Radiology (Xray)

Ultrasound Female Pelvis

Contact: RVI: (0191) 282 4330

What is an ultrasound scan?Show [+]Hide [-]

  • An ultrasound scan is a non-invasive method of producing detailed images of the inside of your body using high frequency sound waves.  The sound waves are at a pitch that is too high to be heard by the human ear.  A computer converts the information into a moving picture that is displayed on a monitor and can be stored electronically.

Why do I need an Ultrasound scan?Show [+]Hide [-]

  • The medical team caring for you need more information about what is happening inside you. They have asked specialists in the radiology department to undertake an ultrasound scan to give a clearer picture of what is going on. This information is often used to decide the best form of treatment.

Who performs the ultrasound scan?Show [+]Hide [-]

  • Your scan will be done by either a radiologist (medical doctor who specialises in interpreting diagnostic imaging) or a sonographer who is trained in ultrasound scanning.  Whoever performs your scan will explain what happens and will show you what to do.

What preparation will I need?Show [+]Hide [-]

  • You may need special preparation.  Please read your appointment letter carefully and follow the instructions it gives.  The success of the examination may well depend on this.
  • Please attend with a full bladder if your appointment letter states this.  If you do not have a full bladder your appointment may be delayed or postponed to another day.  You can go to the toilet as soon as your scan is finished.

I have diabetes. Does this change anything?Show [+]Hide [-]

  • No.  You can eat and drink as normal and take your usual medication.

Will I have to wait long before I am examined?Show [+]Hide [-]

  • We always try to scan you as near to your appointment time as possible.  Emergency cases must take priority however and this can sometimes cause delays.  Please be patient, but feel free to ask one of the staff if you think that you may have been overlooked.

What does the examination involve?Show [+]Hide [-]

  • Your ultrasound scan will be done in a separate examination room where your privacy and dignity will be maintained.  There are two methods that are routinely used to examine the pelvis (ovaries, womb):
  • Transabdominal scan
  • In order to scan using this method you will be required to attend for your examination with a full bladder (please see your appointment letter). 
  • To enable the scan to be performed, gel is applied to the lower part of your abdomen. 
  • An ultrasound probe is gently moved across your lower tummy to obtain images. 
  • In many cases you will not have to undress completely, but will be asked to remove clothing from the area being examined during the scan.
  • Transvaginal scan
  • This is an internal scan (similar to an internal examination that your doctor may perform). 
  • You will be asked to undress from below the waist and will give you a gown to keep you covered throughout the examination.
  • We gently insert a very slim ultrasound probe into the lower part of the vagina (birth canal) in order to obtain very detailed pictures. 
  • Often a combination of both types of examination is used.  If you are asked to attend for a scan with a full bladder, you may still need to have an internal transvaginal scan as well.

How long will the scan take?Show [+]Hide [-]

  • The scan will take between 15 and 20 minutes.

How does it feel?Show [+]Hide [-]

  • Most people do not find this method of examination uncomfortable, but if you have never had an internal examination or smear in the past, please contact the Radiology Department on the relevant number below.  The staff will be happy to deal with any concerns or queries you may have.
  • RVI X-ray Appointments               0191 282 4330 (Monday to Friday 8.30am-5.00pm)
  • Freeman X-ray Appointments     0191 223 1012 (Monday to Friday 8.30am-5.00pm)

What are the benefits of having a pelvis ultrasound scan?Show [+]Hide [-]

  • This examination will help us make the correct diagnosis so that we can give you the correct treatment.

What are the risks of having a pelvis ultrasound?Show [+]Hide [-]

  • Ultrasound is considered to be a harmless method of investigating the body. There are no known side-effects from diagnostic ultrasound scanning.

When will I get the results?Show [+]Hide [-]

  • Normally you can expect to get the results of your scan when you next see the doctor who sent you for the examination.  After your examination, the radiologist or sonographer who performed the scan will study the pictures taken during your examination. Within two days of the ultrasound scan a report is prepared and this is sent to your doctor who asked for the examination.

Can I drive home?Show [+]Hide [-]

  • Yes.

I need an ambulance/ transport. Do you arrange it?Show [+]Hide [-]

  • If you need an ambulance/ transport, you should ask your GP Surgery to arrange it. You will need to give them three working days’ notice.  Please note that hospital transport is provided on medical need only.

What if I have other questions?Show [+]Hide [-]

  • If you have any questions, doubts or worries, just ask.  The radiology staff want to make you feel as relaxed as possible.  This makes the scan easier for you and means that we get better images to aid your diagnosis.  This is a teaching hospital and we sometimes have junior medical staff and trainees in our department.  Trainees and junior staff may be present at the time of your examination.  You can choose to refuse to have this arrangement, please inform the ultrasound staff at the time of your appointment.  This will not affect your care or treatment in any way.

What if I cannot attend for my appointment? Show [+]Hide [-]

  • If your appointment time is not convenient please contact the hospital department so that a more appropriate time can be arranged.  This will enable us to reallocate valuable scanning time to someone else:
  • RVI X-ray Appointments               0191 282 4330 (Monday to Friday 8.30am-5.00pm)
  • Freeman X-ray Appointments     0191 223 1012 (Monday to Friday 8.30am-5.00pm)

What if I have any comments, suggestions or complaints?Show [+]Hide [-]

  • Should you have any suggestions or concerns, please make these known to the person conducting your examination or by letter addressed to the hospital that you are attending your examination:
  • The Departmental Manager, X-ray Department, Level 3, Royal Victoria Infirmary, Queen Victoria Road, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 4LP
  • The Departmental Manager, Main X-ray Department, Freeman Hospital, High Heaton, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE7 7DN
  • Tel: 0191 282 1099
  • Monday to Friday 8.30am to 5.00pm
  • All Newcastle Hospitals: Switchboard tel: 0191 233 6161 (24 hours)
  • The Patient Advice and Liaison Service (PALS) can offer on-the-spot advice and information about the NHS. You can contact them on freephone 0800 032 02 02 or email
  • Information produced by Mr Brian Allan, Regional Ultrasound Manager

Diagnostic Imaging DatasetShow [+]Hide [-]

  • Information from your diagnostic test will contribute to the Diagnostic Imaging Dataset. 
  • The Diagnostic Imaging Dataset (DID) is a database that holds information on the imaging tests and scans carried out on NHS patients. This will allow the Health and Social Care Information Centre to see how different tests are used across the country.
  • Nothing will ever be reported that identifies you.  All information is stored securely. It is only made available to appropriate staff, and is kept strictly confidential. However, if you do not want your information to be stored in the DID, please tell the people who are treating you. They will make sure your information is not copied into the DID.
  • You may, at a later date, still decide to opt out.  Please contact the Health and Social Care Information Centre directly, their contact details are:
  • Telephone: 0845 300 6016 
  • Email: 
  • Website:
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