What is an ultrasound?
Also known as a sonogram, an ultrasound produces images on a screen by using a small transducer to both transmit sound waves into the body and record the waves that echo back. During an ultrasound exam, the technician will apply a gel to the skin. This keeps air pockets from forming between the transducer and the skin which can block ultrasound waves.
The transducer sends high-frequency sound waves through your body. The waves echo as they hit a dense object, such as an organ or bone. Those echoes are then reflected into a computer. This allows the medical professional to read the image on a computer or TV screen. Ultrasounds are considered safe and painless procedures.
Why would I need an ultrasound?
Limited ultrasounds are performed when deemed necessary for the following purposes which serve to help you in your decision-making process:
- Estimate how far along you are by knowing the gestational age in weeks
- Determine if the pregnancy is viable by showing location and possible cardiac activity (heartbeat)
Check for an ectopic pregnancy (located outside the uterus aka tubal pregnancy) or miscarriage. In either case, you would not find the care you need with an abortion provider. You will need a doctor who can treat these two issues.