Pelvic Ultrasound Exam

Schoolcraft Memorial Hospital’s medical imaging suite is one of the most comprehensive in the Upper Peninsula. It features state of the art equipment and a dedicated team of highly qualified ARRT board-certified technologists.

As part of our radiology service offerings, we provide patients with pelvic ultrasound exams. This examination is used to diagnose and assist in the treatment of conditions such as tumors, abnormalities of the uterus’s structure, abnormal bleeding, ectopic pregnancies, and more. It is also commonly used to assess the health of fetuses during pregnancy.

If you are already scheduled for a pelvic ultrasound exam, you can simply check in at the main registration desk and then check in at the Medical Imaging reception desk. Click here to view the hospital map.

In order to ensure you are fully prepared for your pelvic ultrasound exam at Schoolcraft Memorial Hospital, keep reading.

What is a Pelvic Ultrasound Exam?

A pelvic ultrasound exam is a diagnostic procedure that uses soundwaves to produce images of the structures and organs within the pelvis. For female patients, this ultrasound exam can show images of the cervix, fallopian tubes, ovaries, uterus, vagina, and bladder. For male patients, this ultrasound exam can show images of the bladder, prostate gland, and seminal vesicles. 

The pelvic ultrasound exam can also be referred to as a pelvic scan, pelvic sonography, and gynecologic ultrasound. There are mainly two types of pelvic ultrasound: transabdominal and transvaginal. Though these terminologies can make the procedure sound intimidating for patients, you’re in good hands here at SCMH. You can be assured of the following:

  • The exam is safe and painless. At most, you may feel a mild discomfort with the internal exam.
  • The exam will be performed by a female technician.
  • The exam has no side effects.

The transducer probe gliding on the abdominal surface

Why Might You Need a Pelvic Ultrasound?

Generally, the pelvic ultrasound exam seeks to detect any underlying irregularities in the pelvic region. As we touched on earlier, both male and female patients can be asked by their physicians to undergo this exam for a separate list of reasons.

For female patients, this exam is commonly used to:

  • Monitor and assess fetal development
  • Measure and evaluate the size, shape, and position of the pelvic organs
  • Detect an ectopic pregnancy (when the pregnancy is outside the uterus – usually in the fallopian tube)
  • Detect structural abnormalities of the uterus or ovaries
  • Detect cysts, masses, fibroid tumors, and other types of cancerous formations in the pelvic region
  • Detect inflammation or infection in the pelvic region
  • Evaluate or treat problems with fertility
  • Assess the presence and position of an intrauterine contraceptive device
  • Assist in the aspiration of follicle fluid and eggs from the ovaries (for in vitro fertilization)
  • Assist with endometrial biopsy

For male patients this exam is commonly used to:

  • Check for structural problems with the prostate gland, bladder, and seminal vesicles
  • Detect cysts, masses, fibroid tumors, and other types of cancerous formations in the pelvic region

How to Prepare for a Pelvic Ultrasound Exam

Please be mindful of the following points in preparation for your pelvic ultrasound exam:

Bladder Preparation

Make sure to drink 32 ounces of water at least one hour before the exam so that you have a full bladder – this will ensure that the pelvic organs get better visibility in the ultrasound. You should not empty your bladder until after the procedure. The exception to this is if you will undergo a transvaginal ultrasound – in which case, you would be asked to empty your bladder right before the procedure begins. 

Medication & Food

You can take most medications as prescribed. However, if needed, your doctor may advise you to stop taking medicines that thin the blood 7-10 days before the procedure. As for food intake, no fasting is required for this procedure unless it will be done alongside another procedure that requires anesthesia. 

Clothing

Be sure to wear comfortable clothes that are easy to remove as you will be asked to change into a gown for the procedure. 

Child Patients

You may need to prepare and inform your child about this procedure beforehand . Since sound waves are used for the duration of the pelvic ultrasound exam, a quiet atmosphere will ensure that the procedure is completed quickly. Our ultrasound technicians ensure each patient is comfortable with each step of the procedure.

