What is Ultrasound?

Ultrasound is used to confirm a pregnancy, whether viable or non-viable. In fact, it’s the best way to confirm pregnancy. Positive urine pregnancy test? Doesn’t always mean you’re carrying a viable pregnancy. Pregnancies can be ectopic (outside of the uterus; not able to thrive). Ectopic pregnancies are emergent. It’s critical that you go to your nearest hospital for treatment. (https://www.acog.org/Patients/FAQs/Ectopic-Pregnancy?IsMobileSet=false) You may also experience an early miscarriage and still have a positive urine pregnancy test for weeks after.

How does ultrasound work?

Ultrasound works like sonar. The sound waves travel through fluid. It’s very safe as it does not emit radiation like an x-ray. The ultrasound transducer is a “camera” that looks into a woman’s lower abdomen. Ultrasound gel helps to send sounds waves through the body. Those sound waves then transmit back to the transducer and creates the image on the computer. Ultrasound has been used for decades with no known harmful effects.

How do I prepare for an ultrasound exam?

The uterus is located under the bladder. Since fluid helps the ultrasound waves travel to capture an image, we ask pregnant women to drink at least 20-24 oz. of water about an hour before your scheduled ultrasound to enhance the “window” your bladder will create to help get better ultrasound images. Accurate measurements are not always able to be done by an abdominal ultrasound alone. In early pregnancy (less than about 10 weeks and up to 14 weeks), a vaginal ultrasound is usually performed after abdominal. Vaginal ultrasounds provide a clearer view and give more accurate measurement of the fetus. While vaginal ultrasounds can be uncomfortable (and awkward!), they are almost always not painful. Prior to a vaginal ultrasound, we will ask you to empty your bladder. If at any point during your exam it has become painful, let your nurse know and they will stop immediately. You also have the right to say “no” to a vaginal scan here at Your Choices. We never force you into any procedure you are not comfortable with.

To schedule a free limited ultrasound with us at our Bloomsburg clinic, call 570-784-3143. All services are free and confidential.