Pelvic ultrasound may be performed to get detailed images of your cervix, uterus, and ovaries. This exam may be performed either transabdominally (using a probe on your abdomen) or transvaginally (with a probe inserted into your vagina). The most common approach is transvaginally. The transvaginal ultrasound exam is performed by a sonographer (ultrasound technician). There is no prep for this exam. The sonographer will place the probe partially in your vagina. You may feel some pressure but the exam is generally less uncomfortable than a pelvic exam. Images of your pelvis can be viewed on the monitor. The sonographer will explain the images and will document them.
In some instances a transabdominal approach is necessary. This exam is also performed by a sonographer. You will be instructed to arrive for your ultrasound with a full bladder (drink 32-40 ounces of water 1 hour prior to your ultrasound exam and do not empty your bladder. For this exam the probe will be moved across your lower abdomen to obtain images of your pelvis. The exam will take 10-20 minutes and then you may empty your bladder.