Female Pelvic Ultrasound

What is Female Pelvic Ultrasound?

Female pelvic ultrasound uses sound waves to image internal organs and tissues in the pelvic region of the female anatomy. Diagnostic purposes of female pelvic ultrasound include:

  • Examining the reproductive organs.
  • Identifying the origin of symptoms such as pelvic pain from an unknown source, abnormal bleeding, or menstrual problems.
  • Detecting ovarian or uterine tumors or cancers.

Most patients find a female pelvic ultrasound exam to be painless and comfortable. The exam should take approximately 20 minutes. The exam is performed using an ultrasound probe, also called a transducer, a device that both emits and receives sound waves. It is attached to the ultrasound device.

To help the transducer make better contact with the patient’s skin, a clear gel is applied in the area to be examined. Based on reflected sound wave patterns, the ultrasound device generates and records images of the inside of the pelvic region as the technologist moves the transducer over the skin. The images, and sometimes motion video, are recorded so that a physician can read them and make a diagnostic interpretation.

Learn more

RadiologyInfo, a website maintained jointly by the American College of Radiology and the Radiological Society of North America, includes a wealth of information, written with patients in mind, about pelvic ultrasound and its various diagnostic applications.