PREPARING FOR A PELVIC ULTRASOUND

A Pelvic Ultrasound is a non-invasive examination that makes use of ultrasound waves to produce images of the internal structure within a woman’s pelvic region. It is a diagnostic procedure, and allows for visualisation of all of the organs inside the pelvic area, namely the uterus, cervix, fallopian tubes, ovaries and the vagina.

Pelvic ultrasounds are of two types, and the doctor may perform one or both of the procedures depending on your medical requirement. A transabdominal ultrasound is conducted externally through the abdomen, when a transducer is placed on the abdomen after applying conductive gel on it. A transvaginal ultrasound is conducted through the vagina, when a thin and long transducer is coated in the conducting gel and a latex or plastic sheath, and then inserted into the vagina for inspection.

Pelvic ultrasounds are conducted for evaluating the condition of female pelvic organs, like the size, shape and positioning of the uterus and ovaries, changes in bladder shape, length and thickness of the cervix, as well as blood flow through the various pelvic organs. They can help identify abnormalities in any anatomic structuring, and detect tumours, cysts or any other unnatural growths.

In order to prepare yourself for a pelvic ultrasound, you must have a full bladder and it is advised that you start drinking clear fluids at least an hour prior to the scheduled procedure. You must not empty your bladder till after the procedure is complete. For a transvaginal ultrasound, you will be asked to empty your bladder right before the procedure begins. Sedation or fasting is not usually a prerequisite for a pelvic ultrasound, unless the procedure is accompanied by others that could require administration of an anaesthetic. The radiologist may request any specific preparation based on your medical condition and health history.

An ultrasound procedure is safe, and no adverse biological effects are known to occur from the exposure to ultrasound waves, or from the intensity of the waves. No special post-procedural care is required after a pelvic ultrasound, and you may resume your daily activity and regular fertility diet , unless advised otherwise by your doctor.