Real Time Ultrasound

The real time ultrasound is a valid and reliable way to view the bladder, pelvic floor and abdominal muscles. This non-invasive method is a great way for patients to visualise their pelvic floor moving and activating in the correct way. A probe is placed on the abdomen and an image of the underlying layers of muscle can be seen on the screen. We then go through several different activation techniques to watch the muscle moving and pinpoint which cue works best for your pelvic floor.

Unlike your biceps, it is difficult to feel or see your pelvic floor working, so it can be hard to know just how to activate it. Have you ever been to a Pilates or Yoga class and had no idea what to do when the instructor tells you to “turn your core on”; like it’s some mystical super power that we are all just meant to know about.

If you’re unsure about your pelvic floor exercises, think you’re doing them incorrectly or just want to learn more, then the real time ultrasound can be a helpful tool for you.

Real time ultrasound is an external, pain free and safe assessment tool that can be performed in a standard 30 minute consultation. The ultrasound technology we use is the same technology as that is used in prenatal pregnancy.

The above image is a real time ultrasound scan of the bladder which is seen as a large black sac. The X marks the floor of the bladder which is held up by the pelvic floor muscles. Image (A) represents a relaxed pelvic floor in which the bladder is just resting on the muscle creating a flat bottom. Image (B) represents a contracted pelvic floor where the muscles lift the centre of the bladder upwards creating an arched bottom. As the pelvic floor contracts and lifts the bladder upwards, this counteracts the downward pressure of activities like coughing, sneezing and jumping which push the bladder downwards. A good pelvic floor contraction will also create a firm base for the urethra to be pushed against and shunted closed. These properties prevent urine leakage as well as prolapse progression.