An ultrasound is important even if you are undecided about the next steps for your pregnancy. It can provide vital information about the health, location, and timing of the pregnancy that can impact the decision you make.
About the appointment
Whether you're nervous about your ultrasound or just want more information before you schedule one, here's all you need to know about what to expect during an ultrasound:
After arriving for your appointment, you'll check-in at the front desk and fill out some routine medical paperwork. If you've brought a friend, partner, or family member with you they can wait in the lobby or accompany you into the examination room, whichever you prefer.
In the exam room, you'll lay on an examination table. We'll ask you to roll your pants down slightly and shirt up to expose your abdomen. Bring a light-weight jacket just in case you get a little chilly.
An ultrasound-trained registered nurse will then put gel on your abdomen. This helps the ultrasound wand pick up the sound waves that create the image for you to see. The nurse will move the wand (or transducer) over your stomach; you might feel a little bit of pressure but it won't be painful.
It usually doesn't take long to pick up the images, and you'll be able to view them if you choose. The nurse will explain the images to you and answer any questions you may have about what you're seeing.
At Open Arms, we do ultrasounds to determine the location of the pregnancy to make sure the pregnancy is located inside the uterus (not ectopic), measure fetal heart rate, and determine the gestational age. These ultrasounds will not reveal the sex.
Why an ultrasound is important
Many women who are unsure about their pregnancies or who are planning to have abortions often think they don't need an ultrasound. Actually, the opposite is true. An ultrasound is necessary even before having an abortion because it reveals key information that determines the type of abortion you would have (medical or surgical).
An ultrasound will also reveal whether the pregnancy is located inside or outside of the uterus. Pregnancies outside of the uterus are called ectopic pregnancies and they are not viable. They can be life-threatening to you and will require immediate medical intervention.
To schedule your free and confidential ultrasound appointment, please contact the Open Arms Pregnancy Clinic today. Our trained case managers are also on hand to provide information to help you process your decision if you need someone to talk with at your appointment.