Your first ultrasound appointment is an important milestone in your pregnancy where you get to “see” your baby before they are born. Ultrasound technology is an important diagnostic tool in prenatal care and regular fetal ultrasounds ensure your baby’s optimal health. They’re also used to diagnose a variety of gynecological conditions from fibroids to pelvic infections. At Women’s Healthcare Center of Chicago in Chicago and Bridgeview, Illinois, Adeeb Alshahrour, MD, FACOG, offers ultrasounds to monitor your baby’s development and ensure the health of your pelvic organs. To make your appointment for an ultrasound, call the office nearest you or use the online booking tool today.
What is an ultrasound?
An ultrasound is an imaging test that uses sound waves to create a picture of your baby in the uterus. In obstetrics, an ultrasound helps your specialist at Women’s Healthcare Center of Chicago determine your baby’s health, development, and estimate your due date.
During an ultrasound procedure, your specialist applies a cooling gel on your stomach that works as a conductor for the sound waves.
They use a handheld device called a transducer to produce sound waves in your uterus, which bounce off soft tissues and bones and create a picture of your baby.
Most ultrasounds are done through your abdomen or vagina, but in some cases, your doctor may order a doppler ultrasound to check your baby’s heartbeat and blood flow.
The use of ultrasound does not stop at pregnancy; it is also a diagnostic tool Women’s Healthcare Center of Chicago uses for gynecological health.
Why do I need an ultrasound during pregnancy?
Many healthy pregnancies may not require an ultrasound, but if your doctor at Women’s Healthcare Center of Chicago is concerned about a complication related to your pregnancy, they recommend an ultrasound.
An ultrasound can help:
- Confirm a pregnancy
- Confirm a molar or ectopic pregnancy
- Assess abnormal gestation
- Measure baby’s heartbeat
- Diagnose fetal malformations and structural abnormalities
- Evaluate fetal development
- Identify excessive or reduced levels of amniotic fluid
- Confirm intrauterine death
An ultrasound is a noninvasive procedure that may take during various stages of your pregnancy.
When can an ultrasound determine the sex of my baby?
Several factors can affect the accuracy of determining the sex of your baby, like what stage of pregnancy you’re in and the position of the fetus. But most often, your doctor can reveal your baby’s sex between weeks 18 and 20 of your pregnancy.
What gynecological conditions can an ultrasound diagnose?
Women’s Healthcare Center of Chicago uses ultrasound technology to diagnose and establish treatment for a variety of gynecological issues, such as:
- Fibroids, cysts, and other growths
- Endometrial conditions
- Anatomical abnormalities of the uterus
- Presence or position or an intrauterine contraceptive device
- Pelvic inflammatory disease
- Postmenopausal bleeding
An ultrasound is also used during some biopsy procedures, and to assess the aspiration of follicle fluid and eggs from your ovaries for an in vitro fertilization.
Are ultrasounds safe?
Ultrasounds have no demonstrated history of harming women or babies in utero. They have a low risk of complications, require no anesthesia or recovery time, and no advanced preparation.
They are also one of the least expensive and widely available diagnostic tools and produce results that are relatively easy to read. Ultrasounds are often able to detect issues early so you can get treatment and avoid invasive or expensive procedures in the future.
To learn more about ultrasound, call Women’s Healthcare Center of Chicago or use the online scheduling tool to book a consultation today.