An ultrasound is a key diagnostic tool used to view the body’s internal structures and diagnose certain conditions. You might wonder what to expect if you’re pregnant and have never had an ultrasound before.

Getting the facts about any medical procedure is crucial. Staying informed helps you make intelligent decisions about your health. We’re here to provide the information you need.

Does an Ultrasound Hurt?

During an ultrasound, you will lie on a table. A qualified medical professional (usually a sonographer) applies gel to the area being examined.

They then move a small device called a transducer over the area. The transducer sends sound waves that create an image on the screen.

Most ultrasounds are noninvasive, meaning they don’t go inside your body. An abdominal ultrasound is a good example. In this case, the transducer is placed on your abdomen, and it produces images of the reproductive organs and the pregnancy within a woman’s body.

Other ultrasounds are invasive. A transvaginal ultrasound, which is performed during the earliest stages of pregnancy, uses a transducer that is inserted into your vagina. This may cause some discomfort, but it produces the most precise images of your pregnancy.

Typically after the ultrasound, the images are sent to a radiologist, who views the images, completes a report, and sends the information to your doctor.

Why Should I Receive an Ultrasound During My Pregnancy?

If you have an unexpected pregnancy, you might question why you need an ultrasound. This scan is a vital tool during the decision-making process.

It assesses the following about your pregnancy:

  • Viability (whether it is progressing normally and has a detectable heartbeat)
  • Gestational age (how far along you are)
  • Location (whether it is in the uterus)

An ultrasound confirms this information, helps you determine your pregnancy options, and identifies certain conditions that need treatment (i.e., ectopic pregnancy).

If you choose to continue the pregnancy, you can expect a second ultrasound around 18-20 weeks to assess the pregnancy’s health and identify any concerns.

A doctor will decide whether more ultrasounds are needed.

How We Can Help

HopePlace Fordyce may be able to provide a free ultrasound referral and cover transportation costs for the appointment.

We care about you. Contact us today for free and confidential help.