Ultrasound has uses in many areas of gynaecology to assess the female pelvic organs.
Ultrasound is easily transmitted through water and a full bladder can help with visualization of the pelvic organs by both acting as a 'window' and displacing other organs, particularly bowel, out of the way.
Alternatively, a more detailed image can be obtained by placing the ultrasound transducer into the vagina, where it is closer to the other pelvic organs. This is termed a "trans-vaginal scan" - an empty bladder is better for this type of examination.
In gynaecology scanning, ultrasound can be used to examine the Uterus, Ovaries and Adnexa. Checking the uterus for fibroids or endometrial polyps and the ovaries for ovarian cysts can easily be performed using ultrasound; and Gynaecological ultrasound can also be used to find out the causes of infertility and diagnose polycystic ovaries or identify the reasons for heavy or irregular periods.
In fact, there are many reasons why a pelvic gynaecology scan may be requested including:
- Menstrual problems
- Pelvic Pains
- Pelvic Mass
- Post-Menopausal bleeding
What preparation is required for the an Gynaeclogical Ultrasound scan?
As was mentioned, pelvic ultrasounds can be performed "trans-abdominally" or "trans-vaginally", and quite often involve a combination of both.
For the trans-abdominal scan, a full bladder is required and you will need to drink a pint of water in the hour before your scan. For the trans-vaginal scan an empty bladder is required, so you will be asked to empty your bladder just prior to your examination.
What will happen during the examination?
A trans-abdominal ultrasound examination is non-invasive and painless. You will be asked to lie on your back on the examination couch and expose your lower abdomen. Our highly qualified and experienced Sonographer will move a transducer lubricated with warm gel over your lower abdomen to obtain the necessary images. You are welcome to ask questions during your examination. You may bring someone into the examination room with you if you wish (no children please), and a HealthCare Assistant will also be on hand should you require support or a chaperone.
For a trans-vaginal ultrasound examination, the examination will be explained and you will be asked to sign a consent form. The ultrasound transducer is placed just inside the vagina and you will therefore need to remove your underwear. A female Healthcare Assistant will remain in the examination room throughout the examination to act as a chaperone. If at any point you wish the examination to stop you only need to say. The examination should not be painful and will only take a couple of minutes whilst the Sonographer obtains detailed images of the pelvic anatomy.
Click here for more information on different types of Ultrasound Scans