A gynaecological ultrasound or pelvic ultrasound may be requested for various reasons.
Often they are needed for more than one purpose at the same time.
Reasons for a Gynaecological Ultrasound
Information to prepare for your ultrasound
A scan can be performed at any stage of the cycle. If you are menstruating regularly, the best time for an ultrasound is from day 5 to day 11 of the menstrual cycle (counting from the first day of your period) especially if there is bleeding between your periods.
We will also need to know the first day of the last menstrual period, as closely as you can. If you are using a oral contraceptive pill, the stage of the cycle is not important for your ultrasound. However, it is helpful to bring the name of the pill (or bring the packet) to your appointment.
If you are experiencing bleeding all or most of the time, we recommend that you do not delay your ultrasound appointment.
If you are using HRT or vaginal estrogen, do not stop purely for the ultrasound. If anything, they make the ultrasound easier for you.
Gynaecological Ultrasound and your Bladder
For gynaecological ultrasounds, an abdominal ultrasound gives a good overview and water in your bladder can help make the ultrasound clear.
When having a vaginal ultrasound (where a narrow probe is inserted), this is performed after emptying your bladder. It adds useful detail to almost all pelvic scans.
For most gynaecological (pelvic) ultrasounds, we use both approaches. In fact, the angles are often complimentary to each other.
- Read more about what to expect with a Gynaecological Ultrasound.
- Have questions for either pregnancy or gynaecology scans? See our FAQs.
- Have an appointment with us and want to know what to expect? See our patient practical information section.
- Do you need an ultrasound? Make a booking.
- Learn more about the team and QDOS Ultrasound.
- Please feel free to provide us with your feedback.
If you expect you will be having a vaginal ultrasound, two glasses of any liquid is enough to drink, ideally 3/4 of an hour before. You may come without drinking if you have bladder problems.
A vaginal ultrasound sounds awkward, but it is typically a far gentler examination than a pap smear. Once we are familiar with you, we may advise you individually if you do not need to drink at all for further gynaecological ultrasounds at this practice.
If a vaginal ultrasound would not be appropriate, the bladder filling becomes more important for the views through the abdomen. For a gynaecology ultrasound, children, adolescents and women who have never had a pap smear will need to have a full bladder. Usually 3 large glasses of fluid an hour before the appointment is realistic. If the bladder is not full enough, we may require you to wait and fill at the time of the ultrasound. This can take a very long time. For this reason, young girls and adolescents are not booked late in the day.