Pelvic Ultrasound

What is pelvic ultrasound?

A pelvic ultrasound (sonogram) uses reflected sound waves to produce a picture of organs and other structures in the lower abdomen (pelvis).

Pelvic ultrasound can be done three ways:

  • Transabdominal ultrasound, which uses a small handheld instrument called a transducer, passed back and forth over the skin of the lower abdomen
  • Transrectal ultrasound, which uses a transducer shaped to fit into the rectum
  • Transvaginal ultrasound, which uses a transducer shaped to fit into a woman’s vagina

Who needs pelvic ultrasound?

A pelvic ultrasound may be recommended to find the cause of blood in the urine, difficult urination, or pelvic pain.

For women, pelvic ultrasound may be recommended to:

  • Find the cause of unexplained vaginal bleeding
  • Diagnose pelvic inflammatory disease
  • Locate a misplaced intrauterine device
  • Monitor the condition and size of the ovaries during infertility treatment
  • Confirm a pregnancy, determine the age of an unborn baby, check the viability of a pregnancy, or detect an ectopic or multiple pregnancy
  • Get more information on a lump, fibroid, or other mass found during a physical examination of the pelvis
  • Help guide instruments used to remove an ovarian follicle for in vitro fertilization

For men, a pelvic ultrasound may be done to:

  • Examine the seminal vesicles, and the texture, size, and condition of the prostate gland
  • Diagnose prostate cancer or enlargement
  • Find the cause of infertility

Pelvic ultrasound is performed by the order of a physician.

Texas law prohibits hospitals from practicing medicine. The physicians on the Methodist Health System medical staff are independent practitioners who are not employees or agents of Methodist Health System, or any of its affiliated hospitals.