If you’re pregnant, ultrasound is an essential step for protecting your health. This simple scan uses sound waves to create an image of your pregnancy, giving you key details you need to know—no matter what pregnancy choice you’re considering.

Read on to learn more about how ultrasound works and why you need one if you’re pregnant. Or, if you want to talk to someone about your pregnancy and learn more about free resources and services, contact Pregnancy Center West to schedule a free, confidential appointment.

What Can I Expect During an Ultrasound Appointment?

Two different types of ultrasound are used during pregnancy, depending on how far along you are: transvaginal or abdominal.

Transvaginal ultrasound is used earlier in pregnancy because it gives a clearer picture. During a transvaginal ultrasound appointment, the nurse will gently insert the ultrasound transducer (the wandlike part of the ultrasound machine) into your vagina. You may feel slight pressure as the nurse moves the wand to gain a picture of your pregnancy.

Abdominal ultrasound is used later in pregnancy. During an abdominal ultrasound, the nurse will squirt a jellylike substance onto your abdomen and move the transducer around. 

You can see your pregnancy on the ultrasound screen during both types of ultrasound. 

What Information Will I Learn During a Pregnancy Ultrasound?

A pregnancy ultrasound will give you critical details about your pregnancy, including:

  • Age: Even if you use a pregnancy tracker or think you know how far along you are, the only way to know your pregnancy’s age with certainty is through ultrasound.
  • Location: Occasionally, a pregnancy will develop outside the uterus. This is known as an ectopic pregnancy, and it’s a life-threatening condition that requires immediate medical intervention.
  • Viability: An ultrasound will scan for a heartbeat, which is essential considering roughly 26% of pregnancies end in miscarriage—and it’s possible to experience a miscarriage without any immediate symptoms.

Your Health Is Essential

If you received a positive result on a pregnancy test, getting an ultrasound is a critical next step for protecting your health.

At Pregnancy Center West, we offer free, limited ultrasound to give you the information you need to stay healthy. Contact us today to schedule your free, confidential appointment.