Tell your doctor if you have had an X-ray with contrast material (such as barium) within the past 2 days. Barium that remains in the intestines can interfere with the ultrasound test. Wear loose clothes for the pelvic ultrasound. You may need to remove all your clothes below the waist and put on a gown before the test. If you are having a biopsy or a special procedure during the ultrasound, you may need to sign a consent form that says you understand the risks of the test and agree to have it done. Talk to your doctor about any concerns you have regarding the need for this test, its risks, how it will be done or what the results will mean.
Transabdominal ultrasound: If you are having a transabdominal ultrasound, your doctor will ask you to drink 4 to 6 glasses of juice or water about an hour before the test to fill your bladder. A full bladder pushes the intestines (which contain air) out of the way of the pelvic organs. This makes the ultrasound picture clearer. If the ultrasound is being done in an emergency situation, your bladder may be filled with water through a thin flexible tube (catheter) inserted into your bladder.
Transrectal ultrasound: If you are having a transrectal ultrasound, you may need an enema about an hour before the test. Tell your doctor if you are allergic to latex so that a latex-free cover can be put on the transducer before it is used. If a man is also having a biopsy of the prostate gland, he may be given antibiotics for a day before the test.
Transvaginal ultrasound: If you are having a transvaginal ultrasound, tell your doctor if you are allergic to latex so that a latex-free cover can be put on the transducer before it is used. If you are having only a transvaginal ultrasound, do not drink any fluids for 4 hours before the test. You will not need to drink fluids to fill your bladder for the test as you do in a transabdominal ultrasound.
If both a transabdominal and transvaginal ultrasound will be done, the transabdominal ultrasound will usually be done first.
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