Ultrasound examinations are a safe and painless procedure. Ultrasound scans use sound waves to construct a picture of your baby. An ultrasound is used to check the baby's growth and take a head-to-toe look at the baby's anatomy. The detail provided by an ultrasound depends on how far along you are in the pregnancy, the amount of fluid around the baby, and the size of the mother.
FIRST OB ULTRASOUND:
Every patient is given an ultrasound exam at her first obstetrics visit. This exam is routinely performed between 8-11 weeks gestation. The ultrasound examination is performed with the use of a trans-vaginal camera. This provides a more accurate determination of your due date. At the time of this exam, you will be allowed to hear your baby's heart beat for the first time. We will also evaluate the fetal size and location. An attempt to view the ovaries will also be made.
SECOND TRIMESTER ULTRASOUND:
Between 19-20 weeks of gestation, an ultrasound will be ordered. In most cases this ultrasound will be performed in our office. At this time we will perform a fetal anatomical survey. This is a detailed ultrasound examination to detect the presence of the brain, heart, kidneys, limbs and other organs. Many families are excited to learn their baby's gender during this exam. Although the baby's gender may be predicted in most cases, it is not always possible to visualize gender.
Following ultrasound exams, you will be given pictures of your baby.
PREPARATION FOR AN OBSTETRIC ULTRASOUND:
A full bladder is recommended to have during the ultrasound examination. This is to aid in the visualization of the cervix. You should not be uncomfortable during the exam. There are no restrictions on eating before your ultrasound. The full ultrasound exam should take around 30 minutes.
Ultrasound can be very helpful for diagnosing abnormalities of the pelvis. There are two approaches that can be used to visualize the pelvic organs. Trans-abdominal ultrasound can be performed to evaluate the general location and size of the uterus and ovaries. Trans-vaginal ultrasound is performed by placing a small camera in the vagina. This type of ultrasound is normally well tolerated and is very helpful in obtaining measurements. Every attempt will be made to help our patients to feel comfortable and well cared for during the ultrasound.
PREPARATION FOR A GYNECOLOGIC ULTRASOUND:
The patient should come to the office for the pelvic ultrasound with a full bladder. Normally 16 ounces of fluid, one hour prior to the exam is sufficient. You should not be uncomfortable or in pain during your exam. There are no restrictions on eating before your ultrasound. The full pelvic exam should be less than 30 minutes.