Why Do Females Need a Pelvic MRI?
A Pelvic MRI may be ordered by a physician to get a detailed look at the pelvic organs, including the uterus, cervix, ovaries, fallopian tubes, and bladder. We use a Pelvic MRI to evaluate or diagnose:
- Heavy or abnormal menstrual bleeding
- Persistent cramping
- Ovarian cysts
- Uterine fibroids
- Urinary incontinence
- Pelvic floor prolapse
A pelvic MRI provides a closer look at the pelvic organs to help physicians evaluate or diagnose certain conditions. The imaging test is useful for evaluating the lining of the uterus, the endometrium, after an abnormal pelvic ultrasound. Pelvic MRI helps doctors identify and evaluate conditions such as ovarian cysts, endometriosis, or vascular uterine fibroids.
How a Pelvic MRI Is Performed
You will need to provide a complete history of any medical conditions and surgery you have had. Alert the scheduler and technologist to any metal in your body, such as metal fragments from trauma or surgery, as this could affect the MRI. An MRI may not be possible with some planted devices. These include:
- Aneurysm clips
- Auditory hearing implants
- Internal wires or electrodes
- Implanted pumps or ports
- Surgical mesh
- Any coils, stents, or filters
While some newer pacemakers and defibrillators are safe with MRI, older devices are not, so understanding what kind you have is vital. Having body or face/makeup tattooing or permanent piercings may prevent you from having an MRI. If you are a current or prior metal worker, we may request an X-ray before performing the MRI as you could have small fragments in your eyes as an occupational hazard. You must remove any jewelry and piercings for your safety. Please see our MRI Safety Form for more information.
We may use a contrast dye called gadolinium to help us get more detailed images of tissues. Let the scheduler and MRI technologist know if you have ever had an allergic reaction to a contrast agent. The dye used in MRI is different from that used in a CT exam. For most people, this is not an issue.
The magnets of the MRI machines make a loud, clunky sound during the exam. To make you more comfortable, the technologists will provide you with headphones to block out the noise. With the distraction of music, many patients find the exam comfortable and fall asleep. You will need to remain still during the exam as sudden movements may cause irregularities in the images.
An MRI will produce hundreds of images in various sequences based on your doctor's request. It takes time to read and interpret the images, so your results won't be available immediately. You will get a call regarding your results once the interpretation is complete. Your ordering clinician will also receive a copy of your report, and they will discuss the next steps based on your imaging results.
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Frequently Asked Questions About Pelvic MRIs
A Pelvic MRI may be ordered by your physician to get a detailed look at the pelvic organs, including the uterus, cervix, ovaries, and fallopian tubes. The bladder and rectum are also considered part of the pelvic space. MRI may help evaluate more closely complex ovarian cysts, endometriosis, or vascular uterine fibroids.
Your clinician may want to specifically evaluate the lining of the uterus (the endometrium) after an abnormal pelvic ultrasound or endometrial biopsy. Pelvic MRI is also used to evaluate pelvic floor prolapse or urinary incontinence. Sometimes a pelvic MRI is ordered to make a diagnosis for a symptom such as heavy menstrual bleeding or persistent cramping. This high-tech medical diagnostic radiology imaging can give a GYN or surgeon a more detailed map prior to anticipated surgery.
Before the MRI is performed, we may inject a contrast dye (called Gadolinium) into a vein in your arm. The contrast is taken up differently in different types of tissues to different degrees. You will be lying on your back on a comfortable table that moves into and out of the MRI machine. The magnet makes a loud clunky sound so the technologists will fit you with comfortable headphones and you may choose to listen to music through the headphone that makes the magnet sound indistinct. It is important not to move quickly or jerk during the exam because this may cause irregularities in the images from signals of the magnets moving.
Hundreds of images from the pelvic MRI in various sequences will be produced for each study that needs to be interpreted. Therefore, the results will not be immediately available. An MRI specialist or the patient navigator will call you regarding your results once the interpretation is complete.
If you have any prior examinations elsewhere, please let us know the location so that we can obtain these for faster comparison.