A pelvic ultrasound is a diagnostic tool that employs sound waves to provide internal pictures of a woman’s lower abdomen and pelvis, including the uterus, cervix, vagina, fallopian tubes and ovaries. You're likely familiar with the use of ultrasound in monitoring fetal development during pregnancy. However, this non-invasive technology also enables Dr. Nanayakkara to view your organs, tissues, and muscles to help diagnose gynecologic issues such as cancer, uterine fibroids, and polycystic ovary syndrome.
You’ll first need to remove your jewelry, as it could interfere with the scan. Depending on the purpose of the ultrasound, you may also need to remove your clothing and wear a hospital gown. Next, a water-based conducting gel is applied to the pelvic and/or abdominal region to prevent the formation of air pockets that could prohibit the formulation of sound waves. The gel also helps the hand-held transducer easily slide across your skin. Images of your pelvic structures are transmitted and displayed on a computer screen and recorded. Depending on the purpose for the ultrasound, the procedure can take anywhere from 10-45 minutes.
Preparation differs depending on the purpose of the ultrasound. Usually, a full bladder is required for a pelvic exam. You maybe need to drink up 6 glasses of water 2 hours prior to your exam and not to urinate until after it’s completed. In other cases, you may be asked to fast for several hours in advance of the appointment. Dr. Nanayakkara will provide specific instructions regarding your procedure.
Yes. An Ultrasound is completely safe, as it uses sound waves; there’s no radiation. An ultrasound is also pain-free, and doesn’t carry side effects or entail any downtime.