Suppose you become unexpectedly pregnant and want to determine the next steps. In that case, an ultrasound is a great place to start because it can provide valuable information, such as the pregnancy’s age, status, location, and confirm your pregnancy.
An ultrasound is a medical procedure that uses sound waves to create an image of an area inside the body.
A sonographer uses a small wand-like transducer to send high-frequency sound waves through the body. These waves bounce off tissues and bones and return to the transducer as echoes, creating a real-time image.
Are Ultrasounds Safe?
Because it only uses sound waves instead of radiation like X-rays, experts consider it generally safe when administered by healthcare workers.
Do I Need an Ultrasound?
If you have tested positive for pregnancy, scheduling an ultrasound is essential as your next step. It can inform you of your pregnancy options and is also an excellent health screening to determine if your pregnancy is viable which would rule out an ectopic pregnancy.
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) estimates that as many as 26% of all pregnancies end in miscarriage. You can determine whether your pregnancy is still viable by undergoing an ultrasound.
Another benefit of ultrasound is that it will show how far along your pregnancy is, which can affect the options available to you. For example, the abortion pill is approved for up to 10 weeks gestational age by the FDA.
What Can I Expect if I Get an Ultrasound?
Trained medical staff in sonography will be the one who will conduct the procedure.
There are two ways to have a prenatal ultrasound: transabdominal, where the technician places the ultrasound transducer over your belly, or transvaginally, where the transducer is inserted into your vagina.
If it’s a transabdominal exam, you’ll likely be instructed to come with a full bladder since that will help tilt your uterus for the best imaging angle.
The medical staff performing the ultrasound will apply gel to the transducer and move it slowly across your stomach, using sound waves that bounce off the fetus’s skeleton and organs to create the sonogram image.
If it’s early in your first trimester, a transvaginal ultrasound may be used for more precise images. Like a pap smear, you’ll get undressed from the waist down and place your feet in stirrups.
The medical staff performing the ultrasound will cover the transducer with a sheath (like a condom), apply lubricant, and instruct you to guide it into your vagina. The sound waves emitted by the transducer will generate the sonogram image.
Where Can I Get an Ultrasound?
We offer no-cost limited obstetric ultrasounds at Elevier Women’s Center! Our trained medical staff will conduct the ultrasound to inform you about your pregnancy and options.
We are dedicated to providing compassionate support and evidence-based education about the pregnancy process. You can feel confident in making an empowered decision. Contact us today!