If you’ve never had an ultrasound, you’re likely wondering how it could benefit you during pregnancy. Ultrasound is a key diagnostic tool and can help providers identify and treat various conditions. But do you need an ultrasound after learning you’re pregnant? Is it necessary?

How Does an Ultrasound Work?

During an ultrasound, a sonographer or nurse uses a transducer device over a body part with gel applied to it. The transducer sends sound waves that create an image on a screen. Though many ultrasounds are noninvasive, including abdominal ultrasounds, some are invasive. One example is a transvaginal ultrasound, which may be used in early pregnancy.

Obstetric ultrasounds provide critical information about your pregnancy:

  • Viability: Ultrasound determines whether your pregnancy is growing and has a heartbeat. Up to 26% of all pregnancies end in miscarriage, which is the spontaneous loss of a pregnancy before 20 weeks gestation. If you’ve had a miscarriage, you may need further medical treatment to manage the condition. And in this case, you are ineligible for an abortion.
  • Gestational age: Knowing your gestational age is crucial. You may be further along than you think, and in Missouri, abortion is illegal, with exceptions for medical emergencies.
  • Location: You must know your pregnancy’s location before making a pregnancy decision. Ultrasound can detect conditions like ectopic pregnancy, when a fertilized egg implants in a location other than the uterus, such as a fallopian tube. This produces a nonviable pregnancy and always requires medical treatment as it is very dangerous.

Receiving an ultrasound is the best way to identify certain health conditions and move forward with a clearer path.

Limited Ultrasounds Available at our Center

After receiving a positive pregnancy result at our center, we’ll provide a free, confidential limited ultrasound up to 14 weeks gestation. This abdominal ultrasound is performed by trained nurses and will confirm the pregnancy details you need to take charge of your health. We encourage you to also consult your medical provider before making a pregnancy decision. Review any medical conditions or allergies you have to rule out any additional care you may need.

Once an ultrasound has been performed, our advocates can review your pregnancy options— abortion, adoption, and parenting—with you. We’ll provide the education and resources you need to make an empowered, confident decision. Reach out today to learn more.