Why would a woman need an ultrasound
By Anna Nowogrodzki. Early pregnancy can feel unreal. So the first ultrasound picture can feel momentous: Finally, your whirring brain can be placated with direct proof. For this guide, I interviewed two obstetricians who specialize in ultrasounds — and a radiologist whose observation led to a diagnostic breakthrough — to find out what you need to know about prenatal ultrasounds.SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: Uterine Fibroids Focused Ultrasound Video - Brigham and Women's Hospital
SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: 4D Transperineal Ultrasound of the Female Pelvic FloorContent:
Why do women seek ultrasound scans from commercial providers during pregnancy?
A pelvic ultrasound is a noninvasive diagnostic exam that produces images that are used to assess organs and structures within the female pelvis. A pelvic ultrasound allows quick visualization of the female pelvic organs and structures including the uterus, cervix, vagina, fallopian tubes and ovaries.
Ultrasound uses a transducer that sends out ultrasound waves at a frequency too high to be heard. The ultrasound transducer is placed on the skin, and the ultrasound waves move through the body to the organs and structures within. The sound waves bounce off the organs like an echo and return to the transducer. The transducer processes the reflected waves, which are then converted by a computer into an image of the organs or tissues being examined. The sound waves travel at different speeds depending on the type of tissue encountered - fastest through bone tissue and slowest through air.
The speed at which the sound waves are returned to the transducer, as well as how much of the sound wave returns, is translated by the transducer as different types of tissue. An ultrasound gel is placed on the transducer and the skin to allow for smooth movement of the transducer over the skin and to eliminate air between the skin and the transducer for the best sound conduction. Another type of ultrasound is Doppler ultrasound, sometimes called a duplex study, used to show the speed and direction of blood flow in certain pelvic organs.
Unlike a standard ultrasound, some sound waves during the Doppler exam are audible. Transabdominal through the abdomen. A transducer is placed on the abdomen using the conductive gel. Transvaginal through the vagina.
The type of ultrasound procedure performed depends on the reason for the ultrasound. Only one method may be used, or both methods may be needed to provide the information needed for diagnosis or treatment. Other related procedures that may be used to evaluate problems of the pelvis include hysteroscopy , colposcopy , and laparoscopy.
Uterus also known as the womb. The uterus is a hollow, pear-shaped organ located in a woman's lower abdomen, between the bladder and the rectum. It sheds its lining each month during menstruation, unless a fertilized egg ovum becomes implanted and pregnancy follows. Two female reproductive organs located in the pelvis in which egg cells ova develop and are stored and where the female sex hormones estrogen and progesterone are produced. The lower, narrow part of the uterus located between the bladder and the rectum, forming a canal that opens into the vagina, which leads to the outside of the body.
Vagina also known as the birth canal. The passageway through which fluid passes out of the body during menstrual periods.
The vagina connects the cervix and the vulva the external genitalia. Pelvic ultrasound may be used for measurement and evaluation of female pelvic organs. Ultrasound assessment of the pelvis may include, but is not limited to, the following:. Thickness, echogenicity darkness or lightness of the image related to the density of the tissue , and presence of fluids or masses in the endometrium, myometrium uterine muscle tissue , fallopian tubes, or in or near the bladder.
Pelvic ultrasound can provide much information about the size, location, and structure of pelvic masses, but cannot provide a definite diagnosis of cancer or specific disease. A pelvic ultrasound may be used to diagnose and assist in the treatment of the following conditions:. Fibroid tumors benign growths , masses, cysts, and other types of tumors within the pelvis. Presence and position of an intrauterine contraceptive device IUD. Pelvic inflammatory disease PID and other types of inflammation or infection.
Aspiration of follicle fluid and eggs from ovaries for in vitro fertilization. Ectopic pregnancy pregnancy occurring outside of the uterus, usually in the fallopian tube. Ultrasound may also be used to assist with other procedures such as endometrial biopsy. Transvaginal ultrasound may be used with sonohysterography, a procedure in which the uterus is filled with fluid to distend it for better imaging.
There is no radiation used and generally no discomfort from the application of the ultrasound transducer to the skin during a transabdominal ultrasound. You may experience slight discomfort with the insertion of the transvaginal transducer into the vagina. Transvaginal ultrasound requires covering the ultrasound transducer in a plastic or latex sheath, which may cause a reaction in patients with a latex allergy.
During a transabdominal ultrasound, you may experience discomfort from having a full bladder or lying on the examination table. If a transabdominal ultrasound is needed quickly, a urinary catheter may be inserted to fill the bladder.
