How Does Ultrasound Work?

Ultrasound is a scan that uses sound waves to create a picture of your internal structures.

During pregnancy, two different types of ultrasound are used: transvaginal and abdominal.

Transvaginal ultrasound is used early on in pregnancy because it offers the clearest image. This type of ultrasound involves the sonographer gently inserting the transducer (the wand-like part of the ultrasound machine) into your vagina.

You might feel slight pressure as the sonographer moves the wand to gain a clear image.

Abdominal ultrasound is used later in pregnancy. This type of ultrasound involves the sonographer squirting a jellylike substance onto your abdomen before moving the transducer around.

During both types of ultrasound, you will be able to view your pregnancy on the ultrasound screen.

Why Do I Need An Ultrasound?


If you received a positive result on your pregnancy test, getting an ultrasound is a vital step for confirming your pregnancy and learning the essential information you need to stay safe.

Ultrasound can determine the following details about your pregnancy:

  • Gestational Age: Many women are surprised to learn that their pregnancies are much further along than they thought. An ultrasound will take measurements to give you an accurate projected due date. This is especially important if you’re considering the abortion pill (medical abortion) since these drugs are only FDA-approved if your pregnancy is 10 weeks gestation or under.
  • Location: Most pregnancies develop inside the uterus. But rarely, your pregnancy will attach and grow outside the uterus. This is a life-threatening emergency known as an ectopic pregnancy, and it requires immediate medical treatment.
  • Viability: Roughly 26% of all pregnancies end in miscarriage, and it’s possible to experience one without having immediate symptoms. It’s also possible that you’ve miscarried since receiving a positive pregnancy test result. If you’ve had a miscarriage, you will need follow-up care to ensure you don’t face any complications.

Where Can I Get an Ultrasound?

At Safe Harbor Women’s Medical Clinic, we offer no-cost limited ultrasounds because you deserve to have the information you need to stay healthy. Contact us today to schedule your confidential appointment.