Pelvic sonograms, also known as ultrasounds, are used to assess the health of reproductive organs and diagnose conditions experienced by pregnant women such as pelvic pain, fibroid tumors, and structural abnormalities of the uterus. Our team can usually perform a pelvic sonogram in about thirty minutes at our San Antonio, TX, practice. At the Fertility Center of San Antonio, we often perform pelvic ultrasounds as part of the pre-cycle evaluation for our advanced Nature's IVF™ treatment.
How Does an Ultrasound Work?
Sonograms use an instrument called a transducer, which emits ultrasound waves at a high frequency. The transducer probe is placed on the abdomen, and the ultrasound waves are sent out, bouncing off internal organs and other tissues. The waves are reflected back, and converted into an image.
Pelvic ultrasounds are used to evaluate the health of the pelvic organs.
The sound waves travel faster or slower, depending on the density of the tissue it comes into contact with. The speed that the sound waves return to the transducer, and the amount of sound wave returned, is read by the transducer as different types of tissue.
Before beginning, an ultrasound gel is placed on the skin and transducer to make the instrument move smoothly over the skin. The gel also eliminates air between the skin and the transducer to optimize sound conduction.
Pelvic sonograms can provide information about a range of conditions.
Types of Pelvic Ultrasound
There are three types of pelvic sonograms:
Transabdominal - The transducer is placed on the abdomen along with conductive gel.
Transvaginal - Conducting gel and a plastic or latex sheath are placed over a long transducer. Then the device is inserted into the vagina.
Transrectal - The transducer is inserted into the rectum and used to look at the prostate gland and other pelvic organs in men.
When Is It Used?
Pelvic ultrasounds are used to evaluate the health of the pelvic organs. A sonogram can also assess:
The health of the uterus and ovaries, including their size and shape
Length and tissue density of the cervix
Blood flow through pelvic organs
Thickness of endometrial lining
Presence of tissue abnormalities in the endometrium, myometrium, fallopian tubes, or bladder
Changes in bladder shape
Diagnosis and Treatment
Pelvic ultrasound can identify pelvic masses and provide important data on the location, size, and structure of such tissues. However, additional testing is typically required to diagnosis specific diseases.
Our team can use a pelvic sonogram to diagnose or assist in treating a number of conditions, including:
- Uterine abnormalities
- Endometrial conditions
- Fibroid tumors, masses, cysts, and tumor types within the pelvis
- Pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), or other types of inflammation or infection
- Postmenopausal bleeding
- Ectopic pregnancy (a pregnancy occurring outside the uterus, typically in the fallopian tube)
Pelvic sonograms are also used for:
- Tracking fetal development
- Evaluating fetal conditions
- To assist with procedures like endometrial biopsy.
- Monitoring of ovarian follicle size for infertility evaluation
- Aspiration of follicular fluid and egg retrieval from ovaries for IVF
- Positioning of an intrauterine contraceptive device (IUD)
The doctors at Fertility Center of San Antonio may also perform other evaluation tests such as a hysteroscopy to identify potential causes of infertility. A pelvic sonogram is also a part of our pre-cycle evaluation for Nature’s IVF.
What Happens after a Pelvic Ultrasound?
Patients may immediately resume their normal diet and activity, unless you are told otherwise by your physician. No adverse biological effects from exposure to ultrasound on patients or operators have ever been confirmed.
Your doctor will review the results of your sonogram with you. Based on the information we gather, we may recommend additional tests, such as a hysteroscopy or a laparoscopy, to further check the health of your pelvic organs.
Learn More about Your Pelvic Health
If you need a pelvic ultrasound, give us a call at (210) 692-0577 to schedule it. You can also learn more about this procedure by filling out our online form. We will get back to you shortly.