Mercy Medical Center North Iowa

Pelvic Unltrasound

What is a Pelvic Ultrasound Study?
A pelvic ultrasound is an ultrasound exam of the uterus and ovaries. High frequency sound waves are used to obtain images of structures inside the body. Ultrasound imaging can help the radiologist determine normal and abnormal anatomy within a female pelvis.

Why did the Doctor Order this Exam for Me?
Pelvic pain, abnormal bleeding, palpable masses detected during your pelvic exams, or other menstrual problems are some of the common reasons to undergo a pelvic ultrasound.

What do I need to do to Prepare for the Exam?
A full bladder is needed for this exam. Empty your bladder one hour before your scheduled appointment. Finish drinking 32 ounces of water 45 minutes before the exam. Do not empty your bladder again before the exam.

What Should I Expect when I Arrive?
There are currently two areas where ultrasounds are performed. When your exam is scheduled, the doctor's office will specify if you need to check in at Forest Park Imaging or at Mercy Medical Center - North Iowa's East Campus Radiology/Imaging Services desk.

At that time, your personal and insurance information will be updated. You will need to provide your doctor's written order. Once you are registered, you will be asked to sit in the waiting area. A technologist will call your name and take you to the ultrasound room.

Who will be in the exam room with me?
A registered sonographer will perform the exam in Radiology's lab, which is accredited by the American College of Radiography. There also may be a student from the Radiology School assisting the sonographer.

What will I Experience During the Exam?
The sonographer will ask you some questions regarding your medical history and the problems that you are experiencing. The sonographer will explain the exam to you and make sure all your questions are answered. You will be asked to lie down on your back on a cart. Warm lotion and a transducer (a hand-held device that transmits sound waves) will be rubbed along your pelvis. You will then be asked to empty your bladder in a restroom and a second part of the test, a transvaginal ultrasound, will begin. You will undress from the waist down and put on a gown. You will again lie down on your back, elevating your hips on a sponge and keep your knees bent on the cart. You will be asked to help insert a transducer into your vagina, similar to a pelvic exam you have at your doctor's office. After all the images have been obtained, you will be able to get dresses, The entire exam could take between 30 and 45 minutes.

What do I need to do After the Exam?
Following the pelvic ultrasound, you will be able to resume normal activities.

When will I get the results of the Exam?
You will receive your results from your ordering physician.  You may receive a letter, a phone call, or have a follow up appointment with your physician.  If you are unsure of how you will receive your results, please contact your physician's office.

We are very concerned about any anxiety you may have about your exam. We are happy to answer any questions you may have. If you have questions call 641-428-5122 or 1-800-433-3883, ext. 5122