A pelvic scan is usually requested by a doctor to answer a clinical question.
A pelvic scan may be performed using one or both of two methods:
- Transabdominal (through the abdomen). In an abdominal ultrasound, gel is applied to the abdomen and the ultrasound transducer glides over the gel on the abdomen to create the image.
- Transvaginal (through the vagina). In a transvaginal ultrasound, a long, thin transducer is covered with the conducting gel and a plastic/latex sheath and is inserted into the vagina and rests against the back of the vagina to create an image.
The type of ultrasound procedure performed depends on the reason for the ultrasound. Only one method may be used, or both methods may be needed to provide the information needed for diagnosis or treatment.
The uterus (including the endometrium), ovaries and adnexae are all assessed thoroughly by ultrasound, which will probably include a 3D assessment of the endometrial cavity.
Common indications for gynecological scanning are:
- Abnormal periods (heavy or irregular)
- Investigation of fertility.
- Assessment of fibroids.
- Post-menopausal bleeding.
- Ovarian cysts.
- Pelvic floor anatomy (prolapse).
Apart from the usual 2D scanning, colour Doppler studies can give additional information on the nature of cysts and masses.