As you embark on your pregnancy journey, the first ultrasound appointment at Women’s Health Center of Chicago with Dr. Adeeb AlShahrour, MD, FACOG, is an essential milestone. Ultrasound technology is a crucial diagnostic tool used in prenatal care, allowing you to catch a glimpse of your baby before they are born and ensure their optimal health. But ultrasound is not limited to pregnancy; it also plays a significant role in diagnosing various gynecological conditions. Our team provides comprehensive ultrasound services to monitor your baby’s development and assess the health of your pelvic organs. You can easily schedule your ultrasound appointment by calling our Chicago or Bridgeview, Illinois offices or using our convenient online booking tool.
Table of Contents
What is an Ultrasound?
An ultrasound is a non-invasive imaging test that employs sound waves to create images of your baby in the uterus during pregnancy. Our expert specialists at Women’s Health Center of Chicago use this advanced technology to determine your baby’s health, development, and estimate your due date. During the procedure, a cooling gel is applied to your stomach to act as a conductor for sound waves. Our specialists use a handheld device called a transducer to emit sound waves into your uterus, creating detailed images of your baby’s growth and development. Most ultrasounds are conducted through the abdomen or vagina, and in some cases, a doppler ultrasound may be used to assess your baby’s heartbeat and blood flow.
Why Do I Need an Ultrasound During Pregnancy?
While many healthy pregnancies may not require an ultrasound, if your doctor at Women’s Health Center of Chicago has concerns about potential complications, they may recommend one. An ultrasound can help confirm your pregnancy, detect molar or ectopic pregnancies, assess abnormal gestation, measure your baby’s heartbeat, diagnose fetal malformations and structural abnormalities, evaluate fetal development, and identify excessive or reduced levels of amniotic fluid. These non-invasive procedures can be done at various stages of your pregnancy to ensure your baby’s well-being.
When Can an Ultrasound Determine the Sex of My Baby?
Determining the sex of your baby can be an exciting part of your pregnancy journey. While several factors can affect the accuracy of determining the sex, most often, our specialists can reveal your baby’s gender between weeks 18 and 20 of your pregnancy.
What Gynecological Conditions Can an Ultrasound Diagnose?
Ultrasound technology is not limited to pregnancy; it is also a valuable diagnostic tool for various gynecological conditions. At Women’s Health Center of Chicago, we use ultrasounds to diagnose and establish treatment for conditions such as fibroids, cysts, and other growths, endometrial conditions, anatomical abnormalities of the uterus, presence or position of an intrauterine contraceptive device, pelvic inflammatory disease, and postmenopausal bleeding. Ultrasounds are also used during some biopsy procedures and to assess the aspiration of follicle fluid and eggs from your ovaries for in vitro fertilization.
Are Ultrasounds Safe?
Ultrasounds are considered safe and have no demonstrated history of harming women or babies in utero. These procedures have a low risk of complications, require no anesthesia or recovery time, and no advanced preparation. They are among the least expensive and widely available diagnostic tools, offering results that are relatively easy to interpret. Additionally, ultrasounds can detect issues early, enabling timely treatment and potentially avoiding invasive or costly procedures in the future.
Prenatal ultrasounds are performed to monitor the health and development of your baby during pregnancy. They help your doctor at Women's Health Center of Chicago assess fetal growth, check for any abnormalities, determine your due date, and ensure the well-being of your baby.
Yes, ultrasound procedures are considered safe for both you and your baby. Extensive research and decades of use have shown no evidence of harmful effects on pregnant women or their developing babies.
The duration of an ultrasound appointment can vary depending on the specific type of ultrasound and the purpose. Generally, a prenatal ultrasound can take around 20-30 minutes, while gynecological ultrasounds may take a similar amount of time.
For most prenatal ultrasounds, having a full bladder is recommended, as it can provide better imaging of the baby. However, for gynecological ultrasounds, a full bladder is usually not necessary.
Yes, in many cases, you can find out the gender of your baby during a prenatal ultrasound, typically between weeks 18 and 20 of your pregnancy. However, please keep in mind that it is not always guaranteed, as it depends on the position and cooperation of the baby during the scan.
Preparing for an ultrasound is typically straightforward. For prenatal ultrasounds, having a full bladder (if required) and wearing loose, comfortable clothing can be helpful. For gynecological ultrasounds, your doctor will provide specific instructions based on the type of ultrasound being performed.