How Does an Ultrasound Work?

How Does an Ultrasound Work?

Ultrasounds are used for many medical reasons, but the most common situation in which they are used is during pregnancy. Many women encounter an ultrasound for the first time when they are experiencing their first pregnancy and have questions about this simple diagnostic test.

An ultrasound uses sound waves emitted through a handheld transducer to create a map of the inside of the body. The soundwaves bounce off the surfaces within the body, and the transducer receives the echoes. The sound waves are then used to create an image on a screen.

Crossroads Pregnancy Resource Center offers ultrasounds at no cost.  

Why is an Ultrasound Needed?

Ultrasounds are used in pregnancy to monitor the development of the fetus, but in early pregnancy, you will need an ultrasound to confirm, date, and locate your pregnancy. This test is essential regardless of the outcome you choose for your pregnancy. It is one of the best ways to prioritize your health.

  • Confirm: Around 20% of pregnancies end in miscarriage. Confirm that your pregnancy is developing with a heartbeat.
  • Date: Learning how long you have been pregnant clarifies your pregnancy options. For example, the abortion pill is only approved for use in pregnancies under 10 weeks.
  • Locate: An ultrasound is also used to determine if your pregnancy is located in your uterus. In an ectopic pregnancy, a life-threatening condition for women, the embryo attaches outside the uterus, usually in the fallopian tube. 

What to Expect

During your ultrasound appointment, the ultrasound technician will place gel on your abdomen to aid the soundwaves in penetrating the body without interference from the air. The ultrasound technician will glide the transducer around your abdomen to get the needed images. 

You may feel some pressure during the ultrasound but shouldn’t experience pain. If you are uncomfortable, tell the technician. 

If the pregnancy is not far enough along, it may not be visible with an abdominal ultrasound. In this case, you will be offered a transvaginal ultrasound. The technician will ask you to place the transducer in your vagina. This will allow for better images. 

No-Cost Ultrasounds

If you are pregnant and weighing your options, an ultrasound will give you the information about your pregnancy to make a confident decision. Crossroads Pregnancy Resource Center provides ultrasounds at no cost—call 502-222-7700 to schedule your appointment today. 

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