back.
These ultrasound examinations are usually completed within 30 minutes.
How should I prepare?
You should wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing for your ultrasound exam. You may need to remove all clothing and jewelry in the area to be examined. You may be asked to wear a gown during the procedure.
1.5 hours before your appointment, empty your bladder and then drink four 8 ounce glasses of water. Do not empty your bladder again until your examination is completed.
If you have any questions about your visit to SMI, don’t hesitate to call 1.306.477.1000.