A limited obstetrical ultrasound is an imaging procedure used to confirm a pregnancy. If your pregnancy test reads positive, an ultrasound is the only way to confirm those results by looking for a heartbeat to determine if the pregnancy is viable. Ultrasounds can also determine how far along the pregnancy is and if it is in the uterus. This is important information to know because according to the Mayo Clinic, an estimated 30 percent of known pregnancies do not carry to the term for a number of reasons.
An ultrasound performed within the first 12 weeks is also the most accurate predictor of conception and due date. Our clinic offers no cost ultrasounds administered by a registered diagnostic medical sonographer with a confirmed positive pregnancy test completed at Options for Women. You will also have the opportunity to discuss your pregnancy test results and any medical questions you may have with a registered nurse at your appointment.
Don’t be nervous! Ultrasounds are a painless, non-invasive procedure to confirm your pregnancy. We ask that you drink a full glass of water prior to your ultrasound appointment, and do not empty your bladder. We encourage you to bring the father, a trusted friend, or a family member with you to your appointment for support.
High-frequency sound waves are produced by the ultrasound machine and sent into the body through a transducer. Echoes are then received back and electronically translated into black and white dots. Through this technique, an image of the inside of the uterus is displayed on a screen for the ultrasound technician to identify certain characteristics of the pregnancy.
A standard second-trimester ultrasound will also typically be performed by one of our physicians for patients enrolled in our on-site prenatal program.