Listen Up, Ladies: Why You Need A Pelvic Ultrasound
Okay, girlies, we know caring about your health - is like - so last generation, but prolonging preventative tests can lead to two extremes: not making a doctor's appointment until your mom absolutely insists you go or stress-reading every article on WebMD until you're convinced you have a rare blood disease. We don't want you to have to be at either of those points. Even if you are a self-proclaimed pom mom (pomeranian mom) and you vow never to have children, you still need to get a pelvic ultrasound. Pelvic ultrasounds can detect cysts, tumors and a multitude of other abnormalities.
Okay, so what is it really?
Most exams for the female organs are uncomfortable for most women, however, pelvic ultrasounds are usually noninvasive diagnostic exams that don't require all the uncomfortable vulnerability like other exams. It's used to get a clearer image and assessment of the female organs and structures like the uterus, cervix, vagina, fallopian tubes and ovaries. It's most popularly used during pregnancies, but that isn't the only time doctors recommend you get a check up.
What goes on?
Ultrasound gel is placed on the lower abdomen and then a small transducer is used to send sounds waves through the body to produce an image. (How do sounds waves create visual pictures? Well, that's a little more in depth than what we're getting into.)
What's the point?
In general, this diagnostic technique is used to assess, measure, and evaluate the health condition of lady parts, but there are more specific reasons and assessments like:
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
Why do these assessments matter?
Well, according to John Hopkins Medicine, these measurements and diagnostic images can be used to assist in 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
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
Why should you get one?
It's important to get pelvic ultrasounds regularly because some of the symptoms and characteristics that can be found through imaging aren't necessarily recognizable without the images. These diagnostic and preventative measures can detect cancerous growths, inflammation, infertility, and fetal conditions early enough to prevent even more serious medical problems.
Pelvic ultrasounds aren't just for post-menopausal women, it's actually relatively common for young women (20-30) to get ovarian cysts. You don't need annual pelvic ultrasounds, but it's a good idea to get them if anything is feeling off. We know adulting is hard stuff but making an appointment isn't. Carlsbad Open MRI is fully equipped to give you a pelvic ultrasound and meet any of your other imaging needs.