There may be risks depending on your specific medical condition. Be sure to discuss any concerns with your doctor prior to the procedure. Certain factors or conditions may interfere with the results of the test. These include, but are not limited to, the following:. Barium within the intestines from a recent barium procedure.
Intestinal gas. Inadequate filling of bladder with transabdominal ultrasound. A full bladder helps move the uterus up and moves the bowel away for better imaging. Do not empty your bladder until after the exam. Generally, no fasting or sedation is required for a pelvic ultrasound, unless the ultrasound is part of another procedure that requires anesthesia.
Your doctor will explain the procedure to you and offer you the opportunity to ask any questions that you might have about the procedure.
You will be asked to remove any clothing, jewelry, or other objects that may interfere with the scan. The transducer will be pressed against the skin and moved around over the area being studied. If blood flow is being assessed, you may hear a "whoosh, whoosh" sound when the Doppler probe is used. Images of structures will be displayed on the computer screen. Images will be recorded on various media for the health care record. You will lie on an examination table, with your feet and legs supported as for a pelvic examination.
A long, thin transvaginal transducer will be covered with a plastic or latex sheath and lubricated. The tip of the transducer will be inserted into your vagina. This may be slightly uncomfortable.
The transducer will be gently turned and angled to bring the areas for study into focus. You may feel mild pressure as the transducer is moved. Images of organs and structures will be displayed on the computer screen. Images may be recorded on various media for the health care record. There is no special type of care required after a pelvic ultrasound. You may resume your normal diet and activity unless your doctor advises you differently. There are no confirmed adverse biological effects on patients or instrument operators caused by exposures to ultrasound at the intensity levels used in a diagnostic ultrasound.
Your doctor may give you additional or alternate instructions after the procedure, depending on your particular situation. Skip Navigation. Health Home Treatments, Tests and Therapies. Ultrasound-Pelvis, Pelvic Ultrasonography, Pelvic Sonography, Pelvic Scan, Lower Abdomen Ultrasound, Gynecologic Ultrasound, Transabdominal Ultrasound, Transvaginal Ultrasound, Endovaginal Ultrasound A pelvic ultrasound is a noninvasive diagnostic exam that produces images that are used to assess organs and structures within the female pelvis.
Pelvic ultrasound may be performed using one or both of 2 methods: Transabdominal through the abdomen. A transducer is placed on the abdomen using the conductive gel Transvaginal through the vagina. What are female pelvic organs? The organs and structures of the female pelvis are: Endometrium. The lining of the uterus Uterus also known as the womb. The external portion of the female genital organs What are the reasons for a pelvic ultrasound?
Ultrasound assessment of the pelvis may include, but is not limited to, the following: Size, shape, and position of the uterus and ovaries Thickness, echogenicity darkness or lightness of the image related to the density of the tissue , and presence of fluids or masses in the endometrium, myometrium uterine muscle tissue , fallopian tubes, or in or near the bladder Length and thickness of the cervix Changes in bladder shape Blood flow through pelvic organs Pelvic ultrasound can provide much information about the size, location, and structure of pelvic masses, but cannot provide a definite diagnosis of cancer or specific disease.
A pelvic ultrasound may be used to diagnose and assist in the treatment of the following conditions: Abnormalities in the anatomic structure of the uterus, including endometrial conditions Fibroid tumors benign growths , masses, cysts, and other types of tumors within the pelvis Presence and position of an intrauterine contraceptive device IUD Pelvic inflammatory disease PID and other types of inflammation or infection Postmenopausal bleeding Monitoring of ovarian follicle size for infertility evaluation Aspiration of follicle fluid and eggs from ovaries for in vitro fertilization Ectopic pregnancy pregnancy occurring outside of the uterus, usually in the fallopian tube Monitoring fetal development during pregnancy Assessing certain fetal conditions Ultrasound may also be used to assist with other procedures such as endometrial biopsy.
There may be other reasons for your doctor to recommend a pelvic ultrasound. What are the risks of a pelvic ultrasound? These include, but are not limited to, the following: Severe obesity Barium within the intestines from a recent barium procedure Intestinal gas Inadequate filling of bladder with transabdominal ultrasound.
How do I prepare for a pelvic ultrasound? For a transvaginal ultrasound, you should empty your bladder right before the procedure. Based on your medical condition, your doctor may request other specific preparation. What happens during a pelvic ultrasound?
