Skip to content

Women's Health

Font Size

Pelvic Ultrasound

How To Prepare continued...

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 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.

You will lie on your back (or on your side) on a padded table. Gel will be put on your belly to improve the quality of the sound waves. A small, handheld instrument called a transducer is gently moved over your belly. A picture of the organs and blood vessels can be seen on a video screen.

You need to lie very still while the ultrasound is being done. You may be asked to take a breath and hold it for several seconds during the test.

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.

Today on WebMD

hands on abdomen
Test your knowledge.
womans hand on abdomen
Are you ready for baby?
birth control pills
Learn about your options.
Is it menopause or something else?
woman in bathtub
bp app on smartwatch and phone
estrogen gene

Send yourself a link to download the app.

Loading ...

Please wait...

This feature is temporarily unavailable. Please try again later.


Now check your email account on your mobile phone to download your new app.

Blood pressure check
hot water bottle on stomach
Attractive young woman standing in front of mirror