Pelvic / Gynaecology Ultrasound (including transvaginal)

A Pelvic ultrasound scan is the most effective imaging modality used to examine the uterus and ovaries. It is may also be used during pregnancy to monitor the health and development of the embryo or fetus. In males, a pelvic ultrasound usually focuses on the bladder and prostate gland. There are two methods of performing pelvic ultrasound; Supra-pubic (through a full bladder) and transvaginal (via the vagina). For Supra-pubic ultrasound you will need a full bladder for the scan and will be advised on how much water to drink and how long before the examination. For transvaginal ultrasound, no preparation is required.

Transvaginal Ultrasound

This is usually employed to examine the ovaries, pelvis or part of the womb. You will be asked to lie on your back with your knees bent and legs apart (as if you were having a smear test or an internal examination). If this position is difficult for you, you may be able to lie on your side with your knees drawn up to your chest. The sonographer will lubricate a small probe with gel and then insert this into the vagina. This may be slightly uncomfortable, but should not be painful. This type of scan does not take long.

Supra-pubic Ultrasound

For this type of scan you will be asked to drink fluid prior to the examination to fill the bladder, which is used as a “window” to examine the uterus and ovaries behind it. Because of the distance between the transducer and the organs of interest, information might be lost and the sensitivity of the scan is not as good as the trans-vaginal approach. You will lie on your back on an examination couch and the transducer moved back and forth across your lower abdomen to image the area of interest.