If you’re not sure about any of these above points, please contact your physician.

What to Expect During a Pelvic Ultrasound Exam

Here is how the Pelvic Ultrasound will transpire. First, the technologist will explain the procedure to you and you will be asked to change into a gown. From here, what happens next will depend on what type of Pelvic Ultrasound/s you will get. In some cases, more than one type may be required.

Transabdominal Pelvic Ultrasound

  • The patient will be asked to lie on their back.
  • A gel-like substance will be applied to the abdomen.
  • The transducer will  then be pressed against the skin and glided along the area that needs examination.

Transvaginal Pelvic Ultrasound

  • The patient will be asked to lie on their back with feet placed in stirrups.
  • A long, thin transducer is covered with the conducting gel and a latex/plastic sheath.
  • The tip of the transducer is then inserted into the vagina.

Note that at some points the technologist may need to use firm pressure to acquire better images or ask you to hold your breath momentarily and lie very still. All in all, the exam should last approximately 30 minutes.

Transabdominal pelvic ultrasound

What to Do After Your Pelvic Ultrasound

After your exam is finished, you will be instructed to change back into your clothes and permitted to return home. You can resume your normal activities as directed by your physician. The radiologist, a physician who specializes in ultrasound exams, will review your images. Then, your doctor will contact you with the test results.

If you have any questions regarding Schoolcraft Memorial’s pelvic ultrasounds exams, please feel free to contact us today.

Dr. Niksa (Nick) Vlasic

Dr. Niksa (Nick) Vlasic, M.D.

Dr. Niksa (Nick) Vlasic, M.D. is board certified in Diagnostic Radiology and Vascular and Interventional Radiology. He received his training at New York Medical College, New York Presbyterian Hospital and the Sloan Kettering Cancer Center.

Dr. Vlasic is part of Upper Peninsula Imaging and is on the staff at: Bell Hospital, Marquette General Hospital, Newberrry Hospital, Munising Hospital, Baraga County Memorial Hospital, Schoolcraft Hospital, and OSF St. Francis Hospital in Escanaba.

Dr. Vlasic has been treating chronic leg pain and varicose vein disease for over 14 years, and has extensive experience using minimally invasive techniques to provide complete vein evaluations and comprehensive therapy. His procedures are performed in the state-of-the-art Vascular and Interventional Suite at Bell Hospital using the most advanced techniques and equipment.

Dr. Vlasic also provides full Vascular and Interventional Radiology clinic services and consultations with a Pain Management Clinic and a comprehensive Peripheral Vascular Disease Clinic. The Pain Management Clinic includes Epidural Steroid Injections, Intra-articular Steroid Injections, Facet Injections, and Vertebroplasty. The Peripheral Vascular Disease Clinic includes the Vein Clinic, and also provides arterial angiography with percutaneous balloon angioplasty and stent placement.

Dr. Vlasic also offers a wide spectrum of minimally invasive image guided procedures including image guided biopsies, tube placements, and percutaneous catheter placements and drainage procedures.

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Read what clients have to say about Schoolcraft Memorial Hospital

Everyone in the ambulatory care/outpatient surgery were great!! They all made me feel very comfortable and did a great job!!! thank you to the whole outpatient staff and Doctor Rayner..I would recommend Schoolcraft or patient to anyone in need of surgery

Reviewer: Jeremy Sitkoski

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5 out of 5 stars

The care that was provided by The nurses (Cindy, Felicia Ruth) and staff was exceptional. The entire staff was very friendly and made you feel welcome. We received a call from Felicia the next day to check on my husband to check his pain level and do a follow up. The surgery area from check in to check out was well organized, clean, and up to date. Thank you to all of you for what you do so well and everything beyond your normal duties.

Reviewer: Maureen DesChamps

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5 out of 5 stars