The advantage of 3D Ultrasound is that any desired plane through pelvic organs can be obtained. The coronal “Face on” view of the uterus and endometrium which is rarely seen with 2D can easily be obtained by 3D. Thus 3-Dimensional is very successfully used to examine the uterus to diagnose and classify.
A pelvic or gynaecologic ultrasound is an ultrasound of the female pelvis. It examines the female pelvic organs including the uterus (commonly called the “womb”), the endometrium (the lining of the uterus), the cervix and the ovaries.
Most pelvic ultrasounds are performed using both the transabdominal and transvaginal approaches. Transabdominal ultrasound involves scanning through your lower abdomen. Transabdominal ultrasound usually provides an overview of the pelvis rather than detailed images. The transabdominal assessment is particularly helpful for the examination of large pelvic masses extending into the abdomen, which are not always well viewed with transvaginal ultrasound.
A small amount of ultrasound gel is put on the skin of the lower abdomen, with the ultrasound probe then scanning through this gel. The gel helps improve contact between the probe and your skin.
Transvaginal ultrasound is an internal ultrasound. It involves scanning with the ultrasound probe lying in the vagina. Transvaginal ultrasound usually produces better and clearer images of the female pelvic organs, because the ultrasound probe lies closer to these structures.
The transvaginal ultrasound probe is thin, about 2cm diameter. The probe is covered with a disposable protective sheath. A small amount of ultrasound gel is placed on the end of this probe. The probe is then gently inserted a short distance into the vagina. All transvaginal probes have been cleaned and sterilised according to recommended protocols.
Your privacy will always be respected during a pelvic ultrasound, especially the transvaginal examination. You will have a towel covering your lower body, in addition to wearing a gown during the transvaginal ultrasound.
You will always have a choice about whether transvaginal ultrasound is performed. If you have concerns about transvaginal ultrasound, please discuss this with your sonographer before your pelvic ultrasound begins.
We usually get better images during transabdominal ultrasound if the bladder is partially filled, so to help your examination we ask you to drink water prior to the assessment. Please empty your bladder 1 hour before your appointment, drink 2 glasses of water and try not to empty your bladder again until after your appointment. A full bladder moves bowel out from the pelvis into the abdomen, helping visualisation of the uterus and ovaries.
Your bladder should not be so full that it causes pain. If your bladder is very full and painful, you should empty a small amount so you are more comfortable. You will be able to empty your bladder after the transabdominal ultrasound is completed and before the transvaginal ultrasound begins.
The pelvic ultrasound may not provide your doctor with all the answers to your problems, but it may be very helpful in diagnosis and management. Your referring doctor will decide if further treatment or tests are needed.