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Pelvic Ultrasound

Why It Is Done continued...

For women, pelvic ultrasound may be done to:

  • Find out what is causing pelvic pain.
  • Look for the cause of vaginal bleeding.
  • Look for pelvic inflammatory disease (PID).
  • Find an intrauterine device (IUD) camera.gif.
  • Look at the size and shape of the uterus and the thickness of the uterine lining (endometrium camera.gif).
  • Look at the size and shape of the ovaries.
  • Check the condition and size of the ovaries during treatment for infertility.
  • Confirm a pregnancy and whether it is in the uterus. Pelvic ultrasound may be used early in pregnancy to check the age of the pregnancy or to find a tubal pregnancy (ectopic pregnancy) or multiple pregnancy.
  • Check the cervical length in a pregnant woman at risk for preterm labor.
  • Check a lump found during a pelvic examination.
  • Check uterine fibroids found during a pelvic examination. Pelvic ultrasound may also be done to check the growth of uterine fibroids.
  • Guide a procedure to remove an ovarian follicle for in vitro fertilization.

For men, pelvic ultrasound may be done to:

How To Prepare

Tell your doctor if you have had an X-ray with contrast material (such as barium) within the past 2 days. Barium that remains in the intestines can interfere with the ultrasound test.

Wear loose clothes for the pelvic ultrasound. You may need to remove all your clothes below the waist and put on a gown before the test.

If you are having a biopsy or a special procedure during the ultrasound, you may need to sign a consent form that says you understand the risks of the test and agree to have it done.

Talk to your doctor about any concerns you have regarding the need for this test, its risks, how it will be done, or what the results will mean. To help you understand the importance of this test, fill out the medical test information form(What is a PDF document?).

Transabdominal ultrasound

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: March 12, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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