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Why Are Ultrasounds Important?

Ultrasounds are an important tool that allows your provider to track the development of the fetus, determine its gestational age (how many weeks along you are), and screen for congenital abnormalities. Depending on the position of your baby in the uterus, your provider may be able to tell you the gender of your baby. If you’re unsure if you’re pregnant, an ultrasound can also be used to confirm a pregnancy.

Gynecological Ultrasounds

Sometimes, a provider recommends an ultrasound as part of the diagnostic process for a gynecological condition. An ultrasound gives your provider a look at organs in your pelvis, including the uterus, ovaries, bladder, and fallopian tubes.

An ultrasound can pinpoint the location of a mass or source of discomfort you’ve been experiencing before running further tests. Your provider will keep you informed of why you may need an ultrasound and walk you through what they may expect to find.

Are Ultrasounds Safe?

Ultrasounds are safe for both the mother and the fetus. Using a transducer, an ultrasound machine sends sound waves through your body. The sound waves bounce back, and the transducer reads these returned waves, which turn into images on a screen.

Types of Ultrasounds

Your provider will recommend the type of ultrasound you may need, as well as how often you need them. There are several types of ultrasounds that you may undergo during your pregnancy:

  • Standard Ultrasound
  • Limited Ultrasound
  • Specialized Ultrasound

Standard ultrasounds are the typical ultrasounds that you receive during pregnancy that track the development of your fetus, blood flow, and placenta placement.

Limited ultrasounds are used to answer specific questions you or your provider have about your baby. If you’re in labor, an ultrasound may be used to determine your baby’s position.

Your provider may recommend a specialized ultrasound if more information is needed based on test results or risk factors. Depending on the information your provider needs, they may recommend a Doppler ultrasound or 3D ultrasound. 3D ultrasounds provide a more detailed view of your fetus, while the Doppler ultrasound measures blood flow.

What to Expect When You Get an Ultrasound

On the day of your ultrasound, wear loose and comfortable clothing. Your provider will be there to walk you through the ultrasound process and console you through whatever you may be feeling. Ultrasounds bring up a lot of emotions for many people, and it’s normal to feel both nervous and excited.

Depending on the reason for your ultrasound, your provider may recommend a transvaginal or abdominal ultrasound. A transvaginal ultrasound is an ultrasound that uses a wand inserted into your vagina, while an abdominal ultrasound uses a wand that’s placed on your stomach.

For an abdominal ultrasound, you’ll lay down on a table with your abdomen exposed. Your provider will place some gel on your belly. Then, the transducer, the wand, will be moved along your stomach to make images on a computer monitor.

If you’re having a transvaginal ultrasound, you will be positioned like you would for your annual pelvic exam, with your feet in stirrups. This angle can allow for a better picture if you’re earlier along in your pregnancy or if your provider wants a look at some of the internal structures of your reproductive organs. If you feel any discomfort, let your provider know. We will do our best to make this process as comfortable as possible.

Schedule Your Ultrasound Appointment Today

Your trusted Genesis OBGYN provider can perform your ultrasound so you can navigate your pregnancy and gynecological health conditions with a caregiver you know and in a setting you’re already familiar with. We’ll be with you every step of the way. Contact us to request an appointment for your ultrasound today.