Medical Imaging

Ultrasound > Exams & Procedures > Pelvic

A pelvic ultrasound for females primarily examines the uterus, ovaries and bladder, but the bowel may also be examined if requested by your doctor. A pelvic ultrasound for males examines the bladder and prostate gland.

  • The procedure takes about 10 to 15 minutes.
  • You may eat regularly prior to the ultrasound exam unless you are also scheduled for an abdominal ultrasound.
  • You are asked to fill your bladder by drinking 40 ounces of water (four to five eight ounce glasses) one hour before your exam. Do not urinate before the exam. The full bladder provides a window to see your pelvic organs.
  • You will be asked to lie down on a table with your pelvis or lower abdomen uncovered.
  • An odourless and water soluble gel will be put on your skin by the ultrasound technologist. This helps to transmit the sound waves and allows the probe or transducer to move easily over the skin.
  • The technologist will move the probe along the skin, taking pictures of all the pelvic organs.
  • Depending on what the technologist sees, you may be able to empty your bladder while the technologist leaves the room to develop the images and show them to the radiologist.
  • Once the radiologist has seen the images, the technologist will then instruct you when you can leave. If the technologist feels the radiologist needs to scan you with your bladder full, you will be asked to remain lying down until the radiologist is finished.

Does this hurt?


Transvaginal Ultrasound

A Transvaginal Ultrasound is performed by inserting a narrow probe or transducer into the vagina with your bladder empty. This allows the technologist to see and magnify your uterus and ovaries because the sound waves are closer to the pelvic organs. Therefore, higher resolution images can be obtained especially when assessing the inside of uterus (i.e. endothelial lining and early pregnancies).

You may experience some discomfort. If any pain should occur during the exam let the technologist or radiologist know and the probe will be removed.

When will I get my results?

If you are seeing your doctor immediately after your ultrasound appointment, a hand written report preliminary will be given to you. If you are not seeing your doctor following the ultrasound test, a final report will be mailed to your doctor within seven days.