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Ultrasound imaging has become integral to gynecological care. A pelvic ultrasound or pelvic sonogram is a medical test that uses sound waves to evaluate the organs of the female pelvis. These sound waves bounce off the organs and internal tissues, and then send an echo back to the transducer (the handpiece that transmits sound waves). A computer converts the sound waves into a picture of your organs, which appear on a video screen. A female pelvic ultrasound can image the cervix, fallopian tubes, ovaries, uterus, vagina, and bladder in order to diagnose various gynecologic medical conditions and in order to determine the proper location and viability of an early pregnancy.
A pelvic ultrasound can be used to:
A pelvic ultrasound can be performed transvaginally or transabdominally based on your unique concerns and needs. If you are having a transvaginal ultrasound, you will need to have an empty bladder. If you are having a transabdominal ultrasound, your bladder will need to be full so we recommend avoiding using the bathroom in the 1-2 hours before the exam and drinking plenty of fluids. Be sure to wear loose and comfortable clothes to the examination, as you may need to wear a gown during the procedure.
A gynecologic ultrasound does not use radiation and does not come with the risks associated with radiation. A transabdominal ultrasound should not hurt, so please let us know if it does. You may feel some discomfort during a transvaginal scan when the transducer is inserted, but most patients can tolerate the procedure well.