The pelvic scan is a diagnostic ultrasound scan exam to evaluate the organs and structures within the female pelvis. The pelvic scan will evaluate the uterus (womb), endometrium (the lining of the uterus), cervix and ovaries.
Gynaecological problems are very common. The most common reasons for pelvic scan referrals are bleeding and pain as well as irregular periods and fertility reasons.
There are two methods the pelvic ultrasound scan is being performed: transabdominal and transvaginal (or internal ultrasound scan).
Transabdominal scan (through the abdomen). The required ultrasound images are obtained through the abdomen.
Transvaginal scan(through the vagina). The required ultrasound images are obtained through the vagina.
The gynaecology ultrasound scan includes evaluation of:
This ultrasound scan is being performed trans-abdominally with a full bladder, so please drink 2 pints of water one hour before your scan. On occasions, a transvaginal scan might be required in order to further evaluate the pelvic organs.
Before the ultrasound scan, our sonographer will explain the examination procedure.
You will be asked to lie on your back and expose your lower abdomen.
A small amount of water-based gel will be applied to your skin. The gel will help the transducer to make good contact with the skin. The ultrasound transducer will be placed on the body and will be moved in different directions over the area of interest to obtain the required information/ultrasound images.
There is usually no discomfort from pressure as the transducer or probe as otherwise known, is pressed against the area being examined. However, if scanning is performed over an area of tenderness, you may feel pressure or minor discomfort from the transducer.
Once the ultrasound imaging is completed, the clear ultrasound gel will be wiped off your skin. Any portions that are not wiped off will dry quickly. The ultrasound gel does not usually stain or discolor clothing.
Transvaginal ultrasound Scan:
After you empty your bladder, you will be asked to remove your trousers/skirt and your underwear. You will lie on the examination couch, cover yourself with the cover provided and a small transducer will be inserted into the vagina. This internal ultrasound scan is similar to a gynecologic exam but the ultrasonic transducer is however significant smaller than a speculum used in a Pap test.
The transducer will be covered with a protective cover a small amount of gel will be placed on the tip and will be inserted into the vagina. Only a few inches of the transducer will be inserted into the vagina. The transducer will be moved in different directions to obtain the best images.
For a transabdominal ultrasound exam:
Water based gel will be applied to lower abdomen/pelvic area and the transducer will be moved to various directions. You might feel a little pressure from time to time.
Ultrasound examinations are usually pain free.
For a transvaginal ultrasound exam:
Although the transvaginal/internal examination is usually performed to find a cause for pelvic pain, the sonogram itself should not be painful but you might feel a tiny amount of discomfort and pressure. An internal ultrasound scan is usually more comfortable and better tolerated than a gynecologic examination.
These ultrasound scan examinations are usually completed within 30 minutes.
After an ultrasound scan examination, you should be able to resume your normal activities immediately.