Ultrasound Q & A

What Is an Ultrasound? 

An ultrasound is a noninvasive and safe method to take an internal image of the body and is frequently used to view a developing fetus. The ultrasound utilizes sound waves transmitted through small wand known as a transducer. The transducer translates the sound waves collected and creates an image on a computer screen. Ultrasound images are able to be seen in real-time and can help monitor the structure and movement of internal organs and blood activity. 

What Does an Ultrasound Show? 

An ultrasound helps the doctor to diagnose any issues with a fetus as well as monitor the development of the fetus. Ultrasounds provide detailed 3D and 4D images and can be utilized to discover the sex of their child. Additionally, Ultrasounds can also be used to: 
· Check the fetal heartbeat, gestational age, abnormalities or defects, and multiple pregnancies. 
· Examine placenta, uterus, ovaries, and cervix 
· Diagnose an ectopic pregnancy 
· Monitor the fetus growth and position 
· Monitor levels of amniotic fluids 
· Determine if the fetus is getting enough oxygen 
· Locate the source of pelvic pain or vaginal bleeding 
· Looking for signs of Pelvic Inflammatory Disease 
· Examine the size, shape, and condition of ovaries, uterus, or abnormal growths in vaginal cavity 
· Locate the cause of blood in the urine or other urinary problems 
· Determine the size of the bladder before and after urination 
· Detecting growths in the pelvis 
· Guiding a needle during a biopsy or while draining fluid from a cyst or abscess 
· Monitor for colorectal cancer  

How Is an Ultrasound Performed? 

After providing a gel that creates lubrication and magnifies the sound waves of the ultrasound, the provider will rub the transducer wand across the abdomen. The sound waves produced bounce off bones and tissue inside the body. These echoes are recorded by the transducer to generate images of the uterus for the doctor.

What Should I Expect During an Ultrasound? 

Ultrasounds are noninvasive and typically do not have any side effects. Patients should wear loose and comfortable clothing and may be asked to drink several glasses of water before the screening. The exam is carried out at the doctor’s office or clinical setting. This procedure takes place in about thirty minutes.

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