Pelvic Ultrasound

Pelvic Ultrasound is an exam that obtains images of pelvic organs through a full bladder using sound waves. A hand-held transducer (probe) is used to create images of pelvic organs. It can assist in diagnosing problems, such as pelvic masses, fibroids or ovarian problems. In pregnant women, it is used to check the health of the fetus (unborn baby). The transabdominal approach is used primarily to rule out pelvic masses that are beyond the imaging range of the transvaginal transducer.


  • You will lie on an exam table with your pelvis exposed.
  • A non-greasy gel will be applied to your skin during the exam.

The sonographer will use a hand-held transducer (probe) against your pelvis to obtain images of your pelvic organs.

  • Second part of exam includes a transvaginal ultrasound. You will empty your bladder before this part of the test.
  • You will lie on your back with your knees raised (as you would for a pelvic exam).
  • A transvaginal probe covered with a sheath and a non-greasy gel is placed inside your vagina. You may be asked to insert the probe yourself as you would a tampon. The sonographer moves the probe to get the best images. The probe should not be painful. This gives a more detailed assessment of your uterus and ovaries.


  • 32 ounces of water must be completed one hour prior to exam time.
  • Children 12 years and under should drink only 20 ounces of water completed one hour before exam time and they will not receive the transvaginal ultrasound.
  • Do not empty bladder until exam is complete.
  • Arrive 15 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment with a prescription if your doctor has given one to you.


  • Let the technologist know:
    • If you have difficulty holding your bladder.
    • If you have had pelvic surgery.
    • If you take any medications.
    • If you are pregnant
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