Regardless of the decision you make for the outcome of your pregnancy, an ultrasound is an essential next step in your pregnancy. Ultrasounds provide crucial information about your pregnancy that allows you to keep your safety a priority.
What Is An Ultrasound?
An ultrasound is a simple diagnostic test that allows your provider to see inside your abdomen. A handheld wand-like instrument is used to emit sound waves into your body and record the sound waves that bounce back. Using this information, a picture is created and displayed on the screen.
Confirm, Locate, And Date
Ultrasound is the only way to accurately confirm a pregnancy. Since up to 20% of pregnancies end in miscarriage, an ultrasound is needed to determine if a pregnancy is viable. Pregnancies that end in miscarriage may not need any medical intervention, but women should be under the care of a physician that will monitor them for any complications.
An ultrasound will also locate where your pregnancy is developing. Sometimes an embryo implants outside the uterus resulting in a condition called ectopic pregnancy. This can become a life-threatening condition if left untreated, so early diagnosis is crucial.
To understand all your options, you should also know how far along your pregnancy is. If you don’t track your period or if it is irregular, it can be hard to know when you conceived, but an ultrasound will be able to date your pregnancy.
What To Expect
During an obstetric ultrasound, you will be asked to lay on your back, and the sonographer will scan the wand across your abdomen or place it in your vagina. An ultrasound should not be painful, but the pressure from the wand might be uncomfortable.
Other things to keep in mind:
- You might be asked to have a full bladder for the ultrasound.
- Usually, the scan takes about 30 minutes.
- You will be able to view the screen to see what the sonographer sees.
- After your appointment, you will have a chance to discuss the findings of the ultrasound and ask any questions you might have.
Ultrasounds referred from First Concern are free and confidential.