Pelvic Ultrasound: Procedure, Precautions, Results

What is a pelvic ultrasound?

“The pelvic ultrasound is a medical imaging test that makes it possible to: visualize the organs of the pelvis, also called ‘small pelvis’in other words the organs located below the hips: the uterus, ovaries and bladder in women / prostate, bladder and seminal vesicles in men,” said Dr. Jean-Philippe Masson, radiologist and president of the National Federation of Radiologists (FNMR).

Like all ultrasounds, it is based on the use of an ultrasound scanner: a probe emits ultrasound which, when it encounters an organ, returns an echo. This signal is then collected and analyzed by a computer system, which broadcasts a live image on a special screen.

Pelvic ultrasound can be performed in three different ways:

  • Through suprapubic pathway (in men and women)
  • Through endovaginal route (in women)
  • Through endorectal route (in man)

Is a prescription necessary?

Ultrasounds can be requested by any type of doctor (urologists, gynecologists, etc.), but as such do not require a prescription. The doctor indicates the reasons for the examination and the patient’s history in a letter to the radiologist. And then it’s up to the patient to make an appointment,” says Dr Jean-Philippe Masson.

Where to have a pelvic ultrasound done?

Pelvic ultrasounds are usually performed in a radiology office. “The hospital provides only 30% of the radiological activity in France,” emphasizes the president of the FNMR.

This examination may be performed by a radiologist, gynaecologist, or obstetrician who specializes in the use of ultrasound equipment.

What are the main indications for pelvic ultrasound?

Pelvic ultrasound is usually prescribed when we suspicious an anomaly or pathology in the pelvic area.

In women it allows:

  • Search cause of unexplained pelvic pain or bleeding
  • examine the womb lining (the endometrium);
  • to examine the bladder in urinary tract disorders (hematuria, urinary tract infections, etc.);
  • spotting uterine malformations
  • to detect the presence of ovarian cysts, polyps or fibroids
  • compose one infertility check
  • or to ensure that correct placement of an IUD

In humans it allows:

  • examine the bladder and prostate
  • and from detect the presence of abnormal masses

Pelvic Ultrasound and Pregnancy

With the pelvic ultrasound, in particular, the proper course of a pregnancy can be followed. : location of the fetus and its development (growth, vitality, possible deformities, etc.). It also makes it possible to analyze other parameters such as the condition of the placenta, blood flow, etc.

What documents do you need to bring on D-Day?

To ensure that the exam runs smoothly, please bring:

  • referral letter general practitioner
  • any previous radiological examinations,
  • your carte vitale and your health insurance card,
  • from the list of medications you are taking.

Do you have to be sober for a pelvic ultrasound?

no he is not no need to fast undergo a pelvic ultrasound.

How Much Water to Drink Before a Pelvic Ultrasound?

“We recommend drink a liter of water, about 45 minutes before the examinationthe time that the fluid travels to the bladder,” emphasizes Dr. Jean-Philippe Masson. Not for nothing? Ultrasound moves better in a liquid medium: the image displayed on the screen is therefore of better quality and therefore easier to interpret .

Pelvic ultrasound: are there any contraindications?

Pelvic ultrasounds, like all ultrasounds, do not use X-rays. They therefore do not pose any contraindications or danger. “That is why they can also be performed in children and are the reference study in the context of pregnancy monitoring,” says the radiologist.

Once in the examination room, the patient is asked to remove any necessary clothing before lying on his back in a special sterilized chair. The protocol then differs depending on the type of pelvic ultrasound being performed:

  • Pelvic ultrasound via the suprapubic route. The radiologist moves the probe of the ultrasound machine on the skin, at the level of the pubic bone, after applying a gel that facilitates the diffusion of ultrasound. After the examination, the gel is simply wiped off with absorbent paper.
  • Pelvic ultrasound through endovaginal route (in women). The radiologist inserts a specific probe (known as an elongated probe), covered with a condom and gel, into the vagina to get better images of the uterine lining and ovaries. “In particular, it is indicated in a assisted reproduction protocol,” says Dr. Jean-Philippe Masson.
  • Pelvic ultrasound through endorectal route (in people). In this case, the ultrasound probe is inserted into the rectum to get better images of the prostate.

Please note that it is possible to drink, eat and resume normal activities once the examination is over.

How long does it take ?

The pelvic ultrasound is very fast: it only takes a few minutes, usually 10 to 20 minutes.

Is Pelvic Ultrasound Painful?

This examination is completely painless when performed by the suprapubic route. However, it can be unpleasant when performed endovaginally or endorectally† At the slightest sign of pain, notify the radiologist, who will take the necessary precautions.

When and how do we get the results?

Results are usually immediately available† The interpretation is done in real time: the radiologist comments on the images to the patient and issues a report which he delivers to him so that he can forward them to his doctor. This report is generally accompanied by “screenshots” taken during the exam. The final diagnosis is made by the professional who recommended the examination.

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