What is an ultrasound?
An ultrasound is an imaging method that uses sound waves to create an image of a structure in your body. Ultrasounds send sound waves that reflect back when they touch a structure in your body. Those reflections are interpreted by the computer and rendered as a two-dimensional image on the screen. Ultrasounds are a safe method for determining viability, location, and age for early pregnancy.
At Options, we look for three pieces of information during an ultrasound:
Viability is determined by measuring a heartbeat. Heartbeats begin 21 days after conception and are visible on ultrasound as early as 6 weeks. For an early ultrasound, doppler is not used to listen to the heartbeat. Instead, ultrasound measures a wave pattern to get an accurate heartbeat.
In most cases, when conception occurs it implants in the uterus. But in rare situations, it can implant in the fallopian tubes or the abdominal cavity. This is why ultrasound to determine the location of a pregnancy is vital. Pregnancies that occur outside the uterus can be extremely dangerous and are best treated when diagnosed early.
It’s important to find the gestational age of your pregnancy to find an accurate due date. Due dates can also be determined by the date of your last menstrual period but this isn’t always accurate because women may have irregular cycles and also may ovulate at different times during their cycle. Ultrasound is the best way of determining an accurate date.
The team at Options would be happy to discuss scheduling an ultrasound with you.