What is pelvic ultrasound?
Pelvic ultrasound is a common method of examining the uterus and ovaries during pregnancy. In addition, a pelvic ultrasound may be requested to examine only the structures when it is only necessary to check structures contained within in those cases in which the rest of the abdomen has already been previously studied by abdominal ultrasound.
What does it consist of?
The patient lies on his back on a stretcher and the specialist applies a transparent gel to the abdomen. A probe is then placed over the gel and massaged in different directions over the lower abdomen. The probe emits sound waves that pass through the gel and reflect off the body structures. The computer receives the waves and creates an image from them. These images can be viewed through a television monitor next to the specialist.
Pelvic ultrasound is performed to examine the structures of the lower abdomen.
Why is it performed?
Pelvic ultrasound is performed to examine the structures of the lower abdomen in cases where the rest of the abdomen has already been examined. A pelvic ultrasound may also be required when:
- The baby is examined during pregnancy.
- Cysts, fibroid tumors or lumps in the pelvis.
- Tumors in the bladder
- Inflammation in the uterus, ovaries or fallopian tubes.
- Vaginal bleeding
- Problems with menstruation
- Pain in the pelvic area
Preparation for pelvic ultrasound
It is recommended that you come to the test wearing loose-fitting clothing to be more comfortable. Before the test, the specialist will ask you to drink plenty of water to keep your bladder full and to be able to see organs, such as the uterus, inside the pelvis. Once the test is finished, the patient can urinate.
What does the test feel like?
During the test, the specialist applies the conductive gel, so the patient feels the cold in the pelvic area. The test does not cause pain, it is easily tolerated. The specialist can press lightly on the abdominal area by moving it until he gets the images he is looking for. This may be a little uncomfortable, especially with a full bladder. There are no risks in being exposed to this type of test, as opposed to an x-ray where the patient is exposed to radiation.
Meaning of abnormal results
If the results are normal, it means that the pelvic structures or, if applicable, the fetus, are fine. In the event that the results are abnormal, it may be due to different causes. Some of them are:
- Problems in the ovaries or fallopian tubes.
- Congenital problems of the womb or vagina.
- Cancers in the area of the uterus, ovaries or vagina
- Enlarged lymph nodes