How Does an Ultrasound Work?

An obstetrical ultrasound is an incredible medical tool. If you’re experiencing pregnancy for the first time, you might be curious about how an ultrasound works and why doctors advocate for ultrasounds during pregnancy.

Whether you’re looking to educate yourself or simply prepare for an ultrasound, we’ve got you covered.

What Is An Ultrasound?

An ultrasound uses sound waves to generate a black-and-white image of the uterus and the growing pregnancy inside. Healthcare professionals measure amniotic fluid, fetal growth, and placenta placement with ultrasounds.

How To Prepare For Your Ultrasound

It is recommended that women receive an ultrasound between 6-10 weeks of their pregnancy and then again between 18-20 weeks.

A 6-10 week ultrasound will typically be done vaginally and only lasts for a few minutes. If you’re preparing for a 6-10 week ultrasound, drink plenty of water before your appointment. A full bladder pushes the uterus forward, allowing for a better scan and clearer images.

The 18-20 week ultrasound will last longer and is done using a transducer on your abdomen.

Why Do I Need An Ultrasound?

While ultrasounds can allow women a glimpse into their growing pregnancies, they are also critical for diagnosing serious medical issues.

An early ultrasound will reveal a pregnancy’s location and gestational age. Location is important because some pregnancies will accidentally develop outside of the uterus.

An ectopic pregnancy is not viable and must be removed promptly. If left undetected by ultrasound, an ectopic pregnancy will rupture and can cause life-threatening bleeding for the mother.

In addition, utilizing an ultrasound to reveal the exact gestational age of your pregnancy will give you more information to explore options for your pregnancy down the road.

Next Steps

If you’ve had a positive home pregnancy test, scheduling an ultrasound is a great next step.

Pregnancy Options LifeCare Center offers women a safe place to ask questions and get honest answers about unplanned pregnancies. We provide limited offsite ultrasounds performed by a medical professional. Exploring all the options will allow you to make a confident and informed decision.

Simply call our office at 507-332-7644  and make a no-cost appointment. You don’t have to take this journey alone.