What Can I Expect When I Have a Pelvic Scan?
This scan is an ultrasound to look at the uterus and ovaries. It is usually done to investigate the cause of pain or abnormal bleeding. It may also be requested to followup a previously diagnosed ovarian cyst or uterine fibroids or to locate an IUCD.
Although we may start with some images taken through your stomach, in a sexually active woman we prefer to also do a transvaginal scan after you have emptied your bladder, because the quality of the imaging is generally much better.
The vaginal scan involves placing a finger-like transducer (the ultrasound probe) inside the vagina. The probe is sterilized and covered with a disposable sheath to protect you and others from the risk of infection. The scan is then done by gently angling the probe towards the womb and ovaries on both sides. Most women find the scan process mildly uncomfortable rather than painful.
In a scan done to investigate abnormal bleeding, the main focus is to look at the lining of the womb that gives rise to periods. This is easiest to do in the first five days after finishing a period.
If we cannot see the lining well in the transvaginal scan, we may suggest proceeding with a saline sonogram. This involves a procedure similar to a pap smear. The doctor will pass a very fine plastic tube and 20ml of a warm saline solution into the cervix. This separates the internal wall of the womb slightly, so that small abnormalities such as polyps (similar to small skin tags) and fibroids (non-cancerous growths of the womb) can be better seen. If we feel you require the saline sonogram at the time of your visit, this will be discussed with you first.
Try to book this scan in the first half of your cycle.
Drinking before the scan is not generally necessary. Discuss this with our reception staff when you make the booking.
Part of the examination is a transvaginal scan unless you are not sexually active or your doctor has specifically requested us not to do so
Some of our sonographers are male – if you do not want a male sonographer please discuss this at the time of booking and we will book you with a female.