As part of the assessment and treatment of a number of men’s health conditions we use real-time ultrasound (RTUS). RTUS is an ultrasound machine like what is used to examine expectant mothers. You may have had ultrasound previously to examine medical issues.
We use ultrasound to examine the function of your pelvic floor muscles, abdominal muscles and bladder volume. It really does give us a very clear picture of how your muscles “down there” are functioning.
In addition to RTUS being used as an assessment tool, it is very useful in training patients how to contract pelvic floor muscles correctly. You will be able to see these muscles working for yourself.
We use a couple of different ultrasound techniques:
- Transabdominal – this is where we place the ultrasound head on your lower belly and this allows us to look at your abdominal muscles, your bladder and also your pelvic floor muscles through your bladder.
- Transperineal – this is where we place the ultrasound head in the perineal region (behind your scrotum). This gives us a fantastic image of your pelvic floor muscles and you will be amazed at what you can see. We understand that not all men feel comfortable with this technique and won’t pressure you into using it – we’ll always look to get your consent first. There are always other options and we can get some really good information using transabdominal views, just not as clear as transperineal though. Men often get concerned that this will mean needing to remove underwear. You will need to get down to your underwear although it actually works best if they stay on – they help keep everything else out of the way! On that note, jocks or briefs work much better than boxers.