How Soon Do I Need An Ultrasound When I'm Pregnant?

Do I Need An Ultrasound When I’m Pregnant?

pregnant woman What is an Ultrasound?

An ultrasound is a test that uses sound waves to produce diagnostic images of tissues of the body. It can be used for a wide range of situations. It is useful because, unlike an x-ray, it creates clear pictures of soft tissue. It is also known as a sonogram.

What is a Pregnancy Ultrasound?

A pregnancy ultrasound is a test used to monitor the health of a developing baby by producing imagery of the fetus and the surrounding area. It should be used several times in the course of a pregnancy to ensure development is proceeding as expected.

In addition to the conventional ultrasound, there are several sophisticated variants that are used in special situations. For example, there are 3D and even 4D ultrasounds. Echocardiography is an advanced form of pregnancy ultrasound that diagnoses issues with the fetal heart.

Why Might You Get a Pregnancy Ultrasound?

Most pregnant women will have at least one or two pregnancy ultrasounds performed at the request of their doctor. If you are at risk of pregnancy complications, then you may receive a full set of pregnancy ultrasounds at specific points throughout the pregnancy.

Some risk factors physicians look out for include:

  • Advanced age
  • Maternal obesity
  • Lifestyle factors like alcohol or tobacco use
  • A family history of pregnancy complications

Just because a doctor requests a pregnancy ultrasound, it does not mean there will be a problem. On the contrary, having an ultrasound performed promptly can help alert you to developmental concerns so appropriate changes can be made in prenatal treatment.

This maximizes health and safety for the mother and child.

When Are the Right Times to Get a Pregnancy Ultrasound?

Your obstetrician will advise you with regards to the best time for a pregnancy ultrasound. A healthy expectant mother should expect at least two, and sometimes several more. You should also contact your obstetrician right away if you encounter symptoms of illness not in keeping with a typical pregnancy experience. Such cases might prompt an additional ultrasound.

An ultrasound is typically performed for the following reasons:

During the First Trimester

  • Confirm the pregnancy
  • Check the fetal heartbeat
  • Estimate the due date
  • Check for multiple pregnancies
  • Look for abnormal growthEnsure the health of the mother’s reproductive organs

During the Second & Third Trimester

  • Monitor the growth of the fetus and its position
  • Determine the sex of the fetus
  • Check for issues with the placenta
  • Check for characteristics associated with birth defects
  • Monitor blood flow, amniotic fluid, and oxygen levels
  • Diagnose issues with the uterus or the ovaries
  • Determine whether other tests may be needed

Preparing for an Ultrasound

Early in pregnancy, it is usually necessary to have a full bladder at the start of the procedure in order to get clear images of the fetus. Two or three 8-ounce glasses of water are sufficient. As soon as the procedure is complete, you can use the restroom.

What Happens During an Ultrasound?

During the procedure, you will lie on an examination table or bed. A trained ultrasound specialist will apply a water-based gel to the abdomen and pelvic region to help the sound waves travel more efficiently. A small wand is then moved across the area to capture the images.

It may take several minutes to capture all the needed images. They are black and white, and may need to be manually measured by the ultrasound technician. At different points, you might be asked to hold your breath so that a specific image can be taken correctly.

At Huey & Weprin, pregnancy ultrasounds are part of a complete prenatal care regime. To learn more, contact us today.

Contact Us




To our valued patients,

In an effort to slow the spread of Covid-19/Coronavirus as well as keep our providers and staff healthy, our office will be enforcing the following guidelines EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY and FOR THE FORESEEABLE FUTURE.

1. All persons entering the office MUST wear a facemask or covering of some sort for the entirety of their time in the office, including patients.

2. Prenatal patients may bring ONE support person to the ULTRASOUND PORTION OF THEIR APPOINTMENT ONLY, and minor patients are permitted to bring one parent or guardian to each visit. All support persons, parents/guardians, and patients MUST BE FREE OF COVID-19 SYMPTOMS AND PROVIDE THEIR OWN FACEMASK/COVERING. No persons under the age of 18 will be admitted into the office unless they are the scheduled patient.

3. Every person entering the office will be screened at the front door prior to entering the office. Persons showing ANY symptom related to Covid19/Coronavirus will not be permitted into the office.

4. Any persons with a previous diagnosis of Covid-19/Coronavirus must be symptom-free for FOUR WEEKS or SHOW WRITTEN RECORD OF ONE NEGATIVE COVID-19/CORONAVIRUS TEST to enter the office.

We understand this is a difficult time and that these restrictions may cause some frustration, but we sincerely appreciate your understanding and patience while we work to keep everyone healthy during this global health crisis, as well as the opportunity to provide you with the very best in women’s health care.

Please feel free to reach out to the office if you have any questions or concerns.


Huey & Weprin, OB/Gyn

Thank you! We will get back to you as soon as possible.