Ultrasound is commonly used for diagnostic imaging. It can be used to examine internal organs such as the pelvis, liver, kidneys and breasts.

Ultrasound uses sound waves (1 – 18 MHz). An ultrasound probe emits and receives echoes. To optimise transmission of the sound waves, gel is applied over the body part to ensure good contact.

Is pelvic ultrasound harmful?

No. Ultrasound is a safe procedure. There is no radiation used. Research has proven that there are no harmful effects associated with the medical use of ultrasound.

How is pelvic ultrasound performed?

The scan is performed by a trained specialist sonographer or doctor.

There are 2 ways to perform a pelvic ultrasound:

  • Transabdominal scan (TA)
    • You will be asked to lie down and a gel will be applied on your tummy. A hand-held probe will be moved gently to obtain the images of the womb and ovaries.
  • Transvaginal scan (TV)
    • A specially designed probe with latex protective covering is lubricated with gel and inserted into the vagina.
    • This may be uncomfortable for many women.

Preparation for the ultrasound scan

  • A full bladder is required for TA scan for more optimal images.
    • 1st drink: 1 cup of water (about 200ml) 1 hour before the scan
    • 2nd drink: 1 cup of water 45 minutes before the scan
    • 3rd drink: 1 cup of water 30 minutes before the scan
  • TV scan is done with an empty bladder. You may use the bathroom before the scan.
  • Occasionally you may require a transrectal scan with the probe inserted through the anus. No preparation is needed for this scan.

Can the ultrasound scan be performed during menstruation?

TA and TV scan can be performed even when you are having menses.

How will I find out the result of the ultrasound scan?

The scan report will be sent to your doctor who will review the results and discuss with you.

When will the ultrasound scan results be available?

The report will be ready in about 1-2 hours after the scan has been completed.

Will I need to be admitted?

The examination does not require hospital admission. It can be performed on an outpatient basis.

Important points to note before the pelvic ultrasound scan?

  • Allergies
    • Notify the doctor or sonographer if you are allergic to latex (rubber) or antiseptic lotions.