A pelvic ultrasound is used to assess the uterus, ovaries and other pelvic structures.
Pelvic ultrasound is used for conditions such as:
- Pelvic pain
- Abnormal bleeding
- Menstrual problems
- Assessment of the endometrium
- Intrauterine device (IUCD) positioning e.g. Mirena
- Pelvic masses
- Issues in pregnancy
- Post menopausal bleeding
- Recurrent miscarriages
Both transabdominal and transvaginal (internal) ultrasound scans may be performed.
Transvaginal ultrasound involves inserting a thin transducer (ultrasound probe slightly thicker than a tampon) into the vagina to get more detailed images as the transducer is closer to the pelvic organs. This improves the accuracy of diagnosis.
There are times when a transvaginal scan will not be required, and we recognize it is not a suitable or acceptable procedure for all women. If you have concerns, please discuss them with the sonographer. A transvaginal scan is optional for all patients; it is your decision whether to proceed.
Before Your Pelvic Ultrasound Scan
If possible, please wear comfortable, loose-fitting clothing that allows easy access to the area that is being imaged. Two-piece clothing is ideal (separate upper/lower garments).
Empty your bladder 1 hour prior to the procedure, then drink 2 glasses (600ml) of water and hold it. Do not empty your bladder again (your appointment may be delayed if your bladder is not full).
When you visit Adelaide Women’s Imaging for a pelvic ultrasound scan you will be greeted by one of our friendly reception staff. A sonographer will then collect you from the waiting room and take you to the ultrasound room.
The sonographer will ask you to lie on a bed next to the ultrasound machine. The ultrasound probe is then placed in contact with the skin using a clear gel and moved over the surface of the lower abdomen to study the tissue below, in this case the uterus and the ovaries. The scan is completely painless, although pressure may be applied to improve the view in some areas. Please tell the sonographer should this become uncomfortable.
For most women referred for a pelvic scan, a transvaginal assessment is considered a routine part of the procedure. This is because much more detail and information can be obtained with the use of a transvaginal ultrasound probe, improving the accuracy of ultrasound diagnosis.
The transvaginal scan is performed with an empty bladder, and as a result many patients find it more comfortable. The transvaginal probe (transducer) is slightly thicker than a tampon and lubricated with gel before insertion into the vagina. The Adelaide Women’s Imaging doctor will come in to speak with you and view the screen during the transvaginal ultrasound. This is quite routine and should not cause alarm. The images are then interpreted and reported by the doctor and a detailed report will be sent directly to your referring doctor.
Approximately 45 minutes, but in some cases can take up to 1 hour.