After confirming your pregnancy by testing positive, the next step is to have an ultrasound. Critical to ensuring your health and safety, ultrasounds also provide valuable information to help you move forward in your decision-making process. We offer confidential ultrasounds at no cost in our Pregnancy Care Centers.
Ultrasounds: What you need to know
An ultrasound is a safe and effective way to get an image of what your pregnancy looks like inside your uterus. To begin an ultrasound, a medical professional applies a gel over your abdomen while sliding a probe, also known as a transducer, over the area. The probe sends high-frequency sound waves through your tissue that bounce off body structures to produce echoes. These echoes produce an image (sonogram) on the computer screen and provide the medical professional with valuable information about your pregnancy. Ultrasounds do not emit radiation and are safe for you and the fetus.
Ultrasounds Provide Valuable Information
While pregnancy testing determines if you are pregnant, an ultrasound provides you with important details you need to know for your health, safety, and decision-making.
A pregnancy is viable if the ultrasound detects a heartbeat. If a heartbeat is detected, the ultrasound will document the fetal heart rate to identify if you are more than six weeks pregnant. If a heartbeat cannot be detected, you may have had your ultrasound too early in your pregnancy, or experienced a miscarriage. As many as half of pregnancies end in miscarriage, and most happen before a woman even knows of her pregnancy. Of women who know they are pregnant, an estimated 10 to 15% of these end in miscarriage.
Knowing the location of your pregnancy is extremely important for your health and safety. If the fertilized egg implants in the wall of your uterus, you have a normal pregnancy. If the fertilized egg implants somewhere else, you have an ectopic pregnancy. Over 90% of ectopic pregnancies are located in the fallopian tube, known as a “tubal” pregnancy. If the ultrasound finds an ectopic pregnancy, you must see your doctor immediately, as this poses a severe health threat and needs to be removed.
Pregnancy Gestational Age
An ultrasound tells you how far along you are, or the gestational age of your pregnancy. From this information, the medical professional will estimate your date of conception and your due date. If you are considering abortion, your gestational age will also determine your eligibility for a medication or surgical abortion.
The Next Step
After pregnancy testing and an ultrasound, it’s time to consider your options. There are many paths you can take, and only you can make the decision. We would love to sit down with you and help you navigate this life-changing decision by discussing all your options and ways we can support you. Contact us to make an appointment. No matter which options you are considering, we are here for you. You are not alone!