For most women, ultrasounds are a normal – and sometimes common – part of pregnancy. If you are pregnant for the first time, you might feel anxious about ultrasounds. You may also wonder what to expect. The good thing is that ultrasounds are not painful. At a basic level, ultrasounds are a form of technology that uses high-frequency waves to project an image onto the screen. This allows the sonographer to see details not visible to the human eye, and potentially diagnose or notice information about you and your pregnancy.
One of the most important things an ultrasound can tell you is whether your pregnancy is viable. This means an ultrasound can tell if your baby is still alive or has passed away in the womb, commonly referred to as a miscarriage. An ultrasound is important because you don’t need to have an abortion if you were considering one.
HOW FAR ALONG YOU ARE
Ultrasounds also determine how far along you are in your pregnancy. Sometimes you may not remember the day of your last period, or maybe you have irregular cycles. For many women, ultrasounds can be more accurate at dating how far you are in your pregnancy than other methods. While it’s not always completely accurate, this is important information when it comes to planning for labor and delivery and other concerns.
YOUR BABY’S GENDER
A fun benefit of ultrasound technology is the ability to find out your baby’s sex before birth! If waiting until your baby is born sounds impossible, an ultrasound can determine the gender of your baby as early as around 18 weeks gestation. The ability to see your baby’s sex organs depends on several factors, including your baby’s position and whether or not they cooperate with the sonographer. Ultrasounds also provide insight into any potential health concerns with you or your baby to help you prepare and establish a care plan for after birth.
POTENTIAL FERTILITY CONCERNS
Ultrasounds are not just for women who are already pregnant. If you want to find out more about your fertility, especially if you struggle with getting pregnant or suffer from irregular periods, ultrasounds can help. You may have an ultrasound to determine your ovarian reserve – how many eggs you have – particularly if you struggle with infertility. IVF patients experience ultrasound during multiple stages of the process, including egg retrieval and embryo transfer. If you suffer from symptoms associated with polycystic ovarian syndrome, or PCOS, ultrasound confirms this condition. It’s clear to see that ultrasounds can tell you a lot about your reproductive health, whether it’s before, during, or after a pregnancy.
Are you unexpectedly pregnant and unsure of what to do? Clearway Clinic is a fully licensed medical clinic that offers ultrasounds and medical consultations at our Worcester or Springfield locations.