A pelvic ultrasound is a noninvasive diagnostic pelvic exam that produces images that are used to assess organs and structures within the female pelvis.
A pelvic ultrasound allows quick visualization of the female pelvic organs and structures including:
- Fallopian tubes
Ultrasound uses a transducer that sends out ultrasound waves at a frequency too high to be heard. The ultrasound transducer is placed on the skin, and the ultrasound waves move through the body to the organs and structures within.
The sound waves bounce off the organs like an echo and return to the transducer. The transducer processes the reflected waves, which are then converted by a computer into an image of the organs or tissues being examined.
The sound waves travel at different speeds depending on the type of tissue encountered – fastest through bone tissue and slowest through air.
The speed at which the sound waves are returned to the transducer, as well as how much of the sound wave returns, is translated by the transducer as different types of tissue.
A Pelvic Sonogram/Ultrasound may be done to:
- Find out what is causing pelvic pain
- Look for the cause of vaginal bleeding
- Look for pelvic inflammatory disease (PID)
- Find an intrauterine device (IUD)
- Look at the size and shape of the uterus and the thickness of the uterine lining
- Look at the size and shape of the ovaries
- Check the condition and size of the ovaries during treatment for infertility
- Confirm a pregnancy and whether it is in the uterus. Pelvic ultrasound may be used early in pregnancy to check the age of the pregnancy or to find a tubal pregnancy (ectopic pregnancy) or multiple pregnancy
- Check the cervical length in a pregnant woman at risk for preterm labor
- Check a lump found during a pelvic examination
- Check uterine fibroids found during a pelvic examination. Pelvic ultrasound may also be done to check the growth of uterine fibroids
- Guide a procedure to remove an ovarian follicle for in vitro fertilization.
Other Terms that are used to describe this procedure:
- Pelvis Ultrasound
- Pelvic Ultrasonography
- Pelvic Sonography
- Pelvic Scan
- Lower Abdomen Ultrasound
- Gynecologic Ultrasound
- Transabdominal Ultrasound
- Transvaginal Ultrasound
- Endovaginal Ultrasound
The information provided on this site is intended to educate the reader about certain medical conditions and certain possible treatment. It is not a substitute for examination, diagnosis, and medical care provided by a licensed and qualified health care professional. If you believe you, or someone you know suffers from the conditions described herein, please see your health care provider immediately. Do not attempt to treat yourself or anyone else without proper medical supervision.
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