Diagnostic ultrasound, also called sonography, is an imaging method that uses high-frequency sound waves to produce images of structures within various parts of your body ( organs, glands, muscles, blood vessels and fetus). The images can provide valuable information for diagnosing and treating a variety of diseases and conditions.
Some ultrasounds are done inside your body. A transducer is attached to a probe that’s inserted into a natural opening in your body. Examples of these exams include:
- Transrectal ultrasound. A transducer is inserted into a man’s rectum to view his prostate.
- Transvaginal ultrasound. A transducer is inserted into a woman’s vagina to view her uterus and ovaries.
During an ultrasound exam, you may need to remove jewelry and some or all of your clothing, change into a gown, and lie on an examination table. Gel is applied to your skin to keep air pockets that can block the sound waves from forming.