Pelvic ultrasounds are exams used to evaluate the organs and structures located in your pelvic region, including your uterus, ovaries, and fallopian tubes. They can be used to diagnose diseases and other medical issues, and they can also be used to monitor ongoing treatment or to guide specific steps of certain medical procedures.
The exam relies on ultrasound energy that’s passed painlessly through your skin via a special handheld device called a transducer. Once they pass through your skin, the ultrasound waves “bounce off” the structures inside your body and return to your skin where they can be recaptured by the transducer. Then, the information from those waves is sent to the ultrasound computer, which uses the data to create detailed images.
Ultrasounds can be used to capture both still images and ongoing processes. Many pelvic ultrasounds are performed through your belly, but some are performed using a special wand-shaped transducer that’s placed inside your vagina. This is also called a transvaginal ultrasound.
When most people hear the term “ultrasound,” they think of the imaging exam that’s used to monitor the growth and development of a growing baby. That’s one important use, for sure, but there are many others. For instance, they can be used to:
In addition, ultrasound can be used to guide biopsy procedures and to assist in IVF procedures.
Ultrasounds usually are performed in a darkened room to make it easier for Dr. Tureanu or the technician to see the images as they appear on the computer monitor. Before the exam, you might need to change into a gown. The doctor or technician places some gel on your skin to make it easier for the transducer to make contact and obtain clear images.
During the exam, the doctor passes the transducer over your skin using gentle pressure to obtain the best images. Most ultrasound exams take less than a half hour. Once the exam is complete, you’ll be able to go on with your regular routines.