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Pelvic Q & A

Answers and Advice on Pelvic Ultrasound

London Private Ultrasound provide a specialist ultrasound clinic offering advanced technology for highly precise medical imaging and diagnosis.

Based just a few moments walk from Bond Street, the clinic can provide ultrasound for a range of pelvic problems, often providing same-day diagnosis and fast track reports.

We would encourage you to read the answers below, to familiarise yourself with the capabilities of ultrasound and the signs and symptoms of some of the common pelvic problems and diseases.

Answers on Pelvic Ultrasound

There are many potential signs and symptoms of pelvic problems, and the specific signs and symptoms you may experience will depend on the underlying condition. Some of the most common signs of pelvic problems include:

  1. Pain in the pelvic area: This can be a dull or sharp pain and can be felt in the lower abdomen, lower back, or hips.
  2. Irregular period: This can include heavy or painful periods or periods that are lighter or more frequent than usual.
  3. Abnormal vaginal discharge: It can include thick, clumpy, or foul-smelling discharge.
  4. Pain during sexual intercourse: This can be a sign of conditions such as endometriosis, pelvic inflammatory disease, or fibroids.
  5. Urinary symptoms: This can include frequent or urgent urination, difficulty starting or stopping the flow of urine, or pain or burning during urination.
  6. Constipation or difficulty with bowel movements: This can be a sign of conditions such as endometriosis or uterine prolapse.
  7. Abnormal growths in the pelvic area: This can include fibroids, cysts, or polyps.

It is important to note that some women may not experience any pelvic problems or only mild or vague symptoms. If you have any concerns about your reproductive health, it is essential to consult with medical professionals. Ultrasound is one of the modalities that can help the medical professional to complete evaluation and appropriate treatment.

Overall, early detection and treatment of pelvic problems are vital to ensuring good reproductive and overall health, so it is essential to be aware of the potential signs and symptoms and to seek medical care if you have any concerns.

A pelvic ultrasound is a diagnostic imaging scan that uses high-frequency sound waves to produce images of the organs and structures in the lower abdomen and pelvis. The scan is non-invasive, painless, and commonly used to evaluate the reproductive organs, including the uterus, ovaries, fallopian tubes and surrounding tissues (Adnexa).

A pelvic ultrasound is a diagnostic imaging scan used to examine the organs and structures in the lower abdomen and pelvis. It is often used to evaluate the reproductive organs, including the uterus, ovaries, and fallopian tubes, and to check for any abnormalities or conditions such as:

  1. Pregnancy: to confirm pregnancy and monitor fetal growth and development.
  2. Ovarian cysts: to detect the presence and size of cysts in the ovaries.
  3. Endometriosis: to visualize the tissue that lines the uterus and check for growths or abnormal build-up outside the uterus.
  4. Uterine fibroids: to detect the presence and size of non-cancerous growths in the uterus.
  5. Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID): to evaluate the pelvic organs for signs of infection.
  6. Ectopic pregnancy: to detect if a fertilized egg has been implanted outside of the uterus.
  7. Ovarian cancer: to detect changes in the ovaries that may indicate cancer.
  8. Uterine or cervical abnormalities: to identify structural abnormalities in the uterus or cervix.

It is important to note that a pelvic ultrasound is only one part of a diagnostic evaluation and may need to be combined with other tests to make an accurate diagnosis.

Ovarian cancer is often called the “silent killer” because it usually has no specific symptoms in its early stages. However, as cancer grows and spreads, some women may experience the following signs and symptoms:

  1. Abdominal bloating or swelling: This can cause the abdomen to feel full or distended, even after eating only a small amount of food.
  2. Persistent abdominal pain: This can be a dull or sharp pain and may be felt in the lower abdomen or pelvis.
  3. Urinary symptoms: This can include frequent or urgent urination, difficulty starting or stopping the flow of urine, or pain or burning during urination.
  4. Changes in bowel habits: This can include constipation or diarrhoea.
  5. Loss of appetite or feeling full quickly: This can cause a decrease in the amount of food, even if the person is hungry.
  6. Nausea and vomiting: This can occur without apparent reason and may be accompanied by abdominal pain or bloating.
  7. Fatigue: This can be a constant tiredness or weakness, even after getting a good night’s sleep.
  8. Unexplained weight loss: This can occur even if the person eats normally.
  9. Abnormal vaginal bleeding: This can occur after menopause or between periods.

