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Obstetric Ultrasound

What to Expect During the Procedure

An obstetric, or pregnancy ultrasound examination allows the doctor to see inside of the uterus and provides much information about the pregnancy. The exam will be performed by a sonographer, a technologist who is specially trained in ultrasound. A small hand held device called a transducer will be passed over the surface of your lower abdomen producing a sensation of light pressure on your skin. Images of your baby as well as your pelvic anatomy will be taken and evaluated later by one of our radiologists. The exam typically takes about 30 minutes.

First trimester pregnancy may require an additional exam called a transvaginal ultrasound. This exam is performed with an empty bladder. Transvaginal ultrasound is performed very much like a gynecological exam and involves the insertion of a transducer, similar in shape to a tampon, into the vagina. Only two to three inches of the transducer end are inserted into the vagina. Transvaginal ultrasound is performed with you lying on your back, possibly with your feet in stirrups, similar to a gynecologic exam. Transvaginal imaging allows an up close view of your pregnancy, providing greater detail for the radiologist interpreting your exam.

How Should I Prepare?

Obstetrical ultrasounds require you to have a full bladder. Please finish drinking 32 ounces of water 1 hour prior to your exam and avoid urinating. If a transvaginal exam is needed, you will be asked to empty your bladder before beginning that exam.

What to Expect After the Procedure

When the exam is complete, you will be asked to dress and wait for the sonographer to review the images taken. Selected pictures will be provided to you of your baby. A radiologist will analyze the images taken by the sonographer. A report is dictated and sent to your referring physician, who will share the results with you.