Pelvic Ultrasound

What Are The Benefits of a Pelvic Ultrasound?

The ultrasound test, and more specifically, the Pelvic Ultrasound test is a noninvasive diagnostic test. It is one of the most commonly used diagnostic tools used by Obstetricians and Gynaecologists.

Pelvic Ultrasound allows the doctor to visualise key organs and structures in the reproductive system. Live imagery is generated as ultrasound waves striking tissue and reflecting back to a receiver wand. These reflected signals are translated onto the diagnostic screen.

The doctor using the Pelvic Ultrasound can easily visualise the:

  • uterus,
  • fallopian tubes,
  • ovaries, cervix and

It is an important tool to identify pregnancy and monitor its progress, as well as visually affirm the health or disorders that may be ailing the patient.

Pelvic Ultrasound tests can be carried in two ways:

  • Transabdominal ultrasound
  • Transvaginal ultrasound.

Why Has Ultrasound Evaluation Been Recommended?

Your doctor would consider a patients medical history, symptoms or other indicators before recommending a Pelvic Ultrasound.

Normally a Pelvic Ultrasound is recommended to rule out or confirm:

  • Pregnancy
  • Ectopic Pregnancies
  • Fibroids
  • certain disorders of the reproductive tract, and
  • defects of the reproductive tract

Ultrasound evaluation is also recommended as part of the regular annual gynecological exam.

What Conditions Can a Pelvic Ultrasound Help Diagnose?

Ultrasound evaluation can diagnose many conditions including:

  • Fibroids, Cysts, Polyps and other masses.
  • Confirms the placement and position of an Intra-Uterine Contraceptive Device (IUD)
  • Regular Pregnancy, monitoring of pregnancy and information such as the number of the fetus, their position and general status
  • Abnormal Uterine Bleeding
  • Post-menopausal Bleeding
  • Polycystic Ovarian Disease (PCOS)

What Information Can The Pelvic Ultrasound Show?

A Pelvic Ultrasound can visualise and report the following information:

  • Presence of pregnancy, and the stage, size, location, position, and status of the fetus,
  • Measure the size, position and shape of the ovaries and the uterus.
  • Calculate the thickness of the endometrial wall
  • Record and measure the cervix
  • Show if Fibroids are present as well as their size

What is the Consequence of Not Taking a Pelvic Ultrasound?

There are no consequences directly related to not taking the diagnostic test. However, by not conducting this diagnostic test a patient and their doctor will not gain insights into an underlying condition or bladder functionality.

Lack of diagnostic information can mean a condition would remain unknown, resulting in hindrance during therapy.

In certain cases, this could mean that a disorder may not be caught the condition has progressed to an advanced stage where therapy is no longer possible or easy.

How Do You Prepare for a Pelvic Ultrasound?

In order to prepare for a Pelvic Ultrasound, the patient should be adequately counselled to ensure that the informed consent obtained is fully understood.

The doctor then records a complete history and conducts a physical examination to ensure that the patient is a good fit for the procedure.

The Type of Pelvic Ultrasound will determine the preparation required:

  • Transabdominal Ultrasound you will be instructed to have a full bladder,
  • Transvaginal Ultrasounds you will be asked to empty the bladder before the test.

Wear comfortable clothes.

What are the Steps for a Pelvic Ultrasound?

A Pelvic Ultrasound usually takes 30 to 60 minutes, but it may take slightly longer if any of the special tests are done.

The latter is carried out only when the doctor wishes to take a closer look at the uterine structures and for biopsies.

Once informed consent is received, the patient is given a gown to wear and lie down on the table.

Transabdominal Ultrasound:

  • A conductive gel is applied on the bare abdomen,
  • The ultrasound wand is applied to the gel and moved around as various structure, become visible on the screen,
  • The patient might feel a cold sensation from the gel. They might also hear the ‘whoosh whoosh’ of the doppler wand as it works to send waves and receive them,
  • The doctor isolates the pictures on the screen, using software to calculate the sizes of various organs and send them to print.
  • The patient is given a towel to clean the gel and asked to get dressed.

Transvaginal Ultrasounds:

  • The patient is asked to lie down with legs spread apart in stirrups.
  • The doctor applies gel on a narrowly elongated wand which is carefully placed in the vagina and moved upwards.
  • The doctor isolates the pictures on the screen, using software to calculate the sizes of various organs and send them to print.
  • The wand is removed and the patient is asked to get dressed.

How Long Do the Pelvic Ultrasound Results Take?

Whereas the ultrasound operator can see images directly on the screen and draw conclusions immediately.

Official results may take up to twelve hours before they are published if the doctor wishes to consult a specialist before revealing the results.

Typically, if the matter involves Pregnancy the patient almost always finds out immediately if pregnant, the condition of the child, its gender may also be disclosed.

More complex diagnostics such as the status of the ovaries, the uterus, the presence of fibroids and more may require additional opinions.

After the ultrasound evaluation test?

There is no recovery time required after this procedure or any special precautions to be practised. This is a walk-in procedure which has no lasting effect on the patient and no discomfort.

The patients are free to continue their normal routines and diet without concern.

If the transvaginal variant of the ultrasound test was carried out, there might be some slight discomfort during the test itself which doesn’t last long.