Pregnancy Ultrasound

What is a Pregnancy Ultrasound?

Ultrasound uses sound waves to create images of tissue inside the body; it does not use X-ray or radiation. Pregnancy ultrasounds are performed to provide important information about the mother and child. Ultrasound is used to establish age, position, development, and number of fetuses. The exam can also identify certain abnormalities.

Before the Exam

Providing safe, quality patient care is our highest priority. For the best experience please properly prepare for your appointment:

  • You will be asked to drink water one hour before the exam. Having a full bladder for 1st and 2nd trimester ultrasounds provides the best images of your uterus and baby.
  • You may eat as normal.
  • Do not bring children with you to your appointment. For their safety children are not allowed to accompany you in the exam room. Staff are unable to monitor children.

During the Exam

  • A registered sonographer will perform the exam.
  • You will lie on your back or on your side on an exam table.
  • Warm gel will be placed on your abdomen. The gel is needed for sound waves to travel and create images.
  • A small device, called a transducer, will be moved over the gel to create images on the ultrasound monitor. Several images and measurements will be recorded.
  • Occasionally a transvaginal ultrasound technique is also performed. A small transducer is inserted vaginally to obtain additional views of your cervix, placenta, and fetus.
  • It takes approximately 20-60 minutes to complete the exam.

After the Exam

  • You may resume your normal diet and activity immediately following the exam.
  • A radiologist reviews the images and prepares a report for your provider. The results of your exam will be given to you by the ordering clinic.
  • Follow-up care is a key part of your health. Be sure to make and go to all appointments and call your primary care provider if you have questions.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your provider.

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