A gynaecologist or urologist cannot immediately make a diagnosis from the first examination. The cause of the disease can only be correctly determined after experts take additional data. Therefore ultrasound is often prescribed to patients for proper diagnosis.
However, doctors do not always tell patients how to prepare for a pelvic ultrasound.
When is an ultrasound of the pelvic floor needed?
This type of examination is recommended both for preventive research and also for clarification of conditions related to the ovaries, uterus, cervix, prostate and testes. During the procedure, the doctor will assess the condition of the bladder and indirectly, the intestines.
Ultrasound is a safe procedure during pregnancy as it helps you to regularly monitor the condition of the baby as well as the health of the mother. However, this is a separate specialized type of screening.
How does the procedure work?
Depending on the part of the body that is being examined, pelvic ultrasound is divided into three categories namely:
- Transabdominal: This is where the patient’s abdomen is covered with a special gel, and the doctor drives a sensor on the examined area of the abdomen. The patient at this time lies on his back, at the request of the doctor sometimes turns on his side, holds his breath or strains the stomach.
- Transvaginal: It involves inserting the sensor through the vagina. This method is used for a more thorough research of pelvic organs. It is often combined with trans-abdominal access.
- Transrectal: Here the sensor is inserted into the rectum, while the patient is lying on his side. It is used for examination of the prostate gland.
These examinations are painless and can also cause little discomfort. Ultrasound lasts not more than 10-15 minutes as the results are issued immediately. As a rule during ultrasound, the doctor will take a picture of the affected region as this will assist in providing correct diagnosis and prescribing the right treatment.
How to prepare for an ultrasound of the pelvic floor?
Preparing for transabdominal research
The intestine are located next to the region to be examined and for this reason, one has to take a special diet. Poor nutrition can alter the results. Two days prior to the procedure, you should not consume:
- Raw vegetables and fruits
- Dairy products
- Yeast dough and black bread
- Fatty meat
You should also eat moderately and in small portions.
Do not take any medication before consulting a doctor. If there is need, the doctor can prescribe an enema or laxative which will prevent the formation of gas or taking several tablets of activated charcoal.
An hour prior to the procedure, you should drink a few glasses of water so that the bladder can be full and ensure you maintain high standrads of hygiene.
Carry any previous ultrasound results or information about dianoses.
Preparing women for pelvic ultrasound
For transviganal examination, it is not a must to follow a special diet, but when the intestine is full, it might interfere with the results. Therefore, light eating and bowel cleansing is necessary and the bladder should be empty.
Often, the women’s examination is done both transvaginally and trans-abdominally in one session. For this reason, one should prepare for the trans-abdominal, then once it ends, you should go to the toilet even if it will mean interrupting the procedure.
For examinations of the uterus and ovaries, it is best to do the between 5-9 days of the cycle as this is when the organs will be seen best. If you are under hormonal contraception, notify your doctor.
Men’s preparation for pelvic ultrasound
Men can either be examined either transracially or via the abdominal wall hence it is important to maintain a healthy diet and cleanse the intestines before the examination. You will require two cleansing enemas, one should be taken a day before and the other one on the day of the study.
Ensure that you drink two glasses of water one and a half hours before you are examined. This is because this examination is only carried out if the bladder is full. However, if you are sure that you wont undergo a trans-abdominal ultrasound, then a special diet is not necessary. Nevertheless, it is still ideal that you prepare for the full procedure.