WHY SHOULD I GET AN ULTRASOUND?
- Confirm pregnancy
- Detect the fetal heartbeat
- Determine the age of the baby and due date
- Pinpoint the location of the pregnancy (normal or ectopic pregnancy)
WHAT IS AN ULTRASOUND?
An ultrasound is simply a method of creating an image with the use of high frequency sound waves, so high they cannot be heard by human ears. The sound waves bounce back to the ultrasound equipment to form the image on a monitor. The procedure is totally safe and painless for both you and your baby.
During an abdominal ultrasound, a medical professional will pass the wand over your belly to transmit the image to the ultrasound monitor.
There is another ultrasound procedure, in most cases performed by a gynecologist, called a transvaginal ultrasound. According to the Mayo Clinic, “A transvaginal ultrasound allows your doctor to see the exact location of your pregnancy. For this test, a wand-like device is placed into your vagina. It uses sound waves to create images of your uterus, ovaries, and fallopian tubes, and sends the pictures to a nearby monitor.”1
A SAFE AND HEALTHY PREGNANCY
One very important reason you should get an ultrasound is to determine the location of the pregnancy. If the pregnancy is not in the right place there could be a problem. According to MedLinePlus.gov, “An ectopic pregnancy is a pregnancy that occurs outside the womb (uterus). It may be fatal to the mother.” 2
HOW DO I PREPARE FOR AN ULTRASOUND?
It is a good idea to wear loose fitting clothes for easy access to your abdomen when you have your ultrasound. It is recommended that you drink plenty of liquids (water) and try to not empty your bladder before the procedure. A full bladder makes it easier for the baby to be seen.
The ultrasound is given after the pregnancy is confirmed and your pregnancy has advanced. If the ultrasound is given too early in the pregnancy, the image of the baby will not be defined.