An Obstetrical (OB) ultrasound exam is an exciting part of pregnancy and a chance to see your baby before it is born. The test may be performed at various times during your pregnancy to study the pregnancy process and to evaluate your health and your baby’s health and growth while he or she is still in your uterus.
The Sonographer applies a gel to your skin to ensure that the transducer (the probe that emits the high-frequency sound waves) has good contact for sound transmission. This transducer is placed on your skin and moved over your abdomen to capture images of your baby and various structures in your pelvic area. You should experience no pain.
Early in the 1st trimester (less than 14 weeks), a transvaginal approach is frequently needed to complete the examination. Your bladder will be emptied prior to this. A special transducer is inserted into the vaginal canal and angled in multiple directions to acquire various images of your baby and pelvic structures. This does not typically cause any pain.
A 1st trimester examination takes approximately 30-45 minutes. A 2nd or 3rd trimester examination takes approximately 60-75 minutes.
The Sonographer cannot provide you with diagnostic results. A radiologist who specializes in obstetrical ultrasound will review and interpret your images. A report of the exam will be sent to your doctor, who will discuss the results with you.
As this is a medical exam, your baby’s and your health are our primary focus. Although visitors are not permitted for other ultrasound exams, visitors are allowed in the room during an obstetrical ultrasound. The Sonographer will attempt to ascertain the gender of your baby upon request. The use of recording devices is not permitted. You will be provided with printed images as the examination allows.
There is special preparation for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd trimester obstetrical ultrasound examinations. The examination requires a full bladder. One hour before the exam, drink 32 ounces of water and do not empty your bladder. You will be allowed to empty your bladder as soon as the Sonographer has completed the test.