How Do I Know If I Need An Ultrasound?

If you have received a positive result from a pregnancy test, we always recommend that you follow up with an ultrasound. We know that you are most likely feeling confused, shocked, or even scared, but you don’t need to panic. An ultrasound is necessary to provide you with the information you need to fully consider your options.

Why is an Ultrasound Important?

An ultrasound is an imaging procedure that uses high-frequency sound waves to project a visual of your uterus onto a screen. This procedure will allow you and medical professionals to get a better understanding of what is going on inside of your body.  An ultrasound will give you key pieces of information to guide your options discussion.

  • To confirm your pregnancy
  • To find out how long you have been pregnant
  • To detect a fetal heartbeat if it is present
  • To ensure you have a viable pregnancy

An ultrasound can determine how far along you are in your pregnancy. By looking at the fetal development, a sonographer can tell approximately how many weeks you have been pregnant. An ultrasound can also detect a fetal heartbeat to ensure that the heart is beating within a normal range based on fetal age, and can also determine the location of your pregnancy. While the majority of pregnancies develop in the uterus, there is a chance that you could have an ectopic pregnancy.

An ectopic pregnancy is diagnosed when the embryo is implanted in a location other than the uterus – such as the fallopian tubes. While ectopic pregnancies are rare, if it is not discovered early an ectopic pregnancy can be life-threatening, so it is important to be aware of the signs and symptoms.

Symptoms of an Ectopic Pregnancy Include:

  • Sharp pelvic or abdominal pain
  • Vaginal bleeding or spotting
  • Feeling dizzy or lightheaded

If you experience any of these symptoms after a positive pregnancy test, seek medical attention immediately.

An ultrasound can also determine if you are at risk for a miscarriage. Up to 20 percent of pregnancies end in a miscarriage. Miscarriages can be caused by a variety of factors, and more than 80% of miscarriages happen in the first trimester of pregnancy.

Causes of Miscarriages Include:

  • Infection
  • Pre-existing medical conditions
  • Hormones
  • Uterine abnormalities
  • Weakened cervix
  • Age
  • Drug or alcohol use
  • STDs or other diseases

If you have had a positive result from a pregnancy test, please contact PRC Grand Rapids today.