Early detection and treatment of ovarian cancer are vital to improving outcomes and increasing survival, so it is essential to be aware of the potential signs and symptoms and to seek medical care if you have any concerns. It is important to note that other, less serious conditions can also cause these symptoms. However, if you have any concerns about your health, it is essential to seek medical attention.

  1. You can eat as usual.
  2. Drink at least 1 litre of water 1 hour before the scan to help fill your bladder. A full bladder is often required for a pelvic ultrasound because it helps to elevate the uterus and move the intestines out of the way, making it easier for the ultrasound technician to produce clear images of the reproductive organs and surrounding structures.
  3. Wear loose, comfortable clothing that is easy to remove.
  4. You will be asked to empty your bladder for a transvaginal pelvic ultrasound.
Yes, you can have a pelvic ultrasound while on your period. 

Your sonographer will provide you with more information and instructions before the scan to ensure that you are fully prepared.

A pelvic ultrasound is performed in two parts: a transabdominal ultrasound and a transvaginal ultrasound.

Transabdominal pelvic ultrasound:

  1. Preparation: You will be asked to lie on an examination table and expose your lower abdomen. You may be asked to wear a gown.
  2. Gel application: A clear gel will be applied to your abdomen to help the transducer make better contact with your skin. It is non-toxic and does not cause any adverse reactions in most people.
  3. Transducer placement: The transducer, a small handheld device, will be placed on your abdomen and moved around to produce images of the organs and structures in the lower abdomen and pelvis.
  4. Image acquisition: The sound waves emitted by the transducer will bounce off of the organs and tissues and return to the transducer as echoes, which will be translated into images on a monitor.

Transvaginal pelvic ultrasound:

  1. Preparation: You will be asked to empty your full bladder before the transvaginal ultrasound. You will be asked to lie on an examination table and expose your lower abdomen.
  2. Insertion of transducer: The transducer, a long and thin probe, will be lubricated and inserted into the vagina.
  3. Image acquisition: The sound waves emitted by the transducer will bounce off of the organs and tissues and return to the transducer as echoes, which will be translated into images on a monitor.

You will be able to resume normal activities immediately after the scan.

No, you do not have to shave before a pelvic ultrasound. 
A pelvic ultrasound is generally not painful. However, some women may experience mild discomfort during the transvaginal ultrasound as the transducer is inserted into the vagina. The discomfort is usually brief and minor and can be relieved by repositioning the transducer and relaxing the muscles. In general, pelvic ultrasound is considered a safe and well-tolerated procedure. It is non-invasive and does not use ionizing radiation. It is essential to inform the sonographer if you experience any pain or discomfort during the procedure, as they may be able to adjust the position of the transducer to reduce any discomfort. Your comfort and well-being are essential, and the sonographer will try to make the procedure as comfortable as possible.
A pelvic ultrasound typically takes 15-20 minutes to complete. 

The results of a pelvic ultrasound are interpreted by radiologists or ultrasonographers, who are specially trained to perform and interpret ultrasound scans.

Your radiologist/ultrasonographer will review the results and discuss any findings or recommendations for further testing or treatment with your doctor. If you have any questions or concerns about the results, it is also essential to discuss these. The sonographer will write a report and send it to your email within 24 hours.

Pelvic ultrasound is a safe and well-tolerated diagnostic test with few risks or side effects. Some women may experience mild discomfort during a transvaginal ultrasound as the transducer is inserted into the vagina. This discomfort is usually brief and minor and can be relieved by repositioning the transducer.