Why Would I Need An Ultrasound?

At The Center for Women, your initial medical appointment includes a limited obstetrical ultrasound. Why? Because we understand the value of information and believe ultrasound is essential for your health and safety.

What Is An Ultrasound?

A member of our medical staff places a gel-like substance on a woman’s abdomen during an ultrasound. A device called a transducer is rubbed through the gel. The transducer picks up the echoes of sound waves on the inside of the abdomen. Those sound waves translate into a pattern of light and dark areas, creating an image on a screen.

What Will I Learn?

There are three essential questions an ultrasound answers.

  1. Where is the pregnancy located?

    Although rare, sometimes a pregnancy grows somewhere other than the uterus. This is known as an ectopic pregnancy. If this occurs, the pregnancy cannot continue normally and can even be life-threatening.

  2. How Far Along Is the Pregnancy?

    Knowing how far along a pregnancy is can be vital for understanding your expected due date and potential abortion options. Many women feel confident they know exactly when they got pregnant but are surprised to learn they are off by days and sometimes even weeks. Ultrasound is the most accurate dating method.

  3. Is the Pregnancy Growing?

    Ultrasound reveals if the pregnancy is growing with a detectable heartbeat. According to the Mayo Clinic, up to 20% of known pregnancies end in a natural miscarriage. The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) reports that it could be as high as 26%. Most miscarriages occur early in pregnancy. Getting a positive pregnancy test result is possible even after a miscarriage.

What Happens After the Ultrasound?

Once you have your ultrasound results, you will have enough information to determine your next steps. For instance, you will want to visit your healthcare provider as soon as possible if you have an ectopic pregnancy. If you have already miscarried, there’s no need to see an abortion provider.

One of our peer advocates can sit with you to discuss your situation and your options. We want you to be able to move forward with confidence. That’s why we’re here.