Haugen OBGYN provides Ultrasounds by Registered Diagnostic Medical Sonographers.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why and when is ultrasound used in pregnancy? (OB Ultrasound)

  • Diagnosis and confirmation of early pregnancy.
  • Vaginal bleeding in early pregnancy.
  • Placental localization.
  • Multiple pregnancies.
  • Measure amniotic fluid volume.
  • Determination of gestational age and assessment of fetal size.

Will I have an Abdominal or Vaginal ultrasound exam?

This will depend on the reason the exam has been requested. First trimester OB and pelvic exams usually are performed transvaginally. Second and third trimester OB exams are usually done transabdominally. In some cases this alone will not be adequate and both transabdominal and transvaginal exams will be needed. The examiner will make the decision as to which type of scan is necessary at the time of your exam.

How should I prepare for the procedure?

A full bladder provides a sonographic window for evaluation of the uterus and adnexa, and is required for the procedure when abdominal scanning is done. There may be some discomfort from the pressure of a full bladder. A full bladder is needed to achieve the complete documentation that is required for this exam. To accomplish this, please drink at least 16 ounces (two glasses) of water 1 hour PRIOR to your exam time and DO NOT urinate.

How is the “pelvic ultrasound” procedure performed?

Viewing through the bladder does not usually allow for complete visualization of the pelvic structures nor the developing pregnancy in the first trimester. Most pelvic and first trimester pregnancy exams are performed with transvaginal ultrasound. This is done with specially designed transducers. The ultrasound exam is conducted by placing a covered transducer in the vagina after you have emptied your bladder. This method usually provides better images and therefore more information. The majority of women find this method more comfortable than an abdominal ultrasound with a distended bladder.

Is ultrasound safe?

Ultrasound imaging is a noninvasive, usually painless examination. Ultrasound uses no ionizing radiation (x-ray). There are no known harmful effects associated with the medical use of sonography. Widespread clinical use of diagnostic ultrasound for many years has not revealed any harmful effects. Studies in humans have demonstrated no direct link between the use of diagnostic ultrasound and any adverse outcome.