What Does a Gynecological Ultrasound Show?

Posted On: July 22, 2020 By Ana Monteagudo, MD

Sometimes, a pelvic ultrasound can be a beneficial part of your gynecological care. Although most people think of ultrasounds in terms of pregnancy, they can be used to accurately assess and diagnose many different things in your pelvic area even if you’re not pregnant. Here’s what to know about gynecological ultrasound and what to expect if your gynecologist recommends one. 

What is a pelvic ultrasound? 

Pelvic ultrasounds use sound waves to map out the organs inside your pelvis in a visual format. It can be used to view areas like the uterus, bladder, vagina, cervix, fallopian tubes, and ovaries to check for abnormalities. Pelvic ultrasounds can be performed either externally (with a handpiece placed on the stomach) or internally (with a handpiece inserted in the vagina). Each type comes with benefits and your gynecologist can recommend the right one based on your circumstances. 

Why would I need a gynecological ultrasound? 

Ultrasounds usually go hand-in-hand with your gynecological care. There are a wide variety of uses for gynecological ultrasounds, including: 

  • Looking at anatomical problems with your pelvic organs 
  • Checking for cancerous or non-cancerous growths 
  • Evaluating fertility problems 
  • Checking for causes of abnormal bleeding or pain 
  • Monitoring pregnancies 
  • Assessing ectopic pregnancies 
  • Checking an IUD (intrauterine device) 

How do I prepare for a gynecological ultrasound? 

You’ll need to follow some steps to make sure you’re prepared for your ultrasound. Based on whether your ultrasound will be internal or external, you’ll receive some instructions to follow. For example, if you’re having a transabdominal (external) ultrasound, your bladder should be full. This means you’ll need to drink lots of water before your appointment. If you’re having a transvaginal (internal) ultrasound, your bladder should be empty. You should make sure to show up to your appointment wearing loose, comfortable clothing that can be easily removed. 

What should I expect after my ultrasound? 

After we have your ultrasound results, you’ll discuss them with your gynecologist. These results can be helpful in determining your next steps in your treatment process or even to rule out certain factors in your diagnosis. There are some further testing options that can be used for a more in-depth look at any concerns you might have based on your ultrasound results, so your gynecologist will determine your next best steps. 

Schedule an Appointment 

Gynecological ultrasounds can be an effective part of your treatment plan. To meet with our award-winning team of gynecologists and learn more about your options, we invite you to contact our New York City office by calling or filling out our online form. 

Carnegie Imaging for Women blogs are intended for educational purposes only and do not replace certified professional care. Medical conditions vary and change frequently. Please ask your doctor any questions you may have regarding your condition to receive a proper diagnosis or risk analysis. Thank you!

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