Obstetrical Ultrasound

What is an obstetric ultrasound?

An obstetric ultrasound is an imaging test that is used to monitor a baby’s development during pregnancy.

Why is this test performed?

An obstetric ultrasound is normally done to determine if there are any issues with the pregnancy, how far along the pregnancy is, or to take measurements of the developing baby.
During the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, an obstetric ultrasound may be ordered for the following reasons:
-Confirm a normal pregnancy.
-Determine the gestational age.
-Look for problems, such as ectopic pregnancies or the chances for miscarriage.
-Determine the baby’s heart rate.
-Look for multiple pregnancies.
-Identify problems of the placenta, uterus, cervix, and ovaries.
During the second and third trimesters, an obstetric ultrasound may be done for the following reasons:
-Determine gestational age, measure growth, position, and gender.
-Identify any problems with fetal development.
-Evaluate the placenta, amniotic fluid, and pelvis.

How is this test performed?

You will lie on your back on an exam table. The sonographer will spread gel on your pelvis and stomach area and use a transducer to produce images of your developing baby.

How do I prepare for this test?

There is no preparation required for this test. You are allowed one non-patient adult guest and one child during the exam (child must be accompanied by an adult). No videotaping is allowed.

Are there risks associated with an obstetric ultrasound?

There is no risk associated with obstetric ultrasound.