Generally, a pelvic ultrasound follows this process:. For a transabdominal ultrasound You will be asked to remove any clothing, jewelry, or other objects that may interfere with the scan. If asked to remove clothing, you will be given a gown to wear. You will lie on your back on an examination table. A gel-like substance will be applied to your abdomen. Once the procedure has been completed, the gel will be removed. You may empty your bladder when the procedure is completed.
For a transvaginal ultrasound You will be asked to remove any clothing, jewelry, or other objects that may interfere with the scan. Once the procedure has been completed, the transducer will be removed. What happens after a pelvic ultrasound?
Pregnancy without ultrasound? Pros and cons
Back to Health A to Z. An ultrasound scan, sometimes called a sonogram, is a procedure that uses high-frequency sound waves to create an image of part of the inside of the body. You can't hear these sound waves, but when they bounce off different parts of the body, they create "echoes" that are picked up by the probe and turned into a moving image. Before having some types of ultrasound scan, you may be asked to follow certain instructions to help improve the quality of the images produced.
A pelvic ultrasound is a noninvasive diagnostic exam that produces images that are used to assess organs and structures within the female pelvis. A pelvic ultrasound allows quick visualization of the female pelvic organs and structures including the uterus, cervix, vagina, fallopian tubes and ovaries. Ultrasound uses a transducer that sends out ultrasound waves at a frequency too high to be heard. The ultrasound transducer is placed on the skin, and the ultrasound waves move through the body to the organs and structures within. The sound waves bounce off the organs like an echo and return to the transducer.
What Is a Transvaginal Ultrasound?
Victorian government portal for older people, with information about government and community services and programs. Type a minimum of three characters then press UP or DOWN on the keyboard to navigate the autocompleted search results. Other names for an ultrasound scan include sonogram or when imaging the heart an echocardiogram. The ultrasound machine directs high-frequency sound waves at the internal body structures being examined. The reflected sounds, or echoes, are recorded to create an image that can be seen on a monitor. The sound waves are emitted and received from a small, hand-held probe. The high frequency of the sound means the human ear cannot hear it — which is why it is called ultrasound. An ultrasound scan is usually non-invasive done from outside the body.
Your doctor may request the test to diagnose unexplained pain, swelling, or infections in your pelvis, which is the space between your hip bones that contains the large triangle-shaped bone at the bottom of your spine sacrum , your tailbone, bladder, sex organs and rectum the final portion of your large intestine that connects to your anus. A pelvic ultrasound is the best test to examine a growth in your pelvis. It helps your doctor determine if the growth is a fluid-filled cyst, a solid tumor, or another kind of lump. A pelvic ultrasound is a safe procedure that can be slightly uncomfortable. The test is performed on men and women of all ages.
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This is a review of orthorexia and its health effects. Orthorexia nervosa is an eating disorder that involves a harmful obsession with healthy eating. Reducing carbohydrates in the diet is a great way to lose weight and improve health. This page explains how many carbs you should aim for each day.SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: Why do I need an ultrasound?
Atlantic Medical Imaging offers many different types of ultrasound at our practices throughout New Jersey. We provide a brief overview of various types of ultrasounds below. An abdominal ultrasound is a useful way of examining internal organs, including the liver, gallbladder, spleen, pancreas, kidneys, and bladder. This can help to diagnose a variety of conditions and to assess the damage caused by illness. Because it provides real-time images, ultrasound can also be used to:.
Pregnant Women Get More Ultrasounds, Without Clear Medical Need
Diagnostic ultrasound, also called sonography or diagnostic medical sonography, is an imaging method that uses high-frequency sound waves to produce images of structures within your body. The images can provide valuable information for diagnosing and treating a variety of diseases and conditions. Most ultrasound examinations are done using an ultrasound device outside your body, though some involve placing a device inside your body. Diagnostic ultrasound is a safe procedure that uses low-power sound waves. There are no known risks.
The commercial availability of ultrasound scans for pregnant women has been controversial yet little is known about why women make use of such services. This article reports on semi-structured interviews with women in the UK who have booked a commercial scan, focusing on the reasons women gave for booking commercially provided ultrasound during a low-risk pregnancy. Participants' reasons for booking a scan are presented in five categories: finding out the sex of the foetus; reassurance; seeing the baby; acquiring keepsakes and facilitating bonding. Our analysis demonstrates that women's reasons for booking commercial scans are often multiple and are shaped by experiences of antenatal care as well as powerful cultural discourses related to 'good' parenting and the use of technology in pregnancy.
Request an Appointment. Refer a Patient. A pelvic ultrasound is a test doctors use to see the organs inside your pelvis. Pelvic ultrasounds help your doctor or health care provider make sure your reproductive organs are healthy.
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