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Pelvic Ultrasound Scan

A pelvic ultrasound takes images of the structure & organs of the pelvis and lower abdomen. 3 types of pelvic ultrasound are observed. They are:

  • Abdominal ultrasound.
  • Rectal ultrasound. (For males)
  • Vaginal ultrasound. (For females)

Pelvic ultrasound is a reliable test for men to diagnose the following conditions:

  • Examination of prostate glands & seminal vesicles.
  • To diagnose prostate cancer. Other examinations like prostate blood test, prostate-specific antigen blood test, digital rectal examination etc may also be employed.
  • To diagnose if the prostate is getting enlarged due to some pelvic problems such as benign prostatic hypertrophy.
  • To examine if infertility issues are caused due to prostate gland.

For women, pelvic ultrasound is commonly performed to evaluate the problems regarding the uterus, ovaries, uterus, bladder, fallopian tubes etc. This test is also used for monitoring the fetus development during the gestation period.

In addition, common women problems like pelvic pain, menstrual issues, abdominal bleeding etc can use this technique for analyzing the cause.

The preparations necessary for pelvic ultrasound depends upon its type. For a trans-abdominal ultrasound, about 4-6 glasses of water need to be drunk before 1 hour of taking the test. When the bladder is full, it pushes away the air from the pelvic organs. This shall help in better imaging. For emergency situations, the bladder is filled with water through a catheter. For transvaginal ultrasound, one should not drink water for about 4-5 hours prior to test.

The procedure is similar in all these cases. However, the test can be affected by several conditions such as:

  • Obstructions like air, fecal matter, x-ray contrast material like barium etc in the rectum or intestine.
  • Movement during the examination.
  • Open wound in the stomach.
  • Obesity.