Why Should You Drink Water Before an Ultrasound

Before undergoing an imaging exam, you will need to follow specific instructions. Your health care provider will discuss these with you and also provide written instructions, so you are as prepared as possible. These directions are simple and intended to achieve the best results possible so that we can attain clear images for an accurate diagnosis or evaluation. Some of the instructions you will receive are fairly standard such as not wearing any jewelry or metal objects. Others vary depending on what part of your body is being scanned and why you are having the scan. For example, you may need to fast for 6 to 8 hours. For certain ultrasounds, you will be required to have a full bladder prior to undergoing your imaging exam.Woman holding a glass of water that she is about to drink.

Drinking water at least one hour before an ultrasound is necessary to fill the bladder to examine your:

  • Bladder
  • Kidneys
  • Female reproductive system
  • Unborn baby

An Ultrasound Provides Best Results With a Full Bladder

Also known as sonography, an ultrasound captures images in real-time. This exam is safe and requires no exposure to radiation. That said, they should still be used sensibly and only when medically necessary. During an ultrasound, a small wand called a transducer transmits sound waves into the body. When these sound waves run into a boundary, they cause an echo which is picked up by the transducer. It then sends an image of that part of the body to the monitor. The bladder plays a vital role in enabling your technician to gain a clearer view because when it is full it:

  • Assists sound waves in getting to the parts of the body that need to be imaged
  • Moves the intestines out of the way
  • Allows the bladder wall to be assessed for irregularities
  • Confirm that the kidneys are draining properly into the bladder
  • Moves the head of an unborn baby out of the mother’s lower pelvis

We of course do not want you to experience any pain. If a full bladder causes pain, talk to your technician or health care provider. To learn more about ultrasound procedures in New Jersey from ImageCare Centers, visit our website.