In This Page:
- Need to Know
- Nice to Know
- Why is This Exam Done?
- How Does it Work?
- What Will Happen During the Exam?
- How Should I Prepare?
- What are the Benefits and Risks?
- Where Can I Get This Exam?
mmUltrasound is a diagnostic imaging technique that uses high-frequency sound waves to produce images. Obstetric ultrasound is used to produce images of a baby (embryo or fetus) in pregnant women as well as the mother’s uterus and ovaries. It does not use ionizing radiation and has no known harmful effects. It is the preferred method for monitoring pregnant women and their unborn babies.
Need to Know
Nice to Know
Why is This Exam Done?
- To confirm pregnancy
- Assess viability, location, and age of pregnancy
How Does It Work?
Ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves to produce images of the body’s tissues, structures, and blood flow. A transducer/probe and ultrasound gel work in combination to absorb the reflected sound waves to produce images on the monitor.
What Will Happen During the Exam?
The sonographer will request that you lay on the exam bed on your back. Warm, water-based ultrasound gel will be applied on the skin and/or the transducer. The sonographer will use the transducer on the skin moving it around as necessary to obtain images for the physician to interpret.
If the internal exam is necessary, you will be asked to empty your bladder and lay on the exam bed with your feet in stirrups.
How Should I Prepare?
You may be instructed in advance to arrive with a full bladder.
What Are the Benefits and Risks?
The benefits of Abdominal Ultrasound:
- Ultrasound images are shown in real-time
- The structure and movement of the body's internal organs, as well as blood flowing through blood vessels are able to be seen and recorded
- The exam is painless
- No ionizing radiation is used for this procedure
Risks you should be aware of:
There are no known risks for ultrasound