An ultrasonogram (USG) in pregnancy helps create an image of the developing baby on a screen with the help of sound waves. The test evaluates the baby’s health and checks for specific pregnancy complications. A sonographer or an obstetrician usually performs it. Pregnant women typically need two ultrasounds. However, you may need more if the doctor says they are important. Here is everything you need to know about how to prepare for and what to expect during and after a pregnancy ultrasound.
How to Prepare for a Pregnancy Ultrasound?
No special preparation is required for USG in pregnancy. You may be asked to come with a full bladder and avoid using the restroom before the ultrasound. This helps the doctor view your baby better during the test. You will be allowed to bring someone to support you but not children.
Dressing in a hospital gown is generally not needed for abdominal ultrasounds. You must usually undress from the waist down or wear a hospital gown if transvaginal ultrasound is performed in your first trimester.
What to Expect During a Pregnancy Ultrasound?
Most USGs in pregnancy are done in a dimly lit room. You need to lie on a padded examination table during the procedure. This allows the sonographer to see the screen properly. The technician applies a small quantity of water-soluble gel to your belly’s skin. The gel is used to enable the efficient transmission of sound waves. The gel is applied to allow the efficient transmission of sound waves. It may feel cold but doesn’t stain your clothes or harm your skin.
The sonographer then places a transducer on your belly. It sends sound waves into your body. These bounce off internal organs and the baby. The reflecting sound waves help create images on the screen. These images are used to take necessary measurements like your baby’s length and head circumference.
You would not feel much discomfort during a pregnancy ultrasonogram but might feel slight pain if you need to urinate. The test lasts for about 30 minutes.
A transvaginal ultrasound differs only in how the transducer is placed inside the patient’s vagina and not on her abdomen.
What to Expect after a Pregnancy Ultrasound?
After an abdominal ultrasound, the gel is wiped off your belly. The sonographer may print some ultrasound pictures if you wish to take them home.
Usually, the results are not discussed with you right after the test. If an obstetrician carries out the test, they may discuss the results as things go along.
If a sonographer carries out the USG, an obstetrician will check the pictures and discuss them with you at the next appointment. Usually, another meeting is scheduled right after the first USG so that you receive the results on the same day.
Speak to your healthcare provider in the maternity hospital to know about the kinds of pregnancy ultrasounds that would be performed. For instance, you can learn about the cost of an anomaly scan and other necessary prenatal USGs.