Pelvic Ultrasound

Pelvic Ultrasound

preg4Many of my female followers have probably already had a pelvic ultrasound (US), this week I had another one. I thought it would be a good idea to introduce/refresh about this test. It had been years since my last, in my case this was done to follow a medical condition. If you have ever had a pregnancy, you are familiar with this safe (no radiation exposure) and painless procedure. This simple investigative tool is used to exam other parts of the body, including the heart, blood vessels, liver to name a few

How It works: sound waves are bounced off our internal organs – ‘pelvic US’ – ovaries, uterus and bladder – showing not only shape, size but how blood flows to the organs. No menstrual flow can be occurring for this test.

Actual Test: There is no restriction to eating or drinking but you are told to drink at least two 8 oz glasses of water one hour before test. You must hold your urine, no bathroom stop on way into the sonographer’s room. The full bladder moves female organs into view and provides a solid contrast image.

A clear warm gel will be applied to your abdomen, then a slight pressure as the ‘transducer’ (a microphone like small long device) as is applied to your abdomen especially the lower.

Dependent on why the test was ordered the transducer may be covered with a plastic sleeve and placed 2″ – 3″ into your vagina during the exam. As you can reason this offers a view, a different angle that can assist in making or identifying a problem.

Typical time for this study is about 30 minutes, mine took 22 minutes and included the vaginal viewing.

FYI: Sonography technicians train for 16 – 20 months and are supervised by the radiologists (medical imaging physician). There are many training programs but not all however accredited by the Commission on Accreditation for Allied Health Education Programs. There are many certifying organizations; those that pass the American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography can use RDMS after their name. Several states require licensure after completion of an examination. There are over 50,000 in the US (Bureau of Labor Statistics). As always whenever someone is involved with your well-being speak up if you feel any aspect of your exam is not ‘right’!

Cervical Cancer Screening – Simple Facts

Cervical Cancer Screening – Simple Facts

A painless quick PAP test (named after the human papillomavirus-HPV) can detect abnormal tissue, HPV infection that can pelvic examlead to cervical cancer. High risks for developing abnormal cervical tissue or cervical cancer include: intercourse at an early age, multiple partners, history of the sexually transmitted diseases (STD)- genital warts (caused by HPV virus) or herpes, HIV injection or immune deficiency (ex. transplant recipient). Also smoking has been associated wither casual or directly with abnormal cervical tissue. As always you need to be totally honest with your health care provider most especially as regards your sexual history.

Generally speaking women age 21 – 29 should have a Pap test every 3 years, thereafter till age 65 every 5 years. After age 65 you can stop having a Pap test!

As in too many medical procedural tests a false positive or false-negative are possible. To decrease odds follow these simple steps: no douching, use vaginal medication, spermicide or lubrication for 3 days before the test.

If your report reveals abnormalities ask for details the specifics and the significance. Cell abnormalities can be from the outer or the inner cervix or they can contain changes of ‘low or ‘high’ grade signifying “precancer” or the test result might show cancer cells. It might not be a simple positive or negative.