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How Does an Ultrasound Work?

Topic: Pregnancy

You just found out you’re pregnant and are considering scheduling an appointment for an ultrasound scan. However, you may still be curious about how ultrasounds work, whether they’re safe, and where you can find quality care that’s affordable. We’ve got you covered!

Keep reading for guidance on ultrasounds and they are essential in ensuring your health and safety during an unplanned pregnancy.

How Does an Ultrasound Work?

Looking for an easy non-invasive way to see what’s happening with your pregnancy? You’re in luck! Ultrasounds, also sometimes referred to as sonograms, utilize high-frequency sound waves to make images of what is happening inside of the human body.

During an ultrasound scan, the technician will likely use a small transducer to create sound waves that will echo back and be recorded through the instrument. These sound waves will travel through the abdomen until they hit a barrier — like fluid, bone, or soft tissue — and travel back to the transducer.

The computer will then be able to create an image based on the pace and direction of those waves.

Are ultrasounds Safe?

Unlike some imaging techniques, ultrasounds do not use any radiation and are considered completely safe. They are non-invasive and easy to access through your local pregnancy center. 

What are ultrasounds used for?

While ultrasounds are used for a variety of medical diagnoses, like identifying whether a lump is a cyst or a tumor or investigating symptoms like swelling and pain, they are most commonly associated with pregnancy.

In pregnancy, an ultrasound scan helps to identify important information and is considered an essential part of prenatal and pre-abortion care. 

Here are some important things you will learn from your ultrasound scan:

  • An ultrasound scan is the only way to determine whether or not your pregnancy is viable. “Viable” refers to whether it has a reasonable chance of making it full term and surviving outside of the womb after birth.
  • Your ultrasound will identify any health conditions that could complicate pregnancy or an abortion process, such as ectopic pregnancy.  
  • An ultrasound is the best way to determine the gestational age of your pregnancy. If you plan to parent or place your child for adoption, this information will be used to calculate your due date. For those considering abortion, you’ll need to know the gestational age in order to determine your eligibility for various termination procedures. 

I’m pregnant — When should I get an ultrasound? 

If you have taken a lab-quality pregnancy test (available for free through your local pregnancy center) and plan to carry your pregnancy, you will want to schedule an appointment between the 6-8 week timeframe. If you are considering abortion and want to make a choice for your pregnancy sooner, we recommend scheduling an ultrasound scan immediately to determine your eligibility and identify any potential known risks for abortion complications.

Where can I find a free ultrasound scan? 

Women’s Care Medical Center provides free ultrasound scans! We also provide free lab-quality pregnancy testing, STD testing, options counseling, medical referrals, community referrals, material assistance, education classes, and more!

Schedule an Appointment

Schedule your free appointment with Women’s Care Medical Center today to access the quality healthcare and services you deserve!