When you receive a positive pregnancy test, our nurse will ask you a few medical questions to determine if you are eligible for a free ultrasound. Through high-frequency sound waves, an ultrasound is able to create images of the inside of the uterus. By using a gel or lubricant to reduce static, our ultrasound technician will be able to provide a clear picture of the uterus.
First and foremost, and ultrasound can provide an accurate estimate of how far along the pregnancy is. Ultrasounds provide a clear view of the fetus, which allows technicians to tell how many weeks into the pregnancy you are. In addition, ultrasounds allow for the detection of fetal heartbeat, so we can ensure the heart is beating normally. Finally, ultrasounds can also test for the possibility of an ectopic pregnancy, which is when a pregnancy develops outside of the uterus and can cause serious health problems.
When a fertilized egg implants in an area outside of the uterus — for example, the fallopian tubes — that is called an ectopic pregnancy. Unfortunately, ectopic pregnancies can be a life-threatening situation for the mother, as the developing fetus can damage organs and cause significant blood loss. While ectopic pregnancies are rare, it is nevertheless important to have an ultrasound performed so it can be caught early.
Ectopic pregnancy symptoms include:
If you are pregnant and experiencing any of these symptoms, please seek medical attention as soon as possible.
Ultrasounds can also help to assess your risk of miscarriage. According to the Mayo Clinic, 10-20 percent of pregnancies end in a miscarriage, which could be caused by a wide variety of factors.
Miscarriage causes may include:
All pregnancies are subject to the risk of a miscarriage. Therefore, it is important that you be aware of symptoms.