Pelvic/Obstetrical Ultrasound 

A pelvic or obstetrical ultrasound is a diagnostic test using sound waves to check the organs in the low abdomen.

The Procedure:

Gel will be applied to your pelvic area by the technologist. A small instrument will be moved across your skin. Silent sound waves pass through the body's organs, and echoes are shown as a picture on film. Tissue, blood, bone, and fluid all produce different echoes.
Ultrasound is not radiation like x-rays are. Ultrasound has been used for medical testing since the 1960's and has shown no harmful effects to patients or their unborn babies.

Outpatient - Preparing for your Obstetrical/Pelvic Ultrasound 

During your ultrasound, the technologist will be scanning all of your pelvic and lower abdominal anatomy including, if you are pregnant, your unborn child's growth. Obtaining a good test for you and your doctor is our priority. For that reason, proper preparation is needed. A full bladder is needed for your test, as this helps the sound waves and allows for better viewing of the pelvic organs and/or of your growing baby. For your test, we ask that:

  1. You eat a light meal until one hour before your exam.
  2. One hour prior to your test, drink 32 oz. of fluid within a 10-minute time frame. No carbonated beverages (pop or beer), or milk.
  3. During the next 45 minutes, your bladder will begin to fill. DO NOT GO TO THE RESTROOM (urinate).

Inpatient Prep

Drink 32-40 oz. of water within a 10 minute time frame 1 hour prior to test. DO NOT VOID.

If you are unable to drink fluids:

  • You will need to have a Foley catheter inserted to fill your bladder.
  • or, you will need to have your IV fluids increased to fill your bladder (this may take several hours). DO NOT VOID

For Your Information

  1. This test will not hurt you or your baby.
  2. You may be asked to change into a hospital gown.
  3. Relax and follow the directions given to you by the Medical Imaging staff.
  4. For an obstetrical (OB) ultrasound, a limited number of family members may be in the test room.
  5. You will be allowed to leave the Medical Imaging Department when the test is finished.
  6. The Radiologist (x-ray doctor) will "read" the x-rays and give the results to your doctor in 2-3 days. Your doctor will talk to you about the results of this test; feel free to ask the doctor if you have any questions.

If you have any questions, please call 419-394-3335 ext. 3550 for assistance.

Grand Lake Health System
200 St. Clair Street, St. Marys,
Ohio 45885-2400
| 1-419-394-3335 | 1-877-564-6897