Ultrasound has proven to be an important diagnostic tool in evaluating the gynecologic patient. With improved technology, ultrasound plays an integral role in evaluating the female pelvis. The size, location, contour, vascularity, and physiologic state of pelvic organs are easily obtained using ultrasound and it complements the clinical evaluation. A healthcare provider may request a pelvic ultrasound for pelvic pain, irregular bleeding, lack of periods, infertility or to evaluate a mass felt on the physical exam.
It is optimal to perform both transabdominal (ultrasound performed by placing the transducer on the skin of the lower abdomen) and transvaginal (ultrasound performed by placing a cylinder-shaped transducer into the vagina), unless either procedure is contraindicated. The transabdominal technique is contraindicated or limited with patients who are unable to fill their urinary bladders, obese patients, patients with a retroverted uterus, and patients with pelvic masses lying behind the uterus. The transabdominal approach requires the urinary bladder to be adequately filled. Drinking 32 ounces of fluid one hour before the exam is usually sufficient to fill the bladder. The full bladder displaces bowel and becomes an acoustic window to view pelvic organs and pathology. Information is obtained of the cervix, uterus and ovaries. Transvaginal ultrasound adds information and is often the preferred method of evaluation. Transvaginal scanning is a routine procedure. Transvaginal scanning is exempt in patients who have not been sexually active.
Frequently Asked Questions about GYN Ultrasound
Why do I need to fill my bladder for a Pelvic ultrasound exam?
A full bladder is the “window to the womb” and helps visualization of the lower uterine segment and cervix.
How much and what do I need to drink to fill my bladder?
We recommend drinking 24 ounces, finishing 45 minutes before your appointment. You can drink any kind of clear liquid, including pop, tea, juice or water. No milk products, as they do not fill the bladder.
What is a vaginal ultrasound?
A vaginal ultrasound uses a transducer that is cylinder in shape which is inserted into the vagina. This allows additional views of the uterus, endometium and ovaries.
How do I schedule my ultrasound appointment at Sound Health Imaging?
You have a choice where your ultrasound is done. Tell your healthcare provider that you would like to have your ultrasound scheduled at Sound Health Imaging. Or you can call our office and make your ultrasound appointment and then bring your Doctor’s order with you at the time of exam.
Are you a network provider for Blue Cross and Blue Shield and New West Insurance companies?
Yes, we are premium providers for both Blue Cross and New West and bill all major insurances including Medicaid and Medicare.
Is the Radiologist who reads the exam a network provider?
Sound Health Imaging contracts with Capital Radiology to interpret the ultrasound exams. We pay the radiologist for the interpretation, so the patient does not get a second bill from interpreting physician.
How long does it take for my doctor to get the results of my exam?
Our goal is for your referring health care provider to receive the Ultrasound report the next business day following your appointment.