Skip to Content

Pelvic Ultrasound/Sonogram

UPMC Content 2

About this Test

Pictures of your pelvis are taken with sound waves, not x-rays.

Why this Test is Done

  • You may have pelvic pain.
  • You may have irregular periods.
  • Your doctor may not have been able to feel your uterus or ovaries during your pelvic exam because these organs can be in slightly different positions in some women.

Before the Test

A full bladder is required, so you are asked to drink 24 to 32 ounces of fluid 60 minutes before your scheduled exam time. The reason for this is that high frequency sound waves used in ultrasound will travel well through fluid but not through gas or air. Since the uterus is located in the pelvis behind loops of bowel continuing gas and air, it is important to fill the bladder with fluids to move the bowel and provide a clear view of the pelvic organs.

During the Test

  • You may be asked to change from your clothes into a hospital gown.
  • You will be asked to lie on an exam table.
  • Warm gel is applied to you pelvis which helps to optimize the images.
  • Pictures will be taken while your bladder is full.
  • When the pictures are completed, you will be allowed to empty your bladder.
  • After you empty your bladder, an internal sonogram is done.
    • During this part of the test, you will be asked to help insert a small scanner into your vagina. The exam takes only a few extra minutes and allows us a closer look at the uterus. This is very important because we can often see things internally that we may not yet see through the abdomen. Your doctor knows that this is part of the routine exam.

After the Test

You can resume your regular activity and diet unless you are told not to. You may be asked to wait while the images are reviewed. For questions or concerns, call  814-877-6182.

Test Results

The pictures are reviewed by the radiologist and the results are sent to your doctor. The results cannot be given to you by the sonographer administering the test.