You may have heard the word ultrasound before, and know that it sometimes relates to pregnancy, but what exactly is an ultrasound? An ultrasound is a device that uses sound waves to produce images of the inside of your body. These images are used to diagnose and treat different conditions, and in the case of pregnancy, to see your baby.
During an ultrasound, gel will be applied to the skin that covers the area that is going to be examined. In the case of pregnancy, this will be the skin above the uterus – around your belly. A trained professional will press a small device onto the gel, and move it around to gather the photos, which will appear on a computer screen.
During early pregnancy, an ultrasound may be done inside of your body, rather than outside. In this case, a probe will be gently inserted into the vagina to see the uterus more clearly.
An ultrasound exam usually takes around 30 – 45 minutes and is often painless, with only mild discomfort involved. After the exam, professionals will examine the images taken, and share the images with you. ¹
Having an ultrasound at the pregnancy center means you’ve already had a positive pregnancy test.
However, an ultrasound will confirm these positive results are indeed true. The age of your baby can be roughly estimated without an ultrasound based on the dates of your last menstrual period. However, age is more accurate with an ultrasound. Also, the health of the baby can be assessed with an ultrasound. Questions such as: “How is the baby developing?” and “Does the baby have a healthy heart rate?” can be answered.
Many women report feeling empowered after having an ultrasound.² It allows them to feel more informed and prepared when making a decision about their pregnancy. It can be hard to imagine what is going on inside your body when you read a positive pregnancy test and what it looks like.
With an ultrasound, you can see exactly what is happening, and become more in tune with your body and how powerful it is. Women have a right to know what is going on inside their own bodies before they make decisions that will affect them. There is little that is more empowering than knowing the truth.
Ultrasounds can also be helpful for women’s personal health during pregnancy. Having images taken of your reproductive organs allows medical professionals to make sure that everything is healthy and working properly.
Ultrasounds can identify things such as ovarian cysts and ectopic pregnancies (pregnancies outside of the uterus).
Having an ultrasound will provide you with a lot of information. It is up to you what you do with this information, but the first step when making a decision is to make sure that you have all of the facts.
1- Mayo Clinic , M. (2020, March 17). Ultrasound. Mayo Clinic. https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/ultrasound/about/pac-20395177.
2 – Samelson, B. (2017, March 1). How Ultrasounds Provide Women With Better Reproductive Healthcare. Pregnancy Centers. https://www.care-net.org/center-insights-blog/listening-to-women-on-ultrasound-a-response-to-moria-weigel.