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Pelvic Ultrasound: Purpose, Preparation, Process, Risk & Outcomes

Are you unsure of what to expect if your doctor suggests a pelvic ultrasound? This highly versatile imaging test is one of the most common diagnostic tools. It is utilized by medical professionals today, but its uses and purpose can seem daunting without further explanation.

To help you out, we’ll provide you with all the information necessary to understand why a pelvic ultrasound might be recommended for you, how to prepare for it correctly, how the actual procedure works, the potential risks associated with it and what outcomes can usually be expected from the results. So take a closer look and arm yourself with knowledge about pelvic ultrasounds!

What Is the Purpose of a Pelvic Ultrasound?


Like any medical procedure, the purpose of a pelvic ultrasound scan is to provide important information about the health of your reproductive organs inside. Here are some of the most common reasons for having a pelvic ultrasound:

Assessing the Health of the Pelvic Organs

Examining the pelvic organs’ health can be quite straightforward with an ultrasound. The technique involves a transducer that is moved across your abdomen area to generate ultrasound images of your pelvic organs. Towards the end, you may be asked to have a full bladder to make specific structures show up on the ultrasound more clearly. This ultrasound assessment offers insight into the uterine lining and Fallopian tubes. It can also assist in diagnosing any possible issues with ovaries, including identifying fibroids, ovarian cysts or other growths.

Evaluating the Symptoms

If pelvic pain, abnormal bleeding, or difficulty urinating are causes for concern, a pelvic ultrasound may be the best course of action. During the ultrasounds, sound waves bounce off of the pelvic organs to create images for physicians to evaluate. With this diagnostic tool, doctors are able to take a closer look at the pelvic organs and diagnose any underlying problems that may be causing the symptoms. By using pelvic ultrasounds, physicians can more easily determine what is causing an individual’s pelvic or urinary bladder-related issues.

Monitoring Pregnancy

Keeping a close eye on your pregnancy is smart and helps provide peace of mind during such an exciting time! Ultrasound technology gives you extra reassurance by creating detailed images of the growing baby, uterus, ovaries, and cervix. It provides medical professionals with all-around insight. Not only will it help them measure how far along you are, plus where the baby’s located in the womb. But ultrasounds also identify any potential concerns to make sure both mother and child stay healthy throughout this amazing journey!

Guiding Procedures

Ultrasound technology is a precise and efficient tool for medical professionals performing procedures in the pelvic area. With ultrasound equipment, doctors can accurately measure and map out areas of the pelvis to make sure biopsies or surgeries for pelvic masses are targeted correctly. After that, ultrasound guidance can also be used to help place needles or instruments correctly during operations. It can also help to guide medical devices like catheters through the body accurately.



What Several Other Names Is This Test Known As?

Pelvic ultrasound is often referred to by several other names. It is important to note that these other names are just different ways of referring to the same test. Although each name is used to describe different types of ultrasound procedures, they are all still part of the overall scope. You don’t need to worry if your doctor refers to this test as any of the following:


  • Pelvic scan

  • Pelvic sonography

  • Gynecologic ultrasound

  • Transrectal ultrasound

  • Endovaginal ultrasound

  • Transvaginal ultrasound

  • Transabdominal ultrasound

What Are the Preparation for a Pelvic Ultrasound?

Like with any medical procedure, there are a few things you’ll need to do in order to prepare properly for your pelvic ultrasound. But you don’t need to worry—it’s all easy stuff!

It’s important to prepare for a pelvic ultrasound. Drink at least 24 ounces of clear fluid at least one hour before the appointment. You don’t have to empty your bladder until after the transvaginal exam itself. No fasting or sedation is usually necessary unless it’s part of another operation that requires anesthesia. Your doctor may ask you to empty your bladder right before the transvaginal ultrasound, which uses high frequency sound waves. During this time, they’ll explain the procedure. So make sure you have the opportunity to ask any questions you may have regarding the process. Depending on your personal situation, your doctor may carry out further preparation steps as well.

What To Expect During the Process of a Pelvic Ultrasound?

Getting a pelvic ultrasound can make people feel uneasy. As you have to lie down on an examination table, the transducer probe will be inserted into your vagina. Don’t worry, though – for comfort’s sake, your feet and legs will be supported in much the same way they would during a regular pelvic exam. Additionally, don’t forget that lubricant is used along with a latex or plastic sheath over the thin long transvaginal device itself! So while it may still seem intimidating at first glance – rest assured knowing all safety precautions are taken!

Are There Any Risks Involved in Having a Pelvic Ultrasound?

When it comes to having a pelvic ultrasound, the process itself is safe and sound. Unlike X-rays, which are based on radiation, ultrasounds use sound waves instead. So you don’t have to worry about any long term risks involved with exposure. During either a transvaginal or transrectal scan, you may feel some discomfort, but overall very little in terms of pain should be expected. It makes this type of procedure highly desirable for its low-risk levels!

What Are the Possible Outcomes Of a Pelvic Ultrasound?

You don’t need to take any extra precautions after an ultrasound; just eat what you normally would and focus on getting back into your regular routine. Ultrasound examinations are considered safe. There’s no evidence that the instrument operators or patients will experience adverse effects from it, which is excellent news! Depending on your situation, though, be sure to follow up with your doctor for additional post-op instructions.



With all things considered, it is clear that a pelvic ultrasound can be a valuable tool in diagnosing and monitoring a variety of gynecological issues. But it is still important to speak to your doctor or healthcare provider about the potential benefits and risks before undertaking one. With the right preparation and understanding of the process and outcomes, a pelvic ultrasound can be an essential step in your healthcare journey.