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USG pelvis: Purpose, Procedure, Risks and Results

USG refers to Ultrasound Sonography Test which is a diagnostic procedure used to scan the internal organs of the body by using high-frequency sound waves. USG pelvis refers to a pelvic ultrasound that is used to take pictures of the inside of the pelvis. This ultrasound is suggested to detect a particular disease or even to analyse the health of the baby in the womb of a pregnant woman. A USG pelvis is also known by several other names such as gynecologic ultrasound, pelvic scan, pelvic sonography, transrectal ultrasound, etc. 

USG Pelvis produces pictures of the internal structures and organs of the area by using high-frequency sound waves. To conduct a USG Pelvis, a small probe known as transducer and gel is applied on the skin directly, to allow the high-frequency sound waves from the transducer to travel from the probe into the skin to produce the real-time images of the area, as well as the movement of the organs and blood flow in the blood vessels. Unlike X-rays, ultrasounds do not use radiation. In some cases, the doctors might use Doppler ultrasound technique, which is a specialised ultrasound technique used to determine the movement of materials such as blood flow through arteries and veins.

Purpose of USG Pelvis

USG pelvis is a pain-free, non-invasive diagnostic test that is used to examine critical organs in both men and women. 

Particularly in women, a USG pelvis is used to study the:

· Cervix

· Fallopian tubes

· Uterus

· Ovaries

· Vagina

· Bladder

In men, a USG pelvis is used to study the:

· Bladder

· Prostate gland

· Seminal glands

Importance of USG Pelvis

A USG Pelvis may be recommended to detect for certain health conditions or in other cases, to assess the health and growth of an embryo or fetus. 

A USG Pelvis in women is recommended to diagnose any of the following:

· Structural problems in the uterus and ovaries

· For ovarian, uterus or bladder cancer

· For intrauterine device (IUD)

· Abnormal growth such as tumours, fibroids and cysts

· Cause of abnormal vaginal bleeding

· For other menstrual problems

· Fertility problems

· Baby’s growth during pregnancy

· For infection in uterus, ovaries or fallopian tubes

· For ectopic pregnancy

· For any tissue samples to be used for biopsy

A USG Pelvis in men is recommended to diagnose any of the following:

· Problems of the bladder, prostate gland and seminal vesicles

· Tumours or stones in the bladder

The procedure of USG Pelvis

For a USG Pelvis that is transabdominal, the bladder of the patient must be full; hence, before one hour of the procedure, the patient must drink about 4-6 glasses of water or any other clear fluid. This is important because a full bladder makes the organ more clearly visible in the ultrasound imaging. On the other hand, for a transvaginal ultrasound, the bladder should be empty before the procedure; hence, the patient must visit the washroom immediately before the test. 

A USG Pelvis is done by a device known as a transducer which transmits high-frequency sound waves that bounce off the organs and tissues, echoing back to the transducer. These echoed sound waves are converted into pictures which are displayed on the monitor for better understanding of the inside of the organs.

A USG Pelvis can be performed in any of the three ways:

Transabdominal: This involves getting the pictures of the organs through the abdomen by placing the transducer on the abdomen and using the gel to see inside

Transvaginal: This method involves inserting a flexible, long and thin transducer covered with gel, as well as latex sheath – into the vagina to assess the internal organs.

Transrectal: This method involves inserting a covered transducer inside the rectum to get insider pictures of the concerned organs.

Result of USG Pelvis

After the test, a radiologist will scan the images and prepare a report. The doctor will analyse the report and check for any problems, diseases of the pelvic organs or analyse the health of the unborn baby.

The results of the test are then explained to the patient and further course of treatment (if required) is suggested. 

In case, the doctor feels the USG Pelvis has not provided clear results, a few other tests might be recommended to check the health of pelvic organs. These will include:

  • Hysteroscopy: In this test, a light device is inserted into the vagina and the uterus to detect for any problems on the uterus.
  • Laparoscopy: In this test, a lighted tube is inserted through the abdominal walls to provide a clear picture of the pelvic organs.

Risks of USG Pelvis

A USG Pelvis is a very safe and non-invasive diagnostic test. Unlike an ultrasound, this technique of text does not use radiation; hence, it is relatively even safer. That said, transvaginal and transrectal ultrasound can feel slightly discomforting when the transducer is inserted but the feeling is temporary and fades away very soon.

Overall, a USG Pelvis is a very safe and highly efficient test that is used to diagnose any problems in the pelvic organs or to check on the health and growth of the unborn baby.

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