We’re lucky to live in an age of modern medical technology. Before ultrasounds, physicians could not catch pregnancy complications early, or have the necessary data to make informed health decisions. 

Keep reading to learn about ultrasounds and the vital pregnancy details they provide.

What Is Ultrasound Imaging?

Ultrasound imaging or sonography is a safe technology that utilizes high-frequency sound waves to generate images of the inside of your body.

It can be used for a number of medical applications, including looking at your heart, bones, abdomen, or the internal structures of your organs. Ultrasound technology is best known for its use during pregnancy. It gathers critical pregnancy details, and monitors the health of an ongoing pregnancy.

How Does an Ultrasound Work?

An ultrasound machine uses a handheld probe called a transducer. For a limited obstetrical ultrasound, the sonographer will first spread gel over the patient’s stomach and slide the transducer over the skin. In some cases or very early into pregnancy, a small transducer will be placed into the vagina (transvaginal ultrasound) for a clearer image. 

The transducer emits sound waves that penetrate the skin and bounce off organs, tissue, and fluid to create echos. These echos are sent back to the transducer. Once these echos hit the transducer, they generate electrical signals that are sent to the ultrasound scanner. Using the speed of sound and time, the scanner measures the electrical signals to create an accurate image on the screen.

What Can an Ultrasound Tell Me?

An ultrasound will give you three critical pieces of information about your pregnancy.

1. The Location of Your Pregnancy

For your health and safety, an ultrasound will verify that you have a pregnancy located inside your uterus, where it’s meant to be growing. However, this isn’t always a guarantee, as one in fifty pregnancies are ectopic, or located outside the uterus. This can be a life-threatening situation if left undiagnosed and untreated.

2. If Your Pregnancy Is Viable and Progressing

According to Mayo Clinic, 10-20% of known pregnancies end in miscarriage, and the number could even be higher. An ultrasound will tell you if your pregnancy has a heartbeat and is growing. If you did miscarry, typically the tissue will pass naturally; however, a follow-up appointment with your doctor will be recommended.

3. How Far Along You Are (Gestation)

Even if you’re tracking your menstrual cycles closely or using an app, the only way to know how far along you are is through an ultrasound. Knowing this key piece of information will determine which options or abortion procedures you qualify for, as some aren’t FDA-approved after ten weeks of pregnancy.

Be Proactive and Schedule Your Ultrasound

If you recently received a positive at-home pregnancy test, be proactive about your health and schedule a free and confidential ultrasound appointment at Choices Resource Center.

After verifying your pregnancy with free lab-quality pregnancy testing, a sonographer at our center will conduct an ultrasound scan to give you the pregnancy details you need to move forward. We’re here for you!