What Is Pelvic Ultrasound | All About Pelvic Ultrasound

Ultrasound is a medical imaging technique that relies on the use of ultrasound, which makes it possible to “visualize” the inside of the body. Pelvic ultrasound, that is to say of the pelvis (= pelvis) allows:

  • in women: to visualize the ovaries, uterus, and bladder
  • in men: visualize the bladder and prostate
  • to see the iliac arteries and veins, if it is coupled to the Doppler (see the Doppler ultrasound sheet).

Why have a pelvic ultrasound?

Ultrasound is a painless and non-invasive examination: it is therefore prescribed in many situations when the doctor suspects the presence of an abnormality in the internal genitalia or bladder (see the ultrasound sheet of the urinary tract). It can also be used to monitor the evolution of a disease that has already been diagnosed.
It is widely used in gynecology, including:

  • in case of pelvic pain or unexplained vaginal bleeding
  • to study the endometrium (the uterine lining), and evaluate its thickness, vascularization, etc.
  • to identify possible malformations of the uterus
  • to detect ovarian cysts or uterine polyps or fibroids
  • to make an infertility assessment, visualize follicular activity (count of ovarian follicles), or confirm the existence of ovulation
  • Ensure the correct positioning of an IUD

In men, pelvic ultrasound can:

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

The exam

Ultrasound consists of exposing the tissues or organs that we want to observe to ultrasound waves. It requires no preparation and lasts about twenty minutes.

For pelvic ultrasound, however, it is necessary to arrive with the bladder full, that is to say, having drunk (without urinating) one to two hours before the examination the equivalent of a small bottle of water (500 ml to 1L).
The doctor may ask you to empty all or part of your bladder halfway through the exam.

Ultrasound can be done in different ways:

  • Suprapubic: the probe is placed above the pubis, after the application of a gel facilitating the spread of ultrasound.
  • Endovaginally in women: an oblong probe (covered with a condom and gel) is inserted into the vagina to obtain better images of the uterine lining and ovaries.
  • Endorectally in men: the probe is inserted into the rectum to get better images of the prostate.
     

What results can we expect from a pelvic ultrasound?

Pelvic ultrasound can detect and monitor the evolution of many conditions. It is also widely used in gynecological and obstetric follow-ups as part of an infertility check-up or a medically assisted procreation procedure.

Your doctor will inform you of the results of the ultrasound or Doppler ultrasound. In case of abnormality, other examinations (MRI, CT) may be prescribed to make a more thorough assessment.

Depending on the situation, medication or surgery may be prescribed, and appropriate follow-up will be put in place.

Image Credit: Photo by MART PRODUCTION from pexels.com

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