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Pelvis MRI

Discover more about the pelvis, what can be detected through its scans, and why you might need a pelvic scan.


A pelvis MRI scan is an imaging test that uses powerful magnets and radio waves to create detailed pictures of the pelvic area, which includes the bladder, prostate, female reproductive organs, lymph nodes, bowels, and pelvic bones. It is a useful diagnostic tool for investigating various conditions affecting the pelvic region.

Symptoms that May Warrant a Pelvis MRI

A pelvic MRI may be recommended to further evaluate certain symptoms and conditions, but it's important to note that it is typically part of a comprehensive diagnostic approach that may include other tests such as biopsies or other imaging tests. This imaging test can help detect and provide detailed information about:

  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding
  • Pelvic masses or lumps
  • Fibroids
  • Endometriosis
  • Chronic pelvic pain
  • Unexplained difficulties urinating or defecating
  • Suspected cancers in the reproductive organs, bladder, rectum, or urinary tract

Consulting with a healthcare professional is crucial to determine the appropriate diagnostic pathway based on individual symptoms and medical history, ensuring thorough evaluation and proper management of any underlying conditions.

What are the different types of pelvic MRI scan?

There are three main types of pelvic MRI scans offered:

  1. Musculoskeletal Pelvis MRI: This scan focuses on the bones, joints, and soft tissues of the pelvis to look for fractures, swelling, degeneration, or muscular problems.
  2. Female Pelvis MRI Scan (Gynaecological): This scan focuses specifically on the female reproductive organs.
  3. General Pelvic MRI Scan: This scan provides an overview of the pelvic organs, including the bladder and sigmoid colon, along with the bones and musculoskeletal structures. It is also used for imaging the male pelvis.

The specific scanning protocols, which are the set of instructions given to the MRI machine and overseen by radiology staff, differ slightly for each of these scan types. Some require contrast dye more often than others or are used to focus on different areas of the pelvis.

In addition to these pelvic MRI scans, separate scans are offered for specific imaging of body areas such as the hip, rectum, gallbladder, urinary tract, small bowel, or other areas of the abdomen.

What does a pelvic MRI scan show?

The specific focus of a pelvic MRI scan can vary depending on the reason for the exam and what the referring physician is trying to determine from the results. However, in general, a pelvic MRI can provide detailed images of:

  • The female reproductive organs, including the uterus, fallopian tubes, and ovaries
  • The male reproductive organs, such as the prostate gland and testicles, to investigate conditions like an undescended testicle or lumps/swelling in the area
  • Blood vessels and lymph nodes in the pelvic region
  • Soft tissues, including the pelvic floor muscles
  • Other pelvic organs, such as the bladder, sigmoid colon, and appendix
  • The pelvic bones

The radiologist and referring physician will work together to determine the specific protocol and areas of focus for each patient's pelvic MRI scan.

How do I prepare for a pelvic MRI scan?

You'll be provided with any preparation instructions before your scan, but some common preparation questions are as follows:

Is a full bladder required for a pelvic MRI? If your doctor advises a full bladder is necessary, you may be asked to avoid going to the toilet for two hours before your scan.

Do I have to undress for a pelvic MRI? You must remove any metal objects, such as jewellery or clothing with zippers, as MRI uses strong magnets that can interact with metal. While you won’t need to undress completely, you may be asked to wear a hospital gown if your clothing is not compatible with the MRI machine. Additionally, remove any devices like hearing aids.

Does a pelvic MRI require your whole body to go into the machine? Since the pelvis is located in the middle of the body, your whole body will likely need to enter the MRI machine. This can be daunting for patients with claustrophobia or anxiety. We offer scanning centres with various machines, including open MRI scanners that allow you to see the room around you without entering a tunnel scanner. You can filter by the open scanner when booking your scan.

What can a pelvis MRI diagnose?

It's important to note that a pelvis MRI is often part of a comprehensive diagnostic process that may involve different tests, depending on the symptoms and suspected conditions. Consulting with a healthcare provider is crucial to determine the appropriate tests needed for accurate diagnosis and treatment planning.

A pelvis MRI is part of a series of tests used to diagnose various conditions affecting the pelvic area. It provides detailed images that can help identify:

  • Birth defects: Anomalies present from birth that affect pelvic organs or structures.
  • Injuries or trauma: Damage to bones, muscles, or organs in the pelvic region due to accidents or falls.
  • Abnormal growths or masses: Such as uterine fibroids, are non-cancerous growths in the uterus.
  • Infertility: Imaging can reveal structural issues in the reproductive organs that may affect fertility.
  • Endometriosis: Where tissue similar to the lining inside the uterus grows outside it, causing pain and other symptoms.
  • Pelvic inflammatory disease: Infections causing inflammation of the female reproductive organs.
  • Certain types of cancer: Including prostate, bladder, rectal, or gynaecological cancers, by detecting tumours or abnormal tissue growth.

How long does an MRI of the pelvis take?

A typical pelvic MRI scan takes between 30 to 60 minutes. However, the duration may vary depending on the specific indications and the number of images required.

Benefits of pelvis MRI

The main benefits of a pelvis MRI include:

  • Non-invasive and painless procedure
  • Does not use ionising radiation, unlike X-rays and CT scans
  • Provides detailed images of the pelvic organs and structures
  • Can help diagnose various conditions affecting the pelvic region
  • Useful for planning treatment and monitoring the progress of certain conditions


If you're worried about pelvic pain or symptoms, book a pelvic MRI scan with GetScanned. You'll receive a pre-scan consultation with an experienced clinician who will ensure you've selected the appropriate scan for your symptoms and explain the results to help you access any necessary follow-up care.

Get Fast and Private Pelvic MRI Scans – Beat the NHS Wait! Book Now for Quick and Reliable Results!

Lorea content writter
Reviewed by
Dr. Sachin Shah
Clinical Lead
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Frequently asked questions

Do I need a GP-referral?

No prior GP-referral is required. Booking with us includes a GP phone consultation and referral. Shortly after booking you will be contacted by a GP from our team who will discuss your scan and provide a referral.

How long is an MRI scan?

MRI scans generally take a bit longer than other types of scans. Individual scans take 10-30 minutes depending on the body part being scanned, overall it can take anywhere from 15 minutes to 90 minutes. You do have to lay very still for an MRI and if there is movement the scan may need to be repeated which can add some additional time.

What’s included in my booking?

With your GetScanned booking, you will receive:

  • A pre-scan phone consultation with a member of our medical team.
  • A referral for the scan.
  • Scheduling of a private MRI scan at your preferred scanning centre.
  • Access to your written report by a radiologist.
  • Access to your scan images (online and downloadable).

How much is a private MRI scan?

A private MRI scan cost varies depending on the part of the body being scanned and the location the scan is performed. Generally, a private MRI scan in the UK starts at around £350, and includes the scheduling, scan itself and results.

What’s the difference between an open and closed MRI?

Closed MRI machines are the traditional and first type of MRI. They are used more frequently because they provide higher quality images, however they aren’t ideal for certain types of scan or when the patient has limited mobility. Open or wide-bore MRI machines don’t involve lying in a tight cylinder, instead they have wider openings with more space and are therefore considered better if you suffer from claustrophobia. A standing MRI or upright MRI is a new type of open MRI that allows the patient to be in various different positions, including weight bearing positions. If you would prefer an open MRI please filter by MRI type to find an open MRI near you, but please be aware it is only available at certain locations.

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