What is an Ultrasound?
An ultrasound is a medical technique that uses sound wave signals to help you and your doctor see what’s going on beyond your baby bump. At Huey & Weprin Ob/Gyn, our skilled staff can perform an ultrasound for you, providing you with a first-time look at how your baby is developing and handling its very first weeks of life.
Your Ob/Gyn can also use an ultrasound to confirm pregnancy, identify if you are having multiple babies, or help determine if you are susceptible to a high-risk pregnancy.
Different Ultrasound Technologies Available
From transvaginal scans for viewing your baby in one of its earliest forms of life to 4-D ultrasounds for capturing detailed images of your baby’s facial expressions, there are various ultrasound technologies available for tracking your baby’s development. Ultrasound technologies include:
- Transvaginal scans
- Doppler ultrasound
- Pelvic ultrasound
- Standard ultrasound
- Advanced ultrasound
- 3-D ultrasound
- 4-D ultrasound
- Fetal echocardiography
How Early Can An Ultrasound Detect And Confirm Pregnancy?
Although an ultrasound can be performed at any time during your pregnancy, it is really in week 6 of your pregnancy that your baby truly begins to develop and their heartbeat can be heard with an ultrasound. Prior to 5 weeks, your baby may be too small to be detected by an ultrasound, and ultrasounds occurring 2-5 weeks into your pregnancy may not reveal much.
Depending on the technology available, some ultrasounds may be able to detect pregnancy at just 3 weeks.
What Can Be Seen In An Early Pregnancy Ultrasound?
At around 6-8 weeks, your doctor can use an ultrasound during the first trimester to assess various things. Since the uterus and fallopian tubes are lower at this time, your doctor will likely use a transvaginal ultrasound to better see how your baby is doing.
What Do Doctors Look For In Early Pregnancy Ultrasounds?
If you are unsure of what your doctor is looking for in an early ultrasound, you can always ask questions along the way. Some things an early pregnancy ultrasound may be used for are:
- Ensuring you are pregnant
- Identifying the number of babies
- Checking the heartbeat of the fetus
- Providing the gestational age of your fetus
- Detecting molar pregnancy
- Diagnosing an ectopic pregnancy
- Diagnosing an abdominal pregnancy
- Providing a due date
- Identifying miscarriage risks
How Often Do You Need Ultrasounds During Pregnancy?
As a mother-to-be, you may have a strong instinct and desire to check on your baby as often as you can. With your baby still in your belly, an ultrasound may seem like the only available method to do so. Knowing how many ultrasounds you can get during your pregnancy and how many ultrasounds are safe during your pregnancy is important in ensuring that your baby is monitored safely and appropriately.
At What Points During Pregnancy Do You Need An Ultrasound?
Typically, your doctor will schedule two ultrasound appointments; one in the first trimester to determine your due date, and one at 18 weeks to identify the sex and assess the general growth of your baby.
It is generally recommended that ultrasounds only be performed for medical reasons.
Are There Any Risks To Pregnancy Ultrasounds?
Although there are theoretical risks, there are no known risks to the baby or the mother. Our exposure goal is ALARA, as low as reasonably achievable, to reduce exposure and risk of effecting the potential for tissue heating.
Schedule An Ultrasound
If you would like to come in for an ultrasound, schedule an appointment with an Ob/Gyn specialist at Huey & Weprin Ob/Gyn. With specialized care and cutting-edge treatments in obstetrics and gynecology, Huey & Weprin Ob/Gyn offers a wide variety of gynecologic and obstetric services from leaders in Ob/Gyn research development. Call 937.771.5100 or fill out the form on this page to schedule an appointment.