Ultrasound in Women


Ultrasound exams are done in doctor's offices or hospital by a doctor or a specially trained technician. Most ultrasound exams will require very little of your time. In some cases, though, a special exam may take longer.

To prepare for an ultrasound exam, wear comfortable clothes. In some cases you may be asked to wear a hospital gown. If vaginal ultrasound is to be used, you may be asked to remove your clothes from your waist down.

A full bladder may be needed for some exams. This will require drinking several glasses of water 1 hour before the exam and not urinating until after the procedure. A full bladder helps to locate and view the pelvic organs. Usually then only discomfort patients feel is that of a full bladder.

For most ultrasound exams, the patient lies on the table with her abdomen exposed from the lower part of the ribs to the hips. Mineral oil or a liquid gel is applied to the surface of the abdomen to improve contact of the transducer with the skin surface. The transducer is then moved along the transducer enter the body and are reflected back when they come into a contact with the organs and, during the pregnancy, the fetus.

When vaginal ultrasound is used, a condom ("rubber") is place over a transducer specially designed to be placed in the vagina. The transducer is then inserted, and the sound waves are directed towards the pelvic structures. A full bladder is often not needed for these exams.

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