Ultrasounds are one of the most integral parts of the decision-making process when it comes to an unplanned pregnancy. If you are uncertain about which choice to make regarding your unplanned pregnancy, we recommend you have a free limited ultrasound to answer questions about your potential pregnancy.
Fetal ultrasound is an imaging technique that uses sound waves to produce images of a fetus in the uterus. The fetal ultrasound is usually done during the first trimester to confirm the pregnancy and estimate how long you’ve been pregnant.
The first question is am I pregnant? The pregnancy test will only give you limited information and will not answer these questions, but the ultrasound will give you the information you need to explore the risks and benefits of your options.
The second question we need to answer is if the pregnancy is viable ( is it growing inside the uterus or does the baby have a heartbeat?) Some fetuses develop outside of the uterus, in the fallopian tube. A fetal ultrasound can help your health care provider detect a pregnancy outside of the uterus (ectopic pregnancy). An ectopic pregnancy will have its own set of symptoms like abdominal pain and bleeding. An ultrasound can help confirm or rule out this condition.
You might be asked to drink a certain amount of fluid or avoid urinating before a fetal ultrasound, depending on the type of ultrasound. When scheduling your ultrasound, ask your health care provider for instructions.
If you’re having a transabdominal ultrasound, consider wearing loose-fitting clothing so that you can easily expose your abdomen
During a transabdominal fetal ultrasound, you’ll recline on an exam table and expose your abdomen. Your nurse sonographer will apply a special gel to your abdomen, move or scan the transducer back and forth over your abdomen and the sound waves reflected off your bones and other tissues will be converted into images on a monitor.
Your nurse sonographer will measure your baby’s anatomy. He or she might print or store certain images to document important structures. You’ll likely be given copies of some of the images. We encourage you to ask your nurse sonographer to explain what is on the screen.
After the procedure, you can wipe off any residual gel or lubricant. If you had a full bladder during the ultrasound, you can urinate after the exam.
At Turning Point Pregnancy Resource Center, we offer free, limited ultrasounds with highly qualified and trained registered nurse sonographers for the purposes of confirming an intrauterine pregnancy, detecting fetal cardiac activity, and estimating gestational age.
To access this free service, you first need to schedule a pregnancy test and consultation appointment. If your test is positive and you are estimated to be between six and fourteen weeks along with no medical exclusions, you will then be scheduled for an ultrasound.
Before making any decisions about your pregnancy, getting an ultrasound is an important step. If you are worried, or unsure of your next steps, we can provide you with the resources you need to make an informed decision.