Pelvic ultrasound is an imaging test. Ultrasound uses sound waves to form pictures of your organs that appear on a screen. It can help assess pain or other symptoms in the pelvis (lower abdomen). In pregnant women, it is used to check the fetus (unborn baby). The test is done by moving a probe over the abdomen and pelvis. At times, it is also done by placing a probe inside the vagina. This test involves no radiation and is harmless.
Before Your Test
In most cases, your bladder must be full for the test. That is the only way to get clear images. Starting 1 hour before your test, drink at least four 8-ounce glasses of water or other clear fluid. To keep the test from being delayed or canceled, make sure your bladder is full. You may be asked to wear a gown. Your test may include 1 to 2 parts. The entire test may take up to 45 minutes.
Let the Sonographer know if you've had:
- An ultrasound exam of this area before
- Any pelvic surgery
You may be asked questions about your health (such as):
- Why are you having an ultrasound?
- When did your last period start?
- Are you pregnant?
- What medications are you taking?
During Your Test
You will lie on your back with your abdomen exposed. Non-greasy gel will be applied to the skin in this area. For one part of the test, the sonographer will move a handheld transducer (probe) across the pelvis. You may see images of your pelvic organs on a screen. Once you have been told your test is done, you can empty your bladder.
Approximate Exam Time
Between 15 and 30 minutes.
After Your Test
Before leaving, you may need to wait briefly while the images are being reviewed. You can get back to your normal routine right after the test. Your doctor will let you know when the results are ready.