Gynaecology Gynaecology

Pelvic Ultrasound Scan

A pelvic ultrasound scan or an ultrasound scan of the pelvis is a non-invasive imaging examination that allows the doctor to see the female pelvic organs including the uterus(1) and the ovaries(2). Abnormalities of the uterus such as uterine fibroid(3), endometrial polyp(4) and uterine malformation(5) can be seen. Ovarian cyst(6) can also be detected on ultrasound scan. Furthermore, ultrasound scan of the ovaries can assist the doctor in assessing the ovarian function. Healthy Fallopian tubes cannot be seen on ultrasound scan. But if the Fallopian tube is blocked and fluid is trapped inside the tube, it becomes distended and can be seen on ultrasound scan as a hydrosalpinx(7).

There are two types of pelvic ultrasound scan:

  1. Transabdominal (through the abdomen): A transducer is placed on the abdomen. This examination requires a full bladder.

  2. Transvaginal (through the vagina): A long, thin transducer is covered with a plastic / latex sheath and is inserted into the vagina. This examination is only suitable for women who have had sexual experience.

The type of ultrasound scan performed depends on the reason for the examination. Sometimes only one type is used, and sometimes both methods are needed to provide adequate information for making a diagnosis.