Pelvic Ultrasound

Pelvic ultrasound is an imaging test that uses sound waves to form pictures of your organs. It can help assess pain or other symptoms within your pelvis (area between your hip bones). In non-pregnant women, it is typically done to evaluate the uterus and ovaries. In pregnant women, it is used to check the health of the unborn baby (fetus). There are no known risks of diagnostic ultrasound.

Technician and patient

How do I get ready for an ultrasound?

  • You may be told to drink several glasses of water or other clear fluid starting 1 to 2 hours before your test. Ask your health care provider for specific instructions.

  • The test may take 30 to 45 minutes. Allow extra time to check in.

The health care professional doing the ultrasound may ask why your doctor has ordered the test. He or she may also ask when your last period started. Also let him or her know:

  • If you’ve had an ultrasound exam of this area before

  • If you’ve had any pelvic surgery

  • What medicines you take

  • If you’re pregnant

Technician and patient

What happens during the ultrasound? 

  • You will lie on your back with your abdomen exposed.

  • A nongreasy gel will be applied to the skin.

  • The sonographer will move a hand-held transducer (probe) across your pelvis.

The test may include a second part. You can empty your bladder before this part of the test.

  • You will lie on your back with your knees raised.

  • A probe covered with nongreasy gel is placed inside your vagina. Or, you may be asked to insert the probe yourself as you would a tampon. The probe should not be painful.


Your doctor will explain the results.


What happens after an ultrasound? 

  • Your doctor will discuss the test results with you during a follow-up visit or over the phone.

  • Your next appointment is: ____________________


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