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Pelvic Ultrasound

Pelvic Ultrasound

This can be performed via the abdominal, transvaginal or transrectal approaches.

 

Abdominal
The probe is placed over the lower abdomen above the pubic bone and the ultrasound beam scans through the full bladder to show the uterus, ovaries and pelvic contents. It is used for early pregnancy assessment and gynaecology scans. Bladder and prostate conditions can also be assessed.

 

Preparation for the scan

 It is very important for the bladder to be full to visualise the pelvic organs. If your bladder is not full enough, you might be asked to drink more water and wait for your bladder to fill up.

 


 

 Transvaginal 
This scan method gives the best diagnostic images of the uterus and ovaries and is performed with an empty bladder. The specially designed transducer, no wider than an index finger, is covered with a sterile condom, lubricated with sterile gel and gently introduced into the vagina. This test is much less uncomfortable than a physical gynaecological examination.

Early pregnancies up to 3 months can be assessed in this manner and a heartbeat can be seen as early as five weeks gestational age, a week before it is visible via the transabdominal route. Ovarian follicles, cysts, tumours, tubal pregnancies or blockages and other local pelvic problems are often best seen using the transvaginal scan. Examinations generally last less than five minutes.

 

Preparation for the scan

You will be asked to remove all your clothing from your waist down and will be given a gown to wear. You will be given a chance to empty your bladder before the examination starts.

 


 

 Transrectal
This approach is used most commonly for assessment of the prostate and seminal vesicles in the male patient. This examination may be combined with a biopsy of the prostate if this is indicated. Where no biopsy is done, the examination is generally less uncomfortable than a routine digital examination by your doctor. The biopsy procedure requires several needle pricks through the wall of the rectum directly into the prostate gland and can take another five to ten minutes – it is a mildly uncomfortable experience. After the procedure you can expect a little local rectal bleeding and there is usually some blood staining of the urine for a few days. 

 

Preparation for the scan

This is a highly specialized examination and booking an appointment is essential. Preparation requires an empty rectum, so a laxative suppository is inserted 2 hours before the procedure. If a biopsy of the prostate is planned, antibiotic tablets will be prescribed to be taken 2 hours prior to the test. A preparation pack with full instructions, tablets and suppository can be obtained from reception at any of our hospital branches. We usually perform a routine abdominal scan first with a full bladder to assess the kidneys and the ability of the bladder to empty, so you will be asked to drink three glasses of water an hour before your appointment.

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