Pelvic ultrasound

Pelvic ultrasound

This information explains what you can expect if you are having an pelvic ultrasound examination at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital. If you have any questions or concerns after you have read this information guide, please discuss these with your sonographer or doctor on the day of your scan.

What is a pelvic ultrasound?

A Pelvic ultrasound is an examination used to investigate your uterus (womb), the endometrium (the lining of the womb) and the ovaries.  You may be referred for this examination by your GP or hospital specialist. It usually takes about 20 minutes to complete.

Are there any risks?

Ultrasound is very safe. Ultrasound does not use ionizing radiation and there are no known side effects.

The transvaginal ultrasound probe is covered in a latex sheath and is carefully cleaned after the scan to prevent cross-infection. Please inform the doctor or sonographer before the scan if you have a latex allergy.

Will the scan be painful?

Most patients do not find transvaginal ultrasound painful but some may feel slight discomfort during the scan. The scan can be stopped at any time if you are experiencing discomfort.


The Radiologist or Sonographer performing your scan will explain the procedure to you and answer any questions that you have. When they are sure that you understand the procedure you will be asked to sign a consent form.

Do I need to bring anything with me?

No, you do not need to bring anything with you. We suggest that you do not bring any valuables with you when you attend for your scan.


You need to arrive for your appointment with a full bladder. This involves drinking 1000mls (1litre) of water or a non-carbonated drink, 45 minutes before the appointment time. 

When you arrive

Please note: We ask that you arrive 10 minutes before your appointment time. If you do not arrive in good time, your appointment may need to be rescheduled.

When you arrive in the department please report to the ultrasound reception desk where your details will be checked and you will be asked to take a seat in the waiting area. 

Who performs the scan?

The scan is performed by a Radiologist or Sonographer. The Radiologist or Sonographer will explain the procedure to you. Please do not hesitate to ask any questions that you may have.

If you would prefer a female member of staff to perform your scan, please contact the department to let us know before your appointment and we will do our best to make appropriate arrangements.

Who is present during the scan? 

In addition to the Radiologist and /or Sonographer, there may be a health care assistant helping with the scan list. Student sonographers and other clinical staff undergoing training may be present in the room. If you would prefer them not to be present, please inform a member of staff at the start of your scan.

If you wish to have a chaperone present for the scan, please inform staff at the time of your scan.

What happens during the scan? 

The appointment will take approximately 20 minutes and often involves two parts, an external scan over the pelvis area (transabdominal scan) and an internal scan through the vagina (transvaginal scan).

A transvaginal examination involves the insertion of a slim ultrasound probe into the vagina (not into the cervix). The procedure usually lasts about 10 minutes and provides excellent quality images. The transvaginal scan will only be performed with your full consent.

The person performing your scan will do everything they can to maintain your dignity and respect throughout your appointment. 

What happens after the scan?

There is no required aftercare. Following the scan you may leave the department and eat and drink as normally.

How do I get my results?

You will not be given the results on the day of your scan. The scan will be reported by the Doctor or Sonographer who scanned you and then sent to the GP or consultant who referred you for a scan. You will need to arrange a follow up appointment with that doctor/clinic to discuss your results.  If you do not have a follow up appointment you may need to contact the referring clinic to arrange follow-up. GP patients’ results will be sent to the GP within 7-10 working days. 

Contact information

Imaging Department
1st Floor, Lift Bank D
Chelsea and Westminster Hospital
369 Fulham Road
SW10 9NH

Mon–Fri, 9am–5pm

If you need to change your appointment date or time, or if require an interpreter for your examination, please contact the booking team on 020 3315 2785/3.

jaimeg George Vasilopoulos