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Pelvic Ultrasound

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

If you are having a transabdominal ultrasound, your doctor will ask you to drink 4 to 6 glasses of juice or water about an hour before the test to fill your bladder. A full bladder pushes the intestines (which contain air) out of the way of the pelvic organs. This makes the ultrasound picture clearer. If the ultrasound is being done in an emergency situation, your bladder may be filled with water through a thin flexible tube (catheter) inserted into your bladder.

Transrectal ultrasound

If you are having a transrectal ultrasound camera.gif, you may need an enema about an hour before the test. Tell your doctor if you are allergic to latex so that a latex-free cover can be put on the transducer before it is used.

If a man is also having a biopsy of the prostate gland, he may be given antibiotics for a day before the test.

Transvaginal ultrasound

If you are having a transvaginal ultrasound camera.gif, tell your doctor if you are allergic to latex so that a latex-free cover can be put on the transducer before it is used.

If you are having only a transvaginal ultrasound, do not drink any fluids for 4 hours before the test. You will not need to drink fluids to fill your bladder for the test as you do in a transabdominal ultrasound.

If both a transabdominal and transvaginal ultrasound will be done, the transabdominal ultrasound will usually be done first.

How It Is Done

This test is done by a doctor or by an ultrasound technologist (sonographer). It is done in an ultrasound room in a hospital, clinic, or doctor's office.

You will need to remove any jewelry that might be in the way of the ultrasound. You will need to take off most of your clothes below the waist. You will be given a gown to use during the test.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: June 08, 2